DHS suspends horseback patrols on border, after misleading ‘whipping of migrants’ photos go viral
The Department of Homeland Security will stop using Border Patrol agents on horseback to turn illegal immigrants away from the US border. The policy change comes after photos showed mounted guards chasing down Haitian migrants.
“We have ceased the use of the horse patrol in Del Rio temporarily,” a DHS official told reporters on Thursday, referring to the Texas town flooded in recent days with thousands of mostly Haitian migrants. “We’ll prioritize other methods for identifying individuals who might be in medical distress,” the official added.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki portrayed the suspension in harder terms, telling reporters on Thursday afternoon that “we [will] no longer be using horses in Del Rio,” citing the apparently “horrible and horrific” treatment of the Haitian migrants.Also on rt.com ‘Worse than SLAVERY’: Democrat Maxine Waters slams Border Patrol ‘whipping’ Haitian migrants
The horse patrol was disbanded amid outrage over photos that appeared to show Border Patrol agents chasing down migrants on horseback and using whips on them. Though the whipping allegations were swiftly debunked, liberals still demanded an end to the mounted patrols, with California Rep. Maxine Waters (D) likening the images to “what we witnessed in slavery.”
On Tuesday Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he was “horrified” by the images, and announced that the agents featured in the photos have since been reassigned to administrative duties. Mayorkas said his department is taking “swift and strong” action, and could issue further punishment to the agents after an internal investigation wraps up.
However, conservative critics insist that the agents were simply doing their job, which is to prevent illegal entry into the US. “This administration excels at taking tools away from law enforcement,” conservative pundit John Cooper tweeted on Thursday, while Fox News editor Peter Hasson said that Border Patrol officials are furious, with one stating that “the agents did nothing wrong.”
Reaction from a veteran border agent: “It will make patrolling extremely difficult, along with security. This is insane. The agents did nothing wrong. It makes me furious. Horses have been used since before the official founding of the Border Patrol.” https://t.co/FsFPyZRHNC— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) September 23, 2021
We have a wide open border, deadly drugs and contraband streaming through unimpeded, record-smashing numbers of illegal migrants, catastrophic overcrowding in the heart of a pandemic, and Team Biden’s response is to…ban horses. https://t.co/n2KA1Ehw1Y— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) September 23, 2021
Around 14,000 Haitian migrants crossed into Texas from Mexico last weekend, setting up camp under the International Bridge in the town of Del Rio. The Biden administration has since started flying these migrants back to Haiti, though some have been apprehended and released into the US with instructions to report to immigration authorities at a later date, as is the administration’s standard procedure with border-crossers.
The precise numbers of those released versus those flown home are unclear, though anonymous officials told the Associated Press that migrants have been released into the US on a “very, very large scale,” despite seven daily deportation flights operating as of Wednesday.
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