Biden Administration Will Investigate Border Patrol's Use Of Horse Reins Against Haitian Migrants
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Monday his department will run an investigation into photos and a video going viral on social media that appear to show border patrol officers on horseback using horse reins to threaten Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas.
The video and images were captured on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande near the Del Rio International Bridge, where thousands of migrants — mostly from Haiti — are camped out.
At a press conference Monday, Border Patrol Chief, Raul L. Ortiz said agents were on horseback to assess the people crossing the river.
“So it's important that those Border Patrol agents maintain a level of security for both themselves and for the migrant population,"
Mayorkas pointed out that agents just use long reins to handle the horses.
“But we are going to investigate the facts to ensure that the situation is as we understand it to be and if it's anything different, we will respond accordingly,” he said.
Ortiz said he’s confident that agents were just trying to maintain control of the horses.
“This is why your country’s shit, because you use your women for this!” — mounted Border Patrol officer to Haitian migrant he was riding down, as he sheltered with his family.— John Holman (@johnholman100) September 20, 2021
One of the scenes we saw on the Rio Grande. Watch our video:
Full report:https://t.co/V4KeMobCfs pic.twitter.com/UdUcC7B5IS
"I don't think anyone seeing that footage would think it was acceptable or appropriate," said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Monday.
"I don't have the full context. I can't imagine what context would make that appropriate."
The Biden administration has continued a Trump era policy of expelling migrants, sending them on flights back to their home countries without the chance to seek asylum. The first flights landed in Haiti on Sunday via San Antonio International Airport. Agencies are also sending migrants to other ports of entry to process them faster. So far, they’ve relocated about 6,500 people from the encampment.