Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that despite viral claims, Border Patrol agents were not whipping Haitian migrants who illegally crossed the border into the United States.
An article in the El Paso Times originally claimed that a Border Patrol agent “swung his whip menacingly, charging his horse toward the men in the river who were trying to return to an encampment under the international bridge in Del Rio after buying food and water in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.” Some of these aliens, the Times said, fell trying to escape the “whip” and “others shielded their heads with their hands.”
Corporate media outlets quickly amplified the “whipping” narrative and continued to circulate it on Tuesday morning despite Mayorkas’s denial.
Reuters is now calling reins “whip like cords.” https://t.co/vfcCXtIwGK
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 21, 2021
“Mayorkas and Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz told reporters in Del Rio, Texas Monday that they saw nothing obviously wrong with how the agents acted based on initial viewings of the images and footage. Mayorkas explained that agents use long reins — not whips — to control their horses, while Ortiz cited the difficulty in distinguishing migrants from smugglers as people move back and forth near the river,” the New York Post reported.
Pictures and footage of the alleged incident quickly made the rounds on Twitter where Democrats and even members of the corporate media took them at face value.
“This is so sick and @CBP will continue to commit human rights abuses if we don’t stop it now,” said “squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Monday in a call-to-action tweet. “Cracking a f-cking whip on Haitians fleeing hardship shows you that this system simply can’t be reformed.”
This is so sick and @CBP will continue to commit human rights abuses if we don't stop it now.
Cracking a fucking whip on Haitians fleeing hardship shows you that this system simply can't be reformed. @OversightDems + @HouseJudiciary should hold hearings immediately + act. https://t.co/RLsG3EY6Fw
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) September 20, 2021
“Use of whips on refugees? Disturbing and unacceptable. This must end immediately,” tweeted Sen. Jeff Merkley, the self-proclaimed “Chief Filibuster Antagonist.”
Use of whips on refugees? Disturbing and unacceptable. This must end immediately. https://t.co/C28fk2QFqL
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) September 20, 2021
“The fact that we are not outraged is shameful,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar, another “squad” member.
'What we've seen was cruel, inhumane': Rep. Omar addresses pictures that appear to show a Border Patrol agent on horseback with a whip to deter migrants pic.twitter.com/ouyuAzRwFu
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 21, 2021
The Biden administration also amplified lies about the reported incident during a White House press briefing on Monday. While White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted that she needs more information before making a judgment call, she said the pictures and videos, which do not appear to show anyone getting whipped, were “horrible to watch” and that Border Patrol “should never be able to do it again.”
“I have seen some of the footage. I don’t have the full context. I can’t imagine what context would make that appropriate, but I don’t have additional details,” she said. “I don’t think anyone seeing that footage would think it’s acceptable or appropriate.”
Despite previously telling reporters that there was nothing wrong with the way Border Patrol acted, Mayorkas said Tuesday on CNN that he was “horrified by what I saw” and that he would order his agency to investigate it further.
“One cannot weaponize a horse to aggressively attack a child. That is unacceptable. That is not what our policies and our training require. … Let me be quite clear: That is not acceptable,” he said. “Any mistreatment or abuse of a migrant is unacceptable, is against Border Control policy, training, and our department’s values.”
While the Biden administration focuses on cleaning up its border narrative following internet outrage, thousands of migrants are camped out under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, awaiting processing from Border Patrol.
“Conditions here are similar to a third world refugee camp,” Fox News’s Bill Melugin tweeted.
NEW: We are back underneath the international bridge in Del Rio, TX, this morning, where up to 12,000 migrants are still camped out after crossing into the US illegally. Conditions here are similar to a third world refugee camp. @TxDPS has secured area while BP works. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/HKFPYuZZMp
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 20, 2021
Psaki told reporters on Monday that these aliens are not subject to new rules requiring foreign nationals entering the United States to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
DOOCY: "Is somebody asking the foreign nationals who are walking into Del Rio, Texas and setting up camps on this side of the border for ‘proof of Vaccination’ or a negative COVID test?" pic.twitter.com/LLfaKTW02R
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) September 20, 2021