Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas knew in September 2021 that mounted Border Patrol agents did not whip Haitian border crossers with their reins, as so many blue checkmarks and corrupt corporate media outlets suggested. Yet mere hours after he received word that the photographer who took the viral photos never saw any whipping, Mayorkas peddled the lie at a White House press conference.
Emails obtained by the Heritage Foundation via a Freedom of Information Act request show that assistant secretary of DHS public affairs Marsha Espinosa notified Mayorkas and other top DHS officials about a local news interview debunking the viral “whipping” lie on Sept. 24, 2021.
In the body of her email to Mayorkas, Espinosa highlighted comments from Las Cruces, New Mexico photographer Paul Ratje who explained that, while photographing the mounted Border Patrol agents, he never saw officials use their leather reins to whip anyone.
“I’ve never seen them whip anyone,” Ratje said. “He was swinging it, but it can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture.”
Just a few hours after receiving the email containing this key information that undermined the false narrative, Mayorkas gave a speech at the White House seemingly confirming the whipping lies and condemning Border Patrol agents.
“Our nation saw horrifying images that do not reflect who we are. We know that those images painfully conjured up the worst elements of our nation’s ongoing battle against systemic racism,” Mayorkas said.
When pressed about the photographer’s admission that no whipping had occurred, Mayorkas refused to acknowledge that he had seen or believed that report.
“The horses have long reins, and the image in the photograph that we all saw, and that horrified the nation, raised serious questions about what … occurred, and as I stated quite clearly, it conjured up images of what has occurred in the past,” Mayorkas said.
When pictures and videos of Border Patrol agents in Del Rio, Texas, corralling several migrants who were trying to cross the water into the U.S first surfaced, Mayorkas originally joined Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz in denying the whipping claims. He went so far as to explain that the so-called whips were actually reins designed to keep the horses from trampling migrants.
These images and clips, however, were then used by Democrats and the Biden regime to accuse the border law enforcement agents of using “whips” to harm the illegal border crossers.
“It was horrible to see. To see people treated like they did? Horses running them over? People being strapped? It’s outrageous,” Biden told reporters from behind the presidential seal. “I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation underway now, and there will be consequences. There will be consequences.”
Once the White House, Democrats, and the corporate media manufactured enough outrage about the whipping lies, however, Mayorkas changed his tune.
“[I was] horrified by what I saw,” Mayorkas said in a CNN interview. “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.”
In July, nearly 10 months after corporate media and Democrat conspiracy theorists flooded front pages with the whipping narrative, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigation found no evidence that the horseback unit used their reins to strike at the Haitians illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. In fact, the report acknowledged it was the media’s outsized coverage that sparked an investigation in the first place.
As a result of his incompetence and this revelation of dishonesty, Mayorkas faces renewed calls for his impeachment amid what has become the nation’s biggest border crisis in recorded history.