Texas Border Patrol ‘whipping’ investigation ‘ongoing’ despite vow to complete it in ‘days’
The investigation into whether Border Patrol agents on horseback used split reins to “whip” Haitian illegal immigrants as they attempted to cross into the US last month is “ongoing,” despite the Biden administration vowing the investigation would take “days, not weeks.”
“The investigation is ongoing,” a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security told the Washington Examiner in a Saturday email. “The Department is committed to a thorough, independent, and objective process. We are also committed to transparency and will release the results of the investigation once it is complete.”
Around Sept. 20, images surfaced on social media that showed multiple Border Patrol agents on horseback using their horses to keep several illegal immigrants from entering the US after crossing the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas.
The images immediately drew backlash from media critics, who accused the agents of “whipping” the illegal immigrants with their reins, some going as far as to compare the images to the sordid history of slavery in the US.
While President Biden has vowed to make the agents involved “pay” for their actions, some administration officials speculated they would only get minimal punishment, as witnesses of the interaction have claimed not to have seen any agents whip any person.
“Some of the Haitian men started running, trying to go around the horses, and that’s kind of when the whole thing happened,” the photographer who took the photos, Paul Ratije, told KTSM.
“I didn’t ever see them whip anybody, with the thing,” he said of the reins. “He was swinging it. But I didn’t see him actually take — whip someone with it. That’s something that can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture.”
Shortly after the photos emerged, the agents involved were placed on administrative duty and are no longer in direct contact with migrants at the border.
The use of horses along the border in Del Rio has also been temporarily suspended by DHS.
During the first week of the investigation, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said it would be completed within a “matter of days, not weeks.”
Some critics of the investigation have floated concerns that the investigation is compromised as the president and other members of the White House have already voiced their opinion on the situation.
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News that investigators are facing huge pressure to “find fault,” and defended the agents who Judd said were just doing their job.
“They’ve already had the president, the vice president, Jen Psaki herself and the secretary of Homeland Security have already passed judgment on what took place down there without an investigation taking place.”
“So now the investigators are just going to go down there and they’re going to have to find fault based upon what all of these extremely powerful people have already said.”
When pressed on Biden’s promise of harsh consequences and the seeming pressure last month, Mayorkas did not reveal whether he agreed with the president.
“This investigation will be based on the facts that the investigators learn, and the results of the investigation will be driven by those facts, and nothing less than,” he told White House reporters.
“Let me just be very clear, and repeat what I’ve said, I am not concerned with respect to the integrity of the investigation, we know how to conduct an investigation with integrity,” he later added.