White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced on Thursday that Border Patrol agents will be banned from using horses in the Del Rio, Texas, area, referring to the “horrible and horrific” use of them to stop Haitian migrants.
“I can also convey to you that the secretary also conveyed to civil rights leaders earlier this morning that we will no longer be using horses in Del Rio,” Psaki said during Thursday’s daily briefing.
“That is a policy change that has been made in response.”
#BREAKING: Jen Psaki announces that horses will now be BANNED from being used in Del Rio by Border Patrol agents, citing the “horrible and horrific” use of them to prevent Haitian illegal immigrants from crossing into the U.S. pic.twitter.com/hlyZeJVbU2
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 23, 2021
CNN also reported a Department of Homeland Security official told reporters that the use of horses would be “temporarily suspended” in the Del Rio sector.
“We have ceased the use of the horse patrol in Del Rio temporarily. We’ll prioritize other methods for identifying individuals who might be in medical distress,” the DHS official said.
The policy change came after controversy generated by media reports that indicated Haitian migrants were being mistreated by Border Patrol agents guarding the border on horseback.
Some claimed the officials had “whipped” migrants. However, the accusations were soon debunked as the “whips” were only reins used in guiding horses.
The accusations came after the widespread publication of photos that gave the appearance that a whip was used on a migrant.
The fact that the accusation had been debunked didn’t stop California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters from using the manufactured outrage to in speaking out on the issue.
At a news conference Wednesday, Waters said the Border Patrol agents were trying to “take us back to slavery days.”
Maxine Waters: Border patrol agents riding on horseback to control migrants are trying to “take us back to slavery days and worse than that.” pic.twitter.com/uLnBQXZX50
— Mike Berg (@MikeKBerg) September 22, 2021
“Haitians fleeing violence & the lack of a credible government in Haiti are being treated like animals. U.S. government cowboys on horses used whips on Haitians as they sought refuge,” Waters wrote in a Twitter post Tuesday.
The congresswoman also found a way to place blame on former President Donald Trump during her tweet.
“Why are we following the Trump policies? This horrendous treatment of Haitians must STOP NOW,” she added.
Haitians fleeing violence & the lack of a credible government in Haiti are being treated like animals. U.S. government cowboys on horses used whips on Haitians as they sought refuge. Why are we following the Trump policies? This horrendous treatment of Haitians must STOP NOW.
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) September 21, 2021
“I’m not just unhappy with the cowboys who were running down Haitians and using their reins to whip them. I’m unhappy with the administration. We are following the Trump policy,” Waters said at the Wednesday news conference, according to CNN.
By the time of the congresswoman’s Twitter post on Tuesday, the story that started Sunday with a mistaken description of Border Patrol agents on horseback using whips against illegal immigrants near Del Rio had already been debunked.
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