Fact Check: Videos Do NOT Show Border Agents Using Whips to Round Up Illegal Immigrants at Southern Border


A massive influx of Haitian immigrants at our nation’s southern border has presented border enforcement agencies with yet another crippling humanitarian crisis — so, naturally, hysterical progressive voices are totally fabricating stories of perceived abuse instead of actually addressing the issues behind the endless series of crises on our porous border.

Another day, another totally twisted, baseless uproar that is distracting from our nation’s most dire needs.

In 2021’s version of the Trump-era “kids in cages” yarn, mounted Border Patrol officers have been accused of using whips to round up migrants as the former tried to deter further illegal crossings at the already overwhelmed border.

The Biden administration is facing yet another raging humanitarian crisis at the border as tens of thousands of illegal immigrants — many of whom are from the devastated and unstable island of Haiti — have been flooding into Del Rio, Texas, hoping to seek asylum in the United States.

Amid the chaos, Border Patrol officers have been grappling with a massive makeshift refugee settlement and trying to abate the continued influx of migrants into the country.

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As officers on horseback worked to stem the tide, media outlets and others expressed outrage over their actions on Monday.

Vice News ran the shockingly titled story, “US Border Agents Are Removing Haitian Migrants Using Horses and Whips.”

The article said officers were “swinging whips in the faces of Haitians.”

The El Paso Times in Texas reported 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.”

Do you trust the establishment media's reporting on the border crisis?

NBC News wrote of photos “that appeared to show a Border Patrol agent on horseback with a whip to deter migrants.”

Sawyer Hackett, executive director to a nonprofit run by former Obama administration official Julian Castro, tweeted the claim that “Border patrol is mounted on horseback rounding up Haitian refugees with whips.”

“This is unfathomable cruelty towards people fleeing disaster and political ruin. The administration must stop this,” he wrote.

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked Monday about “photographs and reports of border agents on horseback using what appear to be whips on Haitian migrants.”

Psaki said she had seen them, and while she admitted that she didn’t “have the full context,” she also declared that she couldn’t “imagine what context would make it appropriate” and that she didn’t think “anyone seeing that footage would think it was acceptable.”

The photos are shocking when the context is provided by those who rely heavily on narratives of wicked, cruel Border Patrol agents to bolster their own reckless open-border agenda, but the claim that these agents were using whips on the Haitian immigrants falls very flat when subject to scrutiny.

In an article headlined “What one photo from the border tells us about the evolving migrant crisis,” The Washington Post explained that the photo captured the moment that some of the Haitians began to rush the border as the overwhelmed officers tried to keep the crowd at bay.

“They had gotten a lot of people to start leaving the banks, but then people just kept coming across the river,” the photographer, Paul Ratje, told the Post. “There was a continuous flow and [the agents] were like: ‘No, you can’t come in. Go back to Mexico.’ But people were like, ‘But my family’s over there.’”

At this point, the Post explained, some of the migrants had tried to just run past the officers, which is what was happening in Ratje’s evocative photo.

That the agent pictured was using a whip on the man he was trying to prevent from crossing the border, however, is nothing short of preposterous. Other images and video make it clear the “whip” was just the agent’s reins as he maneuvered to stop the migrant and maintain control over his horse.

“Agents use their reins for a lot of reasons. Primarily it’s used to steer the horse, but agents will also spin them sometimes to deter people from getting too close to the horse. … We are not aware of anyone being struck with the reins,” a Border Patrol source told TownHall reporter Julio Rosas.

This was echoed by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Raul Ortiz, head of the Border Patrol, who addressed the incident on Monday, according to the Post. Ortiz used to patrol the border on horseback and defended the officers involved.

As Mayorkas explained, Ortiz told him that “to ensure control of the horse, long reins are used,” adding that the agency “is 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 response accordingly.”

A Border Patrol source also told Vice News that long reins can sometimes be used to “deter people from getting too close to the horse.”

While horses are still used by many law enforcement entities around the world for many good reasons, it requires good training and horsemanship to keep the animal, the officer and people around horse and rider safe as even the best-trained equines can become startled and cause serious injury to everyone involved.

It is very easy to criticize the job performance of these overwhelmed border security officers when you’re not on the ground, on the scene, in the noise, dirt, chaos, where frustration and desperation are running very high.

Even the photographer behind the misunderstood snapshot of the distressing scene told the Post that it was clear the officers were “overwhelmed.”

Meanwhile, the newspaper noted that a “photograph captures only an instant in time, of course, but the agent’s face in the first photo certainly suggests frustration and anger.”

It doesn’t matter how genuinely needful these thousands of migrants may indeed be — it is dangerous to everyone involved for them to come flooding across our border in the manner they have done over the past several days, and our border agents are the only ones standing between this influx and total chaos.

What’s more, there’s no denying that progressives jumped on this scene because of how evocative the image of a white man on horseback swinging a rope toward a black man was, which is really sick.

To slander and disparage those who are working tirelessly to deal with a massive influx of desperate migrants is a disgrace, but to do so with misplaced comparisons to one of the most painful aspects of our country’s history is beyond words.

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Isa is a homemaker, homeschooler, and writer who lives in the Ozarks with her husband and two children. After being raised with a progressive atheist worldview, she came to the Lord as a young woman and now has a heart to restore the classical Christian view of femininity.
Isa is a homemaker, homeschooler, and writer who lives in the Ozarks with her husband and two children. After being raised with a progressive atheist worldview, she came to the Lord as a young woman and now has a heart to restore the classical Christian view of femininity.