This past Monday, Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security Secretary, made comments that denied all allegations aimed at Border Patrol agents that stated that they were whipping Haitian migrants as they tried to illegally rush over the border into the United States. This did not last long, however, as by Tuesday morning he seemed to have changed his mind and went back on earlier comments to state that he was “horrified” by what he had seen.
A large number of videos and photo evidence was published on Sunday and grabbed by quite a few different news outlets that went on to allege that the agents were “whipping” Haitians. Mayorkas went on to deny those allegations to a group of reporters in Del Rio, Texas on Monday morning, as reported by the New York Post. Raul Ortiz, the Chief of the Border Patrol, also voiced his denial concerning the use of whips on the illegal migrants.
“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,” stated the Post. “Ortiz added he would investigate the agents’ actions to make sure nothing ‘unacceptable’ took place.”
This past Tuesday, Mayorkas seemed to shift his stance more towards believing these allegations aimed a the border patrol and went on and on about how “horrified’ he was by what he saw.
“I was horrified by what I saw,” Mayorkas stated in an interview on CNN’s “New Day.” “I’m going to let the investigation run its course. But the pictures that I observed troubled me profoundly. That defies all of the values that we seek to instill in our people.”
He went on to defend the group’s use of horse patrols running along the border but stated that the images and videos being discovered seemed to defy “all of the values that we seek to instill in our people.”
“I saw the values that we do instill in our people in exhibition when I visited under the bridge and saw them work with the American Red Cross, the Department of Health and Human Services, World Central Kitchen, in addressing the needs of a vulnerable population of migrants under the bridge in Del Rio,” he stated on CNN. “That reflects who we are, and any mistreatment or abuse of an individual defies … our values and who we are and what we stand for.”
While it seems that Mayorkas has started to believe the videos and has shifted his thoughts on the reports, the actual Border Patrol agents still hold the mindset and have told reporters, that the video and photos show the reigns, not whips.