Pundits sparked outrage on social media last week over misconstrued — and soon debunked — claims that Border Patrol agents riding on horseback had been “whipping” Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas. But though the allegations have been widely disputed, the Biden administration has been quick to take action anyway.
According to Fox News, President Joe Biden and the White House has promised to go to “war” with his own agents, saying those responsible will “pay.”
First on the agenda: The administration has quickly moved to temporarily ban the use of horses by border agents in the Del Rio sector, restricted the mounted agents in question to desk duty, and vowed additional “consequences.”
Biden, Mayorkas buy into it
Following a speech Friday on the COVID-19 pandemic in which Biden continued to attack those who remain unvaccinated, the president was asked about images last weekend that some said appeared to show border agents on horseback hitting migrants with whips.
“It was horrible what — to see, as you saw — to see people treated like they did: horses nearly running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous,” Biden said, according to a White House transcript.
“I promise you, those people will pay. They will be — an investigation is underway now, and there will be consequences. There will be consequences,” the president added. “It’s an embarrassment. But beyond an embarrassment, it’s dangerous; it’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world. It sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are. Thank you.”
Similar statements were issued later in the day during a press briefing by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Mayorkas, for his part, referenced the “horrifying images” and made the not-so-subtle comparisons to slavery. Though he repeatedly insisted that an investigation into the matter would be professional and free of outside influence, it was nonetheless clear that both the secretary and the president had already judged the mounted agents as guilty.
Fox News sought reaction from several anonymous Border Patrol agents on the situation, one of whom said, “Would you go to work and do your best knowing that if you do your boss is going to ‘make you pay’?” That agent also told Fox, “I’m dumbfounded and don’t know what to say… Is the president threatening to throw us in prison?”
Another agent stated: “I see the administration wants to fry our agents. He just started a war with Border Patrol.”
“I am appalled but not surprised that this President would stand at a national televised address and bold face lie or again show his utter incompetence, to the press and the American people, including his childish threats of retaliation,” a third agent told Fox.
“This is really pushing the morale to lows not seen before…just when you think it is at its lowest, in comes this administration to push it lower,” the agent added. And it doesn’t look like things will be changing on Biden’s end any time soon.