Democratic Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar defended border patrol agents during a CNN segment Tuesday, telling host Victor Blackwell that it’s important to “follow the law.”
“The law is very simple,” Cuellar said. “The law says if you’re supposed to stay here, you stay here. And if the law says you’re not supposed to stay here, then we deport you.”
Cuellar said that he supports providing assistance to people but reiterated the importance of the rule of law.
“I represent border communities,” he continued. “We not only represent immigration activists, we also have to keep in mind the border communities, the pressure, the frustration that’s down there when we have thousands of people that come in at the same time.” (RELATED: Migrants Revolt Against Bus Driver, Try To Escape Border Patrol In Texas)
Blackwell asked Cuellar about the “border guards on horseback chasing, or charging, migrants on these horses.”
“At least one appears to use what looks like a rope or a lasso,” Blackwell added. “And these are Haitians that have crossed into Mexico to buy food and ice because that’s running out, under the bridge and then cross back.”
Democrats and the media accused border patrol agents of “whipping” Haitian migrants after photos emerged of the agents riding horseback with reins. It remains unclear if agents were using the reins to herd their horses or whip the migrants.
A border patrol agent told Fox News that agents “do not carry whips” and that “there is no way a horse patrol unit would be whipping aliens.” Another border patrol source told Townhall that agents sometimes use their reins to keep migrants from getting too close to the horses.
Cuellar said that it’s important to “treat all of the immigrants with respect and dignity,” but added that “border patrol has had those horse brigades for a while.”
Border agents also do not carry whips or lassos, Cuellar added. He said that any problems should be investigated, “but we cannot paint the border patrol with the same kind of paintbrush.”
“What are they supposed to do? Just stand there and let everybody come in? They’re supposed to be enforcing the law, but again, as to how you enforce the law you have to make sure you treat people with good dignity and respect.”