White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Thursday that horses are banned from being used in Del Rio, Texas, after allegations of “whipping” emerged and went viral.
“So what [President Joe Biden] has asked us all of us to convey clearly to people who are understandably have questions, are passionate, are concerned as we are about the images that we have seen is one, we feel those images are horrible and horrific,” Psaki said.
“There’s an investigation the president certainly supports overseen by the Department of Homeland Security which he has conveyed will happen quickly. 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.”
Video emerged Monday appearing to show Border Patrol agents riding horseback in Del Rio, trying to manage Haitian migrants who were trying to illegally enter the U.S. Agents could be seen on video swinging what appear to be reins in the air as dozens of migrants try to rush past them.
Many thought still images taken from the videos looked as if migrants were being whipped, though neither the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) nor the White House could confirm or deny the reports.
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. pic.twitter.com/BSjT91NSj0
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) September 20, 2021
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appeared to deny the use of whips Monday, telling a reporter who questioned the alleged “whipping” they were “assuming facts.”
An unidentified border patrol agent told Fox News the alleged “whips” were horse reins. (RELATED: Maxine Waters Says Accusations Of Border Patrol ‘Whipping’ Haitian Migants Are ‘Worse Than What We Witnessed In Slavery’)
“We do not carry whips and the only thing I see in their hands is reins,” the agent reportedly said. “There is no way a horse patrol unit would be whipping aliens. Whips are not issued or authorized for use.”
Another border patrol source told Townhall agents will spin their reins to deter migrants from getting too close to horses.
“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. If they get too close, the horse can step on them, breaking bones or causing other injuries. Agents also need to maintain control of their reins so they don’t lose control of the horse, which can cause injuries to immigrants, the agents, and the horses.”
The horseback units accused of whipping migrants with horse reins were reassigned to desk duties while authorities investigate the incident, Fox News reported Wednesday.
Vice President Kamala Harris signaled support for the investigation Tuesday, saying “human beings should never be treated that way” and that she was “deeply troubled about it.”