Al Sharpton attempted to deliver a press conference regarding the border migrant encampment Thursday afternoon in Del Rio, Texas. However, Texans sternly heckled Sharpton and ruined his presser.
Sharpton toured the encampment of migrants, mostly from Haiti, along the Del Rio International Bridge at the U.S. southern border on Thursday. Sharpton called the encampment "heartbreaking," adding that the "refugees are in crisis." The MSNBC host called for "total accountability" for U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in their handling of the massive border surge, which reportedly swelled to nearly 15,000 migrants on Saturday.
He also called on the Biden administration to halt all deportation flights of Haitian illegal immigrants.
"What is going on here is a crisis that everyone concerned with human rights or civil rights should be dealing with," Sharpton said. "The fact is, the deportation flights should cease immediately, and asylum should be granted to those that are certainly qualified for asylum."
Sharpton claimed that CBP agents were using "slave-like techniques."
"We went for an hour and toured the place that we feel is a real catastrophic and human disgrace as people around this world watch the Border Patrol use slave-like techniques — mounted on horses. It compelled us to come and show our voices and our presence," Sharpton said at his floundering press conference as people in the crowd mocked him.
Throughout his brief press conference, Sharpton was continually razzed by hecklers.
"How much money are you making? Why are you here advocating for violence? Del Rio is not a racist city. Del Rio is a loving, caring community," the individuals yelled to drown out Sharpton. "We don't want your racism in Texas. Get out of here. You're a disgrace. You're a racist. Nobody wants you in Texas. Nobody wants you in Texas."
"I'm a Hispanic, and I'm a conservative, and I don't trust y'all as far as I can throw y'all. You are all crooked," one man said.
Sharpton acknowledged those belittling him and said the Border Patrol weaponized horses.
"The Trump supporters and the right-wingers can scream all they want," Sharpton said. "We gonna continue to come back. We gonna stand with our people to make sure that [unintelligble] is treated in one way and one manner. And we intend to come back over and over again. For people to be treated like this in an inhumane way, for people to feel that they can use weaponization of horses to treat human beings..."
The protesters continued to shout, "We denounce your racism and your hatred! This is a loving community. Get out of Texas. Get out of Texas. You are wrong. You are wrong. The Border Patrol are heroes."
Sharpton later claimed on an MSNBC appearance that being heckled was a "badge of honor." He also pledged to "keep coming back as long as is necessary."
Sharpton is one of many progressives suddenly interested in migrants at the U.S. southern border after a photo went viral. The image showed a Border Patrol agent on horseback attempting to detain a Haitian migrant near the border. Many progressives rushed to judgment, asserting that the CBP agent was whipping the illegal immigrant.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) proclaimed the incident was "worse than what we witnessed in slavery!"
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated, "The images of inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants by Border Patrol — including the use of whips — are unacceptable."
However, it was revealed this week that the CBP agent was not using a whip, but rather a rein for the horse.
A Border Patrol source told Townhall writer Julio Rosas, "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."
Paul Ratje, the photographer who took the viral photograph, debunked the narrative that Border Patrol agents were "whipping" migrants.
"Some of the Haitian men started running, trying to go around the horses," Ratje told KTSM-TV. "That's kind of when the whole thing happened. I didn't ever see them whip anybody. ... He was swinging it, but I didn't see them actually whip someone with it. ... That's something that can be easily misconstrued when you're looking at the picture."
On Monday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, "We will no longer be using horses in Del Rio."