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Border Patrol agents falsely accused of 'whipping' migrants will be punished by DHS anyway: Report


PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images

The mounted U.S. Border Patrol agents who were falsely accused of using whips to drive Haitian migrants away from the border in Del Rio, Texas, will be punished for violating Department of Homeland Security policy, according to a report.

Fox News reporter Bill Melugin revealed Tuesday that the DHS is expected to allege that multiple mounted Border Patrol agents are guilty of "administrative violations" in an incident from last September involving Haitian migrants who attempted to cross the southern border illegally.

An announcement from the DHS could come "any day now," and it is unknown what the agents will be charged with, although they will not face criminal charges, according to Melugin.

Approximately nine months ago, news reports claimed that mounted Border Patrol agents in Del Rio accosted Haitian migrants as they were attempting to cross the Rio Grande river and enter the United States illegally. Thousands of migrants who had already done so were encamped under a nearby bridge.

Photographs taken in September showed border agents riding on horseback, attempting to stop the migrants from entering the U.S., and in one photo, grabbing hold of a migrant's shirt.

At least one Border Patrol agent on horseback was falsely accused of swinging a "whip" at migrants, and Democratic activists spread that lie on social media.

National news organizations picked up the story even though reports that the agents whipped migrants were false. Border Patrol agents do not carry whips, and pictures that went viral showed the horses' reins, which were not being whipped at the migrants.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration reacted to the news reports with horror and disgust and issued orders prohibiting Customs and Border Patrol agents from riding on horseback. The DHS opened an investigation, and the agents at the center of the incident were placed on probation.

President Joe Biden vowed to make the agents accused of whipping migrants "pay."

"To see people treated like they did, horses barely running over, people being strapped — it’s outrageous," Biden said at the time. "I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation under way now and there will be consequences. There will be consequences."

Months later in April, news broke that the DHS had completed a 500-page report on its investigation and that the agents had been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Melugin reported that the accused agents will have the opportunity to respond to the charges that they violated agency policy.

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