Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald D. Vitiello visits the Border Wall Construction Site near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry as eight different prototypes of the Border Wall were unveiled at the U.S. border with Mexico. October 26 2017.
Photos Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Taken by Yesica Uvina
The Department of Homeland Security has “declined” to investigate the behavior of multiple border agents who were falsely accused of whipping Haitian migrants trying to cross into the U.S. In September, photos emerged of border agents on horseback trying to prevent Haitian migrants from illegally entering the country, immediately false stories began to circulate claiming the agents acted inappropriately by whipping them, however, the so-called whips were merely the reigns used to control the horses.
Fox News reports:
The DHS announced Tuesday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initially referred the investigation to the Office of Inspector General (OIG), but that the OIG declined to investigate and referred the matter back to CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which is the office charged with investigating alleged misconduct of CBP employees.
The OPR is currently reviewing videos and photographs, as well as interviewing witnesses, employees, and CBP leadership in relation to the Sept. 19 incident in Del Rio, Texas, where agents on horseback were photographed blocking Haitian migrants from entering the U.S., and in one case grabbing onto a migrant’s shirt near the International Bridge.
The photos caused a media frenzy and immediately led President Biden and his Vice President to falsely claim the agents whipped the migrants. However, even the photographer admitted he never saw an agent whip anyone.
“To see people treated like they did, horses barely running over, people being strapped – it’s outrageous,” Biden said on Sept. 24, making a whipping motion with his hand. “I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation underway now and there will be consequences. There will be consequences.”
“What I saw depicted about those individuals on horseback treating human beings the way they were, was horrible,” Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters on Sept. 21. “And I fully support what is happening right now, which is a thorough investigation into exactly what is going on there. But human beings should never be treated that way. And I’m deeply troubled about it. And I’ll also be talking to [DHS] Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas about it today.”
Once the OPR completes its investigation, the results will be provided to CBP to determine whether disciplinary action is appropriate.