Mexico City, Mexico – September 23, 2021: Haitian migrant families wait in the street in front of Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance to request refuge in Mexico. (Shutterstock)
By Candace McDuffie, The Root
On Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that the four agents who confronted Haitian migrants on horseback will face discipline personnel. Last September, photos of Border Patrol agents using their patrol horses to force the migrants back to the Rio Grande went viral.
In addition, one of the agents allegedly used the reins attached to his saddle to whip them.
According to an official report of the incident, which was over 500 pages, none of the agents were found to have hit any of the Haitian migrants. However, Texas state police used excessive force and threatened them as they pushed those seeking refuge back into the river.
In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus explained:
“The report showed there were failures to make good decisions at multiple levels of the organization. Failures to maintain command and control over Horse Patrol Units, lack of appropriate policies and training, and the overall chaotic nature of the situation at Del Rio at the time contributed to the incident. Several agents engaged in unprofessional or dangerous behavior, including one instance in which an agent used denigrating and offensive language.”
Mounted patrol was temporarily suspended in Del Rio, but horses continued to be used in the area. The four agents featured in the photos were placed on administrative leave since last September. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the disciplinary process continues and the outcome of their findings will be shared with the public.
“In addition, CBP is conducting a review of its current disciplinary process and will make reforms as needed to ensure transparency, consistency, and accountability,” the agency further elaborated in a statement.