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Border Agents accused of whipping migrants reassigned…



Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas revealed Wednesday that border officials seen in photos rounding up migrants on horseback to push them back across the Mexico border have been reassigned to desk duty while the incidents are being investigated.

Mayorkas, testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee, said the images, where Border Patrol agents on horseback appeared to be using their reins as whips, were ‘correctly and necessarily were met with our nation’s horror.’

‘They do not reflect who we are as a country nor do they reflect who the United States Custom and Border Protection is,’ Mayorkas said.

The secretary said that his agency was investigating the footage ‘with tremendous speed and with tremendous force,’ and would get to the bottom of the matter in ‘days, not weeks.’

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‘We have ensured that individuals, during the pendency of the investigation, are not conducting law enforcement duties to interact with migrants.’

Some accused agents of whipping migrants, however, Border Patrol agents have defended the actions, saying that their colleagues were simply using their reins on their horses – not migrants.

Brandon Judd, a border agent and president of the National Border Patrol Council, slammed the Biden administration for condemning the images without understanding the situation.

‘There are very few things that will boil my blood as bad as the White House directly coming out and condemning an action before they know what happened,’ Judd said on the John Solomon Reports podcast.

‘Jen Psaki came out yesterday, and she condemned these actions when in reality, it is a legitimate law enforcement action. This was meant to protect the illegal aliens.’

Judd claimed that officers swing around their reins to keep migrants from getting too close to the horse and getting trampled. ‘The reins will be twirled to keep people away from the horses for their protection.’

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, who sits on Homeland Security Committee, told DailyMail.com: ‘Anyone who spent more than five seconds looking at those images can see that they were holding on to the reins of their horses. CBP agents do not carry whips or lassos.’

‘Secretary Mayorkas and Vice President Harris need to address the serious issues causing this crisis,’ she added.

The Fraternal Order of Police also tamped down accusations that agents had been whipping migrants.

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‘With basic knowledge and two brain cells, anyone knows those agents use split reins. They do use them as a whip, on their horses,’ the agent said. ‘This helps get a quicker response from the horse to move out when needed, especially when the horse may be hesitant with groups of people or other animals,’ one Border Patrol agent told Fox News.

‘Again it is clear that those ‘in charge,’ a term that is disgusting to use, have no clue about our operations and frankly operate by ignorance and unhinged emotions,’ the agent said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the footage ‘horrible to watch’ and said she ‘can’t imagine a context where that would be appropriate,’ as other Democrats cried out against the treatment of Haitian migrants.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the ‘inappropriate use of whips by Border Patrol officers’ and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer lambasted ‘images of inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants by Border Patrol – including the use of whips.’

Meanwhile, thousands of Haitian migrants are being freed into the US on a ‘very, very large scale’ rather than being flown out on deportation flights as the Biden administration promised, according to officials.

Two US officials with knowledge of the situation in Del Rio – where a peak of around 14,600 mostly Haitian migrants were camped out under a bridge at the weekend after crossing into the US from Mexico – said thousands have been released into the US with notices to appear at an immigration court in 60 days’ time under the so-called ‘catch and release’ scheme.

Others have been sent on buses and planes to other parts of the US to be processed by Border Patrol agents there, they said.

The exact number released is unclear, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott saying that 8,600 migrants were still in Del Rio on Tuesday afternoon.

Deportation flights began on Sunday, and by Wednesday morning, over 1,000 migrants had been flown back to Haiti, a source with knowledge of the matter told DailyMail.com.

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Three flights deported 327 Haitian nationals from Del Rio back to the capital of Port-au-Prince Sunday, two flights deported 233 Monday and 523 were flown out on four flights Tuesday, the official said.

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In total, 1083 migrants have been deported in the last three days, suggesting up to 5,000 may have been released into the United States.

Another seven deportation flights are expected to expel further Haitian migrants Wednesday.

This purported reality on the ground is drastically at odds with the public statements the Biden administration has made in recent days in an effort to get a handle on the ever-increasing migrant crisis at the US’s southern border.

The official line is that Haitians are being expelled from the US back to the crisis-stricken Caribbean nation under a Donald Trump-era rule.

Under Title 42, migrants can be repatriated to their home nations without the possibility of requesting asylum due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas insisted Monday that migrants entering the US illegally will be sent back to their home countries.

‘If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned, your journey will not succeed, and you will be endangering your life and your family’s life,’ he said at a press conference.

Mayorkas then went one step further Tuesday, insisting that the border is now ‘closed’ to migrants.

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Many of the thousands of migrants who have gathered in Del Rio in recent days fled Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and have been living in South American countries including Brazil and Chile. But since these nations have been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, many Haitians have traveled up through South America and Mexico to seek asylum in the US.

One US official, with direct knowledge of operations who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity, told Associated Press thousands of Haitians had been freed on a ‘very, very large scale’ in recent days.

Many have been released with notices to appear at an immigration office within 60 days, an outcome that requires less processing time from Border Patrol agents than ordering an appearance in immigration court and points to the speed at which authorities are moving, the official said.

The Homeland Security Department has been busing Haitians from Del Rio to El Paso, Laredo and Rio Grande Valley along the Texas border, and this week added flights to Tucson, Arizona, the official said.

They are then processed by the Border Patrol at those locations.

A second US official, also with direct knowledge and speaking on the condition of anonymity, said large numbers of Haitians were being processed under immigration laws and not being placed on expulsion flights to Haiti that started Sunday.

The official couldn’t be more specific about how many.

US authorities scrambled in recent days for buses to Tucson but resorted to flights when they couldn’t find enough transportation contractors, both officials said.

Coast Guard planes also took Haitians from Del Rio to El Paso.

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A third US official not authorized to discuss operations said there were seven daily flights to Haiti planned starting Wednesday.

Jean Negot Bonheur Delva, head of Haiti’s national migration office, said last week authorities expected that 14,000 Haitians will be deported from the US over the next three weeks.

Delva warned that Haiti cannot handle thousands of homeless deportees arriving into the country.

The criteria for deciding who is flown to Haiti and who is released in the US was unclear.

But two US officials said single adults were the priority for expulsion flights.

The Homeland Security Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Tuesday night.

Joe Biden has come under fire from both sides of the political aisle over the situation in Del Rio… (Read more)

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