Horse-Mounted Border Patrol Officers Who Confronted Haitian Migrants Assigned To ‘Administrative Duties,’ DHS Says

U.S. Customs and Border Protection resigned officers taped on horseback corralling migrants to administrative duties in the midst of criticisms of CBP's handling of a recent influx of mostly Haitian migrants at the U.S./Mexico border.

Border Patrol agents riding on horseback attempt to stop migrants entering an encampment at the Rio Grande, Texas, on September 19, 2021. AFP via Getty Images

The Key Facts

Mayorkas said Tuesday night that CBP will close the investigation into the horse-mounted officers who confronted migrants, swinging their reins in their direction, and release the results to the public. Mayorkas said that the investigation subjects are currently on administrative duties and will not interact directly with migrants while the probes are completed. Mayorkas stated that his department is taking strong and swift action and may respond further depending on the outcome of the investigation. Mayorkas stated earlier Tuesday that he was horrified by the photos, and that it deeply troubled him.

Important Quote

Mayorkas stated that they are not performing their other law enforcement duties, and are not expected to interact with other migrants during the pendency.

Important Background

Images of CBP officers battling with migrants were released amid an increase in border crossings close to Del Rio, Texas over the past week. While they waited for processing, more than 10,000 migrants, many from Haiti, crossed the U.S./Mexico border. They stayed under a bridge in Del Rio in a temporary camp. Last week, the Biden administration sent additional resources to Del Rio to remove migrants from the camp and promised to speed up flights to Haiti.

Big Number

6,768 According to CBP figures, this is how many Haitian migrants were apprehended last month by U.S. Border Patrol at the southern border. This was more than 30% more than July. As Haiti is facing natural disasters, political and economic peril, border-crossing attempts of Haitians has increased in the past year. However, many Haitian migrants are believed to have fled their homeland years ago to begin their journeys in South America. The number of Border Patrol arrests made in Haiti last month was still less than 4%.

What to Watch

Mayorkas stated earlier Tuesday that he hopes to complete the deportation of Del Rio camp within ten days. According to Forbes, more than 1,000 Americans have flown from Del Rio to Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, since Sunday. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Biden administration will nearly double the daily flights to Haiti.

Chief Critic

Bipartisan criticism has been levelled at the Biden administration for its handling of border surge. Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the Senate Majority Leader, called Border Patrols conduct inacceptable and challenged the administration's decision to send migrants to Haiti. Meanwhile, Republicans like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has attributed the sharp rise in border arrests to President Joe Biden.