President Biden earned the ire of Border Patrol agents on Friday after endorsing the false claim that they were recorded “whipping” migrants who were attempting to cross the Rio Grande into Del Rio, Texas, earlier this week.
At a press briefing Friday, Biden said the agents would “pay” for allegedly lashing the Haitian migrants — a narrative popularized by journalists on social media even though the video evidence shows no such thing.
Border Patrol morale is suffering due to the administration’s scapegoating.
“Would you go to work and do your best knowing that if you do your boss is going to ‘make you pay’?” one agent told Fox News. “I’m dumbfounded and don’t know what to say. Is the president threatening to throw us in prison?”
“I see the administration wants to fry our agents, he just started a war with Border Patrol,” said another agent.
Brandon Judd, leader of the National Border Patrol Council, noted to Fox News that the investigation has already been skewed against the agents now that Biden has prematurely pronounced them guilty.
“Now that the President of the United States has already said they did wrong, how is an investigator supposed to do a true and honest investigation?” he said. “Because if that investigator finds they did nothing wrong — and they didn’t do anything wrong — but if that investigator finds they didn’t do anything wrong, how is that investigator’s job going to go?”
A former mounted Border Patrol supervisor explained to National Review that the agents who can be seen in the video were actually twirling their reins to keep control of their horses, not lashing the migrants with them.
“It’s a training tool, and it’s a training aid if a horse does not want to cooperate with its rider,” explained George Syer, a retired horse patrol coordinator in the Rio Grande Valley and Border Patrol supervisor.
The whole border horse whip “incident” was a whole big, non-incident. pic.twitter.com/jC2F0vzGNK
— SETH WEATHERS (@sethweathers) September 24, 2021
Even Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas initially squashed the claim, although he backtracked when Biden condemned the agents in front of reporters, subsequently appearing on CNN to say that “one cannot weaponize a horse” against migrants.
“To see people treated like they did, horses barely running over, people being strapped – it’s outrageous,” Biden said. “I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation underway now and there will be consequences. There will be consequences.”
Judd added that agents were simply following instructions and orders as passed down from the executive branch that Biden presides over. He indicated that Biden’s comments have been interpreted as a betrayal by many agents, which he did to remain in favor with his supporters who denounced the incident without reviewing the facts on the ground.
“Nobody was struck by a rein, not one person was struck by a rein, not one person was run over by those horses. They used the tactics they were trained to use, to do the job [Biden] sent them out to do — these are executive branch employees,” he told Fox News. “He sent them out there to do the job, and now he’s criticizing them because his base wants them to.”
Adding to the fury, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Thursday that Border Patrol agents will be forbidden from using horses to guard the border in Del Rio, Texas, referencing the “horrific” photos of agents swinging reins while responding to Haitian migrants.