At a White House press briefing Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended his criticism of border patrol officers amid the debunked accusation that agents resorted to inhumane methods to corral the massive influx of migrants crossing into the United States last week.
Referencing images captured along the Del Rio border, Mayorkas said that border patrol officers’ horseback interaction with migrants evoked “systemic racism,” despite officials clarifying that they used long reins to guide horses through treacherous terrain rather than to weaponize against border-crossers.
He suggested to the press that such “horrifying” photos of agents attempting to manage the spiraling situation at the border does not “reflect who we are, who we aspire to be for the integrity and values of our truly heroic personnel in the Department of Homeland Security.”
“The investigation into what occurred has not yet concluded. We know that those images painfully conjured up the worst elements of our nation’s ongoing battle against systemic racism,” he added.
The photographer who watched the episode said he never witnessed any agent whip a migrant, adding that the swinging of the reins could be misconstrued to depict a more menacing story because of the angle at which the photo was shot.
After the allegations surfaced, Mayorkas originally rejected the narrative but backtracked after President Biden condemned the incident before reporters, vowing to make those involved “pay” for their unproven misdeeds.
In the wake of Biden’s reproachful remarks detailing what they assert is an unfounded claim lacking evidence, border patrol agents revealed to Fox News that they feel alienated and betrayed. They affirmed that were simply following instructions and protocol handed down from the executive branch the president presides over.
“Would you go to work and do your best knowing that if you do your boss is going to ‘make you pay’?” one officer said. “I’m dumbfounded and don’t know what to say.
“I see the administration wants to fry our agents, he just started a war with Border Patrol,” another commented.