Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday ripped into Border Patrol agents on horseback who were seen in video clips trying to prevent a stream of Haitian migrants from crossing illegally into the U.S., calling their treatment “horrible” but apparently without yet knowing all the details.
Harris, who was named “border czar” by President Joe Biden in March and who has since overseen the illegal mass importation of more than a million migrants into the U.S., made her comments to a reporter during a visit to a posh Chevy Chase, Md., neighborhood — where the median home price in August was more than $1.4 million.
“What I saw depicted about, of those individuals on horseback treating human beings the way they were was horrible,” she said. “And…I fully support what is happening right now, which is a thorough investigation into exactly what is going on there.
“But human beings should never be treated that way, and I’m deeply troubled about it. And I’ll also be talking to Secretary Mayorkas today about it,” she said, in reference to Department of Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas, who also blasted his agents.
— Tim Perry (@tperry518) September 21, 2021
The reporter followed up with a question about Haiti, generally, to which the vice president responded that the U.S. should be doing “more” to help the Caribbean nation.
“The whole point is that we have to understand Haiti. I mean, talk about a country that has just experienced so much … tragedy that has been about natural disasters, that the, the head of state assassinated, and we really have to do a lot more to recognize that as a member of the Western Hemisphere we’ve got to support some very basic needs that the people of Haiti have to get back up and to um, and to do what folks naturally want to do, be they from Haiti or in the countries in Central America,” she said.
“People want to stay home, they don’t want to leave home, but they leave when they cannot satisfy their basic needs. So yes, this is a concern,” Harris added.
The vice president has made one trip to the border since being named by Biden to oversee immigration enforcement — a widely panned June visit to the El Paso, Texas, sector, which has not been experiencing a dramatic uptick in illegal crossings.
In an interview with CNN, Mayorkas also said he was “horrified” by the images, which left-wing news organizations claimed showed border agents using “whips” and the reins of their horses to strike the Haitian migrants, likening the alleged treatment to when whites used them to beat black slaves.
“I was horrified by what I saw. We will let the investigation run its course, but the pictures that I observed troubled me profoundly,” Mayorkas told CNN. “One cannot weaponize a horse to aggressively attack a child. That is unacceptable. That is not what our policies and our training require. … We will not tolerate mistreatment.”
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki followed the same narrative when asked about the footage during a briefing Tuesday. “We just saw this footage. It’s horrible to watch. I just have to get more information on it,” she said.
“I don’t think anyone seeing that footage would think it was acceptable or appropriate,” she continued. “I don’t have the full context. I can’t imagine what context would make that appropriate.”
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) September 22, 2021
One senior Homeland Security official pushed back on the narrative, insisting that the agents on horseback do not have “whips” and that images circulating in news reports online show agents using “twirl of the reins” techniques, which they are taught in order to keep people away from horses, for their own safety.
Thousands of migrants from Haiti gathered underneath and around an international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, over the past week, with thousands more reportedly on the way, in what has become the latest in a series of border crises since Biden and Harris took office in January.
On his first day, Biden reversed most of former President Donald Trump’s immigration and border enforcement policies.
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