- Biden said Border Patrol agents who whipped at and charged Haitian migrants “will pay” for their actions.
- DHS has initiated an investigation into the agents’ behavior on the border in Texas.
- Biden called the treatment of migrants “dangerous” and “outrageous.”
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
President Joe Biden said Border Patrol agents who whipped at Haitian migrants with horse reins as they attempted to cross the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas this week will face punishment for their “outrageous” actions.
“I promise you those people will pay,” Biden said of the agents during a White House press conference on Friday morning. “There will be consequences … It’s dangerous, it’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world, it sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has repeatedly called the images and footage “horrific” and “horrible.” The Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday that it opened an investigation into the agents’ actions.
“The footage is extremely troubling, and the facts learned from the full investigation, which will be conducted swiftly, will define the appropriate disciplinary actions to be taken,” DHS said in a statement earlier this week.
-Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 24, 2021
Some Democratic lawmakers and others called the agents’ treatment of the migrants human rights violations.
Haitian migrants told reporters that they were forced to leave a makeshift refugee camp under a bridge in Texas to find water and food for themselves and their families. Many of them waded across the river to retrieve food in Mexico and then attempted to re-cross the border to return to the camp.
Video footage showed agents on horseback charging the migrants, many of whom were barefoot and carrying bags of food, and using their reins as whips.
One agent yelled at a group of men and women, “This is why your country’s shit because you use your women for this.”