马约卡斯在白宫新闻发布会上发表讲话, and said that the images of agents in Del Rio that emerged Sunday turning back Haitian migrants were “可怕的” 和 “不要反映我们是谁, 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,” 他说.
Initial claims that agents, who were using long reins to control their horses, were using “whips” were quickly debunked by officials and other agents – but activists and elected Democrats have continued to fuel it, while claiming it “evoked” images of slavery because the migrants are Black.
与此同时, the photographer who took the images 说过 Friday he did not see any agents whipping migrants, and more video was released showing no whips, and only a short interaction between a migrant and an agent who turns him away.
Mayorkas initially pushed back against the narrative, but a day later – after the White House had called the images “horrific” – went on CNN and said the images “troubled me profoundly” 在添加之前 “one cannot weaponize a horse” against migrants.
The agents have since been moved to desk duty and an investigation is ongoing. Mayorkas was also asked if he is considering eliminating the Border Patrol horses altogether.
“We’re going to take a look,” 他说.
Mayorkas claimed on Friday that he did not wish to “prejudge the facts” or impair an investigation, but that comes after President Biden had promised that agents would be punished and had pushed the “whip” narrative.
“To see people treated like they did, horses barely running over, people being strapped – it’s outrageous,” 拜登说, making a whipping motion with his hand. “I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation underway now and there will be consequences. There will be consequences.”
Border Patrol agents were stunned and angered by the comments, which both claimed without evidence that migrants were run over and whipped, and at the same time cast a shadow over the investigation.
“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.”
布兰登·贾德, head of the National Border Patrol Council, asked how there could be a fair investigation now that Biden had weighed in.
“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 [拜登] sent them out to do — these are executive branch employees,” 他说. “He sent them out there to do the job, and now he’s criticizing them because his base wants them to.”
福克斯新闻’ Peter Hasson and Bill Melugin contributed to this report.