Reported by JENNIE TAER, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER | July 08, 2022
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has proposed two charges against the Border Patrol agents involved in the alleged “whipping” of migrants in Del Rio, Texas, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The first charge is for “poor judgment” for instructing noncitizens “to go back to Mexico, or words to that effect,” while the second is for “unsafe conduct” for maneuvering the agent’s horse “in a way that caused a noncitizen to fall backward into the Rio Grande River … thereby compromising the safety of the noncitizen, yourself, and your horse.”
These proposals are not yet final, and CBP is expected to announce the results of its investigation into the agents as soon as Friday, according to people familiar with the matter not authorized to speak publicly. It’s unclear how many agents will be charged.
“You knew or should have known that using your horse to block a noncitizen from exiting the water at the boat ramp created an unsafe situation, particularly for the noncitizen, but also for you and your horse,” the charges read.
“We consider that your misconduct received significant media attention and had a negative impact on the reputation of the Agency,” the charges added.
The alleged “whipping” took place in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, when thousands of Haitian migrants were present under the international bridge. The accused agents were on horseback and seen in images appearing to use their horses’ reins to steer and encircle the migrants so they would turn back. (RELATED: Horseback Border Patrol Agents Accused Of Whipping Migrants With Reins Reassigned To Desk Duties)
Several Democratic politicians characterized the images as “whipping,” as well as some migrant advocacy groups and human rights organizations. The White House also repeatedly condemned the behavior of the agents that day.
CBP sent out proposed disciplinary actions, an anonymous Department of Homeland Security source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, told the DCNF. An announcement on the results of the investigation is “imminent,” according to Fox News.
“From the beginning, they had been convicted by the White House and DHS, so we figured something was coming,” National Border Patrol Council President for the Del Rio border sector Jon Anfinsen previously told the DCNF.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas promised to complete the investigation in “days, not weeks.” But, the results have yet to be shared nearly a year later.
“But for them to claim that it was going to be resolved in days and weeks was, frankly, a joke from the beginning to decide if these guys had done something wrong, despite no investigation having been done. So they’re trying to save face and propose some kind of discipline just so they can justify their claims from day one,” Anfinsen said.
Neither CBP nor DHS responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment.