Since Congress established the U.S. Border Patrol in 1924, a lot has changed. From ATVs to drones, agents are constantly tapping into the latest technology to keep the country’s borders safe. But amidst all the change, one unit inside the U.S. Border Patrol has, since its start, essentially remained the same: the Horse Patrol Unit.
Lest anyone still thinks the Biden administration supports the U.S. Border Patrol, we have now passed the six-month mark since the administration called for an investigation of horse patrol agents engaging with Haitian migrants illegally entering the U.S. near Del Rio, Texas.
The administration still hasn’t released the completed investigation report. After clearly making up career-ending, false accusations about the agents to change the narrative away from shocking daily videos of 15,000 illegal aliens amassing under the International Bridge in Del Rio, the administration now seems perfectly content to let the agents twist in the wind.
Where is the report?
For a week in September, Fox News reporter Bill Melugin published daily drone videos of thousands of illegal aliens gathering under the Del Rio International Bridge. The mainstream media were nowhere to be found.
The Biden administration tried to quash the videos with a made-up Federal Aviation Administration drone ban. When Melugin continued posting videos taken from a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter, the Biden administration removed the drone ban and made up a new story: Border Patrol agents on horseback were whipping Haitian migrants.
Suddenly, just about every news network reported that the men serving in the horse patrol were committing unprovoked assaults on Haitian migrants, violating their civil rights. The video and still photographs were everywhere.
The Department of Homeland Security immediately suspended use of the horse patrols. The agents were placed on administrative leave. They were rapidly labeled “guilty until proven innocent,” and six months later, the administration still won’t declare the agents innocent.
Shortly after the horse patrol encounter (but without the facts), President Joe Biden said during a press briefing that it was horrible to see people treated that way—horses nearly running over people being “strapped.”
“It’s outrageous, I promise you, those people will pay … [T]here is [an] investigation underway now, and there will be consequences,” he said. “There will be consequences.”
The president was promising to punish his own agents when the investigation had barely begun.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas quickly piled on, saying the images of agents in Del Rio turning back Haitian migrants were “horrifying” and “do not reflect who we are.”
He added that the images “painfully conjured up the worst elements of our nation’s ongoing battle against systemic racism.”
Vice President Kamala Harris said she was outraged by the images and that there needed to be consequences and accountability. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., accused the agents of committing human rights abuses. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., also denounced the Border Patrol, tweeting: “This is a stain on our country.” Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., declared, “They are trying to bring us back to slavery days and worse than that.”
Crying “racism” has become a tired line of attack, over-used by the left to avoid facts and silence opponents.
The fact at the border that day was that no whipping occurred. Anyone who bothers to watch the video and look at the photos can determine that. The photographer there, Paul Ratje, attested to the fact that the horse patrol did not whip anyone.
Border Patrol agents, like other law enforcement officers, have rules of engagement and existing Customs and Border Protection policy on use of force, which were followed in the video.
The only people who did anything wrong were the migrants, who entered the county illegally, which is a crime. They refused verbal commands from a federal officer. That’s also a crime.
But it was the agents who were flogged by the Biden administration, members of Congress, and the media.
They and their families were ridiculed and shamed on a national stage, and they have been deliberately left to wait for the results of the investigation.
So, where are they?
Congress needs to demand the release of the report.
The findings of the investigation should be released in the same way that these men were publicly slurred; namely, at a White House briefing.
These agents and their families deserve that.
If any of those leaders who prematurely commented on this case before all the facts were known have an ounce of integrity (especially Mayorkas), they would want that, too.
Chief Border Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz should demand that for his officers, who were enforcing the law and were simply doing their jobs.
We cannot allow this to be forgotten or swept under the Biden rug. The heroes in green who put their lives on the line 24/7 for this country while we all sleep deserve no less.
Thomas Homan is a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation and former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Department of Homeland Security.