Biden Admin Proposes Charges Against Border Agents Accused in Migrant 'Whipping' (Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 08 July 2022 09:26 AM EDT
Charges against Border Patrol agents accused of "whipping" migrants in Del Rio, Texas, could be announced as early as Friday, the Daily Caller reported.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has proposed two charges, one involving "poor judgment" for instructing noncitizens "to go back to Mexico, or words to that effect," and the other for "unsafe conduct," the Daily Caller reported.
The unsafe conduct charge was for an agent's horse being maneuvered "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," the outlet said.
Although the proposals were not yet final, CBP was expected to announce the results of its investigation as soon as Friday, sources told the Daily Caller.
It remained 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, according to the Daily Caller.
"We consider that your misconduct received significant media attention and had a negative impact on the reputation of the Agency."
The alleged incident took place in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 19, when thousands of Haitian migrants were present under the international bridge.
Images showed agents on horseback and appearing to use their horses’ reins to steer and encircle the migrants so they would turn back.
"From the beginning, they had been convicted by the White House and DHS, so we figured something was coming," the National Border Patrol Council president for the Del Rio border sector, Jon Anfinsen, previously told the Daily Caller.
Photos taken by freelance journalist Paul Ratje appeared to show horseback agents whipping migrants crossing into the U.S. from the southern border. But during an interview with El Paso News, Ratje claimed he never saw the agents whip anyone.
"I've never seen them whip anyone," Ratje told reporters. "He was swinging it, but it can be misconstrued when you're looking at the picture."
Former leading Border Patrol officials from the past three presidential administrations last month warned Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas against disciplining the agents.
Four national Border Patrol chiefs joined with five other high-ranking officials from the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations to send a letter to Mayorkas warning him against "consequences" if the men were charged for the alleged whipping of Haitian migrants.