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The Border Patrol agent who barred Haitian migrants from entering the US through the border in Del Rio, and who is now at the center of a Democratic controversy over false claims about the use of a “whip” on horseback, has been called to the desk. transferred to duty. Inquiry is pending.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyerkas, who backed agents before changing their stance amid outcry from the White House and left-wing Democrats, told a House committee that agents had been removed from the frontline amid an investigation in which they were fired for the day. It was expected to take, instead of weeks.

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Harris ‘deeply disturbed’ by images of Border Patrol agents on horseback blocking migrants, agents respond

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“We have ensured that pending investigation, individuals are not performing law enforcement duties to interact with migrants, but only administrative duties,” he said.

“The facts will drive the actions we take,” he said. “We won’t punch ourselves and we need to do this investigation thoroughly, but very quickly. It will be done in days if not weeks.”

The controversy began with the emergence of images showing agents on horseback preventing Haitian immigrants from entering the US across the Del Rio River, and in one case holding a migrant’s shirt.

However, some media outlets and Democratic lawmakers mistook the agents’ division of reins, which they use to control the horse, as “whips” and accused the agents of whipping migrants. Some outlets later qualified their description as “whip-like chords”, but claimed by many Democrats.

Ice officers injured by Haitian migrants after deportation flights in Port-au-Prince

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned what she described as “inappropriate use of what appeared to be whips by Border Patrol officers on horseback to intimidate migrants”.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer “condemned the images of the inhuman treatment of Haitian migrants by the Border Patrol – including the use of whips.”

On Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris said she supports an investigation and is “deeply disturbed” by it.

“What I saw was a show of people who ride horses and treat humans the way they do,” Harris told reporters.

Meyerkas and Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz both said on Monday they didn’t see anything wrong with the images, and Meyerkas explained that agents use long bridles, not whips, to control their horses over difficult terrain. . Ortiz also noted that agents do not know who are smugglers and who are migrants.

Ortiz said it is important that agents need to maintain control of the horse to avoid injury to both agents and migrants, adding that working a horse into the river is a very difficult task.

But later in the day, press secretary Jen Psaki said: “I don’t think anyone looking at that footage would think it was acceptable or appropriate.”

As of Tuesday morning, Meyerkas had changed his message on the images.

“I was horrified by what I saw,” Meyerkas told CNN. “I’ll let the investigation do its thing. But the pictures I saw really upset me. It defies all the values ​​we want to instill in our people.”