The Department of Homeland Security is responding to footage of Customs and Border Patrol agents chasing down Haitian migrants at the U.S. southern border, announcing the agency is opening an investigation into the matter.
In a video posted to Twitter by CBS News, agents can be seen chasing down migrants on horseback and seemingly swinging ropes at them.
Watch the video below:
The department took to Twitter on Monday to respond to the footage, saying, “DHS does not tolerate the abuse of migrants in our custody and we take these allegations very seriously.”
The statement continued, “[Customs and Border Protection’s] Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the matter and has alerted the DHS Office of Inspector General.”
.@CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the matter and has alerted the DHS Office of Inspector General.— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) September 20, 2021
Additionally, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas “has directed that personnel from the Office of Professional Responsibility be on site full-time to ensure that the responsibilities of DHS personnel are executed consistent with applicable policies and training and the Department’s values.”
According to the agency, Mayorkas also visited Del Rio on Monday “and witnessed the extraordinary work of DHS personnel.”
Calling the footage “extremely troubling,” the statement added, “The facts learned from the full investigation, which will be conducted swiftly, will define the appropriate disciplinary actions to be taken.”
.@SecMayorkas visited Del Rio today and witnessed the extraordinary work of DHS personnel. The footage is extremely troubling and the facts learned from the full investigation, which will be conducted swiftly, will define the appropriate disciplinary actions to be taken.— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) September 20, 2021
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki weighed in on the footage during a White House press briefing on Monday.
“We just saw this footage. It’s horrible to watch. I just have to get more information on it,” Psaki said.
Watch her comments below:
The White House condemned the use of a whip-like cord against Haitian migrants near a riverside camp in Texas. Reuters witnesses saw a U.S. border guard on horseback unfurling a cord resembling a lariat, which he swung near a migrant's face https://t.co/pma6y9RJVq pic.twitter.com/KMSGGJPEx2— Reuters (@Reuters) September 21, 2021
She continued, “I can’t imagine what the scenario is where that would be appropriate. I’m certainly not suggesting that but we’ve just seen the footage earlier this morning.”
The White House press secretary appeared on CBS News on Tuesday where she explained this is “not who the Biden-Harris administration is” and they will “absolutely pursue that investigation.”