Biden Says Border Agents' Use Of Horses Against Migrants Was Dangerous And Wrong

24September 2021

U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback block migrants crossing the Rio Grande on Sunday near the Del Rio-Acuña Port of Entry in Del Rio, Texas. Horse patrols at that part of the border have been suspended, the White House press secretary says.

Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden says U.S. Border Patrol agents’ use of horses — and in at least one instance, long reins — to chase Haitian migrants was “outrageous,” promising consequences for those responsible for the controversial incident at the border in Texas.

Biden was asked about the agents’ actions near the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, during a news briefing Friday morning. Photos from the border interdiction quickly triggered outrage in the U.S. and beyond as well as criticism of the Biden administration’s policy of rounding up Haitian migrants to be deported.

Asked if he takes responsibility for the chaos that has emerged at the border, Biden replied, “Of course I take responsibility. I’m president,” adding it was “horrible” to see how federal agents treated the migrants.

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“To see people treated like they did — horses [unintelligible] running them over, people being strapped. It’s outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay,” Biden said.

The president noted that the matter is being investigated.

“It’s an embarrassment — it’s beyond an embarrassment,” Biden added. “It’s dangerous, it’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world; it sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are.”

Horse patrols at that part of the border are now suspended, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday. Earlier this week, Psaki repeatedly called the scene “horrific.”

Many of the migrants who were caught up in the border agents’ actions were attempting to bring food back from Mexico to a huge encampment under the international bridge in Del Rio, where more than 14,000 people had massed.

Most of the migrants are from Haiti, although some are from Cuba, Brazil and other countries.

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