White House condemns border guard use of whip-like cord against Haitian migrants after it sparked 'slave-catching patrols' memories

White House condemns border guard use of whip-like cord against Haitian migrants after it sparked 'slave-catching patrols' memories



The White House has condemned use of horse reins by border patrol agents to whip and wrangle Black Haitian migrants.



A picture by photographer Paul Ratje showed the agent on horseback grabbing one of the migrants as the man tried to cross into the United States from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, on Sunday September 19.



Ratje said many of the Haitians were crossing the river back and forth to get food for their families and were blocked by the horses. Commenting on one of the photos, he said;




“Some of the migrants started running to try to get around the horsemen, and one of the agents grabbed the Haitian in the picture by the shirt and he ended up swinging him around while the horse trotted in a circle."



The El Paso Times reported the agent had swung his whip and charged his horse at people trying to cross, shouting, "Let's go! Get out now! Back to Mexico!"







A Reuters report from the same area described a law enforcement officer using a lariat and whipping it close to the face of a migrant. It's unclear if it was the same agent.



Pictures widely shared on social media also showed the border patrol agents using their reins against the migrants and pushing them back towards the Rio Grande in Texas.This invoked memories of slave-catching patrols chasing their human quarry (patrols that laid the foundation for modern American law enforcement) and 19th century scenes of the violence of slavery in the United States.



White House press secretary Jen Psaki described the viral photos as "horrific," but declined to say what consequences there should be for the agent's actions. She told reporters at the daily White House briefing;


Latest Post
Tags