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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott stated Monday that if any U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials face “adverse action” over claims that they “whipped” Haitian migrants trying to illegally enter the United States, he would offer them jobs.
Agents on horseback were accused of whipping migrants in September, after Democratic lawmakers who saw images of the encounters misidentified the agents’ split reins and claimed that the agents were whipping people. Six months after the “whipping” narrative was debunked, the matter remains under investigation.
“If any adverse action is taken against these border patrol agents who were doing their job to secure the border then Texas will offer them a job,” Abbott tweeted, adding that they “should be praised not persecuted.”
The controversy began amid the Haitian migrant crisis in Del Rio, where more than 10,000 migrants were gathered underneath the area’s International Bridge. As the situation worsened, agents were sent out on horseback.
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News Digital in an interview that the situation on the ground in Del Rio was a “powder keg” as migrants had just discovered that they were in fact likely to be removed rather than allowed into the U.S.
“These agents were specifically sent to that location to stop more people from crossing, that was what they were sent there to do,” Judd said. “This was under the orders of their management which of course is under the control of Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection mounted officers attempt to contain migrants as they cross the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, into Del Rio, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
A photographer who took the images in question said that “nobody saw a Border Patrol agent whipping,” and Mayorkas initially backed the agents alongside Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.
Still, President Biden put pressure on the besieged agents by repeating the false claims of whipping and previewed what he hoped would be the outcome of the investigation.
“To see people treated like they did, horses barely running over, people being strapped – it’s outrageous,” Biden said, making a whipping motion with his hand.
“I promise you, those people will pay,” he said, referring to frontline Border Patrol agents. “There will be an investigation underway now and there will be consequences. There will be consequences.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
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