Widespread images depicting tense scenes between U.S. Border Patrol agents and Haitian immigrants have amplified the growing list of problems facin
Widespread images depicting tense scenes between U.S. Border Patrol agents and Haitian immigrants have amplified the growing list of problems facing the Biden administration at the southern border.
Accusations swirled in the media this week of agents using whips to deter migrants from entering the country after pictures and videos of horseback patrols emerged.
“It’s a bunch of BS,” Rowdy Ballard told “America’s Newsroom” Friday.
PHOTOGRAPHER WHO SNAPPED VIRAL IMAGES DISPELS ‘WHIPPING’ ALLEGATION
Ballard was Del Rio, Texas’ horse coordinator for six years and spent 17 years on horseback for Border Patrol before entering retirement.
“We all have the same message: we don’t carry whips,” he said.
Pictures of agents mounted on horseback attempting to corral incoming migrants quickly became a target for government officials. Hordes of Haitians were seen crossing the Rio Grande with agents driving them backward and in at least one case grabbing an immigrant’s shirt collar. Others showed agents twirling their reins to coax the horse in certain directions, which many mistook as agents intentionally whipping the Haitian immigrants.
“It was just a form of a pressure release,” Ballard said. “It was a tense situation. The horses were a little reluctant to do the job that the agents were asking… twirling the reins was just another tool they used to get the horses to do what they’re asking.”
Ballard argued the Border Patrol doesn’t train any of their agents to whip illegal immigrants and agents hardly put hands on people “unless they’re not compliant.”
Despite the narrative framing agents as mistreating immigrants, Ballard suggested that in some cases, immigrants put agents in dangerous situations by trying to grab their reins or lay hands on their horses.
“You don’t want anyone to lay hands on your horse,” he said, explaining that one wrong move could topple the horse and create a life-threatening situation for anyone involved.
The misinterpreted images sparked outrage on the left, as White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters this week the president and administration were “horrified by the photos of the Border Patrol officers and that behavior.”
Fox News confirmed with DHS horse patrols will not be used for the time being and agents under investigation have been placed on administrative duty while the investigation ensues.
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“The horse is a great tool we’ve used for almost 100 years now,” Ballard said. “And with that going, it’s going to be harder to patrol that area.”
“It’s frustrating for the guys in the field as well. I mean, they were asked to do a job and they did it to the best of their abilities. And now… they’re suffering the whiplash from this.”