Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last week urging him against punishing the Border Patrol agents accused of “whipping” migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in September.
“Disciplining the agents would be an insult to men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol who work each day to protect our nation in spite of the policies being implemented by the Biden administration,” Biggs wrote in the letter, signed by 25 other House Republicans.
The agents accused of whipping migrants are set to be punished for “administrative violations,” according to Fox News. The agents were seen in September responding to the thousands of Haitian migrants that showed up under the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, seeking to enter the U.S.
Shortly after the incident, images appearing to show the agents using the reins of their horses to steer and encircle the migrants to get them to turn back to Mexico began circulating, which some people perceived as whipping.
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Paul Ratje, the photographer who took the pictures, said at the time that he didn’t see anyone being whipped.
“He was swinging it, but it can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture,” Ratje said after the incident.
Biggs also voiced his frustration with the Biden administration’s reversals of many of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, saying the moves show Biden’s “pandering” to “radical, far-left, open borders supporters,” according to the letter.
Mayorkas promised the investigation into the “whipping” incident would be “in days, if not weeks,” which Biggs criticized.
“It has been nearly nine months since you made that statement. Your failure to follow through on that promise has up-ended the lives of the agents involved and harmed their reputations,” Biggs wrote.
Biggs argued that the Biden administration has prioritized punishing the agents over efforts to secure the border.
“Punishing Border Patrol agents for trying to secure the border sends the message to all DHS employees that they will be punished for doing their jobs. Instead of punishing the agents, you should be celebrating them,” Biggs concluded, asking for a briefing on the investigation into the alleged whipping by June 24.