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Tag: del rio

DHS Inspector General Declines to Investigate Horse-Mounted Agents

By Steve Neavling

Homeland Security’s inspector general has decided not to investigate horse-mounted Border Patrol agents who were seen in viral images blocking Haitian migrants from entering Del Rio, Texas.

The images provoked public outrage and a pledge by President Biden to swiftly investigate the incident. 

CBP initially referred the investigation to the inspector general’s office, which declined and handed it back to Homeland Security’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which “immediately commenced investigative work, including its review of videos and photographs and the interview of witnesses employees, and CBP leadership,” Homeland Security said in a statement Tuesday.

“Once completed, the results of the investigation will be provided to CBP management to determine whether disciplinary action is appropriate and, if so, the specific discipline to be imposed,” according to the statement. “At that time, the employees will be afforded due process, including an opportunity to respond, and any corrective actions will comport with applicable laws and regulations. The disciplinary process, which is separate from the fact-finding investigation, is subject to certain timelines established in CBP’s labor-management agreement with the employees’ union of the United States Border Patrol.” 

OPR is tasked with investigating alleged misconduct by CBP employees. As a matter of policy, OPR refers all allegations of serious misconduct to the inspector general’s office. 

“DHS remains committed to conducting a thorough, independent, and objective investigation,” the statement reads. “DHS will share information, as available, consistent with the need to protect the integrity of the investigation and individuals’ privacy.”

Border Patrol Agents Questioned about Use of Horses in Handling of Haitian Migrants

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

Federal investigators are finally interviewing Border Patrol personnel who were present in September when viral images showed agents on horses try to block Haitian migrants from entering Del Rio, Texas, ABC News reports.

The investigation was initiated by CBP following public outrage over Border Patrol agents on horses chasing and grabbing Haitian migrants. 

Homeland Security officials suspended the use of horse patrols following the shocking images, and President Biden pledged a swift investigation that will result in “consequences.”

But since then, the investigation has been anything but swift.  

Some have defended the agents, saying they were just doing their job. 

Details of the current investigation weren’t clear. 

At least two of the agents in the photos remain on administrative leave. 

Gov. Abbott Offers to Hire Border Patrol Agents If They’re Fired by Biden Admin

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo via Governor’s Office.

By Steve Neavling

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday pledged to hire Border Patrol agents if they are fired for their handling of Haitian migrants along the Rio Grande in Del rio, Texas. 

Shocking images showed the agents on horses chasing and grabbing the migrants near a makeshift camp where a large influx of Haitians had gathered in hopes of being granted asylum. 

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Abbott said the agents did nothing wrong, and if they are fired, “I will hire you to help Texas secure our border.”

Abbott’s remarks came several days after President Biden, calling the agents’ actions “outrageous,” said, “Those people will pay.”

Abbott placed the blame on the Biden administration, saying agents “wouldn’t have been in that situation had the Biden administration enforced the immigration laws.”

“If he takes any action against them whatsoever — I have worked side by side with those Border Patrol agents — I want them to know something,” Abbott said. “If they are risk of losing their job by a president who is abandoning his duty to secure the border, you have a job in the state of Texas. I will hire you to help Texas secure our border.”

Homeland Security Temporarily Suspends Border Patrol’s Use of Horses After ‘Horrific’ Images

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

The Department of Homeland Security has temporarily suspended the use of horse patrols after shocking images showed Border Patrol agents chasing, grabbing and whipping Haitian migrants along the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas notified civil rights leaders that the administration “would no longer be using horses in Del Rio.

Asked why President Biden hasn’t publicly condemned the treatment of the migrants, Psaki responded, “I think people should take away that his actions make clear how horrible and horrific he thinks these images are, including an investigation, including a change of policy, including conveying clearly that this is not acceptable and this is — he’s not going to stand for this in the Biden-Harris administration.” 

“Our actions make that absolutely crystal clear, as have our engagements with a range of voices, a range of concerned advocates, members of Congress, and others who we want to communicate with not just about our horror, but also about what our immigration policy is moving forward.”

CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the videos and photos, and the DHS Office of Inspector General has been alerted. 

The scene played out near a makeshift camp in Del Rio, a small town where a large influx of migrants from Haiti have gathered in hopes of being granted asylum. 

DHS to Investigate ‘Extremely Troubling’ Footage of Border Patrol Confronting Migrants in Del Rio

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

The Department of Homeland Security is investigating images and video of horse-mounted Border Patrol agents chasing and whipping Haitian migrants along the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas. 

In a tweet Monday, Homeland Security said it was taking the situation “very seriously.”

“The footage is extremely troubling, and the facts learned from the full investigation, which will be conducted swiftly, will define the appropriate disciplinary actions to be taken,” Homeland Security said.

CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating, and the DHS Office of Inspector General has been alerted. 

The scene played out near a makeshift camp in Del Rio, a small town where a large influx of migrants from Haiti have gathered in hopes of being granted asylum. 

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said the footage was “devastating.”

“I’ve seen some of the footage,” Psaki said at a briefing Monday. “I don’t have the full context. I can’t imagine what context would make that appropriate. But I don’t have additional details.”

CBP Temporarily Closes Del Rio Border Crossing in Response to Influx of Migrants

By Steve Neavling

U.S. customs and Border Protection has temporarily closed the Del Rio border crossing with Mexico as authorities grapple with a large influx of migrants who formed a makeshift campuses under a bridge. 

CBP announced Friday that it was re-rerouting traffic from Del Rio to Eagle Pass in Texas to manage resources and free up the flow of travel and trade. 

“This temporary closure and shift is necessary in order for CBP to respond to urgent safety and security needs presented by an influx of migrants into Del Rio and is effective immediately,” CBP said in a news release. “It will advance and protect national interests and help ensure the safety of the traveling public, commercial traffic, and CBP employees and facilities.”

The inundation of migrants, mostly Haitians, has strained resources in Del Rio, a bilingual town of 36,000 residents. Authorities estimate more than 12,900 migrants have tried to cross the border into Del Rio.  

The migrants entered the country illegally and are hoping to claim asylum. 

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Killed in Car Crash in Texas

Border Patrol Agent Fernando Morales.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent assigned to the Del Rio Sector was killed in a car crash Monday night in Texas.

Fernando Morales, 51, was driving a 2017 Volkswagen Passat on U.S. 277 near Del Rio when a 2016 Freightliner truck veered into oncoming traffic in a no-passing zone, KRQE reports.

“I am deeply saddened to inform you of the off duty death of Border Patrol Agent Fernando Morales,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin Skero tweeted Wednesday. “He is survived by his wife and four children. On behalf of our sector family, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues as we mourn his passing.”

Morales is a native of El Paso and graduated from Irvin High School.

Ex-Border Patrol Agent Pleads Guilty to Trying to Arrange Sex with 2 Girls

Santiago Contreras/police photo

Santiago Contreras, police photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent accused of trying to arrange sexual encounters with two girls pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Salvador Contreras faces up to life in prison on charges of attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, the Associated Press reports. 

The 50-year-old resigned from his position as a senior Border Patrol agent in Del Rio following his arrest in December.

Authorities said Contreras was busted in an online sting in which an undercover officer posed as a woman who had two daughters, ages 8 and 14, available for sex.

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