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Tag: horses

CBP Report Says Horse-Mounted Agents Used ‘Unprofessional And Dangerous Behavior’

By Steve Neavling

CBP plans to discipline horse-mounted agents for their “unprofessional and dangerous behavior” when confronting Haitian migrants near the border in Del Rio, Texas, last year. 

The agency released a 500-plus page report by the Office of Professional Responsibility that found failures at multiples levels, a lack of appropriate policing and training, and unnecessarily aggressive behavior by several agents on horseback.

According to the report, several agents used unnecessary force and profanity-riddled threats to drive migrants back down the banks of the Rio Grande. 

“The report showed there were failures to make good decisions at multiple levels of the organization,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a statement. “Failures to maintain command and control over Horse Patrol Units, lack of appropriate policies and training, and the overall chaotic nature of the situation at Del Rio at the time contributed to the incident. Several agents engaged in unprofessional or dangerous behavior, including one instance in which an agent used denigrating and offensive language.”

Images of the interaction went viral, and the Biden administration pledged to hold agents responsible for unnecessary force. 

No decision has yet been made on discipline. 

Border Patrol Agents on Horseback Face Discipline for Treatment of Haitian Immigrants

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

CBP is planning to discipline horse-mounted agents for their treatment of Haitian immigrants near the border in Del Rio, Texas, last year.

The agents are accused of “administrative violations,” two agency officials told the Washington Examiner

But they are unlikely to be fired, one official said. 

CBP’s Office of Personal Responsibility drafted a 500-page report detailing the investigation into horse-mounted Border Patrol agents accused of mistreating Haitian migrants last year. The report has yet to be released.

Images of the interaction went viral, and the Biden administration falsely accused the agents of whipping the immigrants. 

The agents likely won’t face criminal charges because the Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General opted not to investigate. 

500-Page CBP Report Detailing Border Patrol’s Treatment of Haitian Migrants Could Be Released Soon

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

CBP’s Office of Personal Responsibility drafted a 500-page report detailing the investigation into horse-mounted Border Patrol agents accused of mistreating Haitian migrants last year. 

National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told the New York Post that the report could be released soon.

Although the agents have been cleared of criminal wrongdoing, they could still face discipline, up to termination, if they were found to have broken agency policies. 

“No one knows what’s in the report,” Judd said. “I don’t know what’s in it. As of yesterday afternoon, the chief of the Border Patrol didn’t know what’s in it.”

Judd said he’s concerned about the length of the report. 

“I’ve never seen a 500-page report where no one did anything wrong,” he said.

Democrats and immigration activists called on an investigation after viral images from September showed agents on horses trying to block Haitian migrants from entering Del Rio, Texas.

New CBP Horse Patrol Unit Opens in Honor of Border Patrol Agent Who died in Car Crash

Ribbon cutting ceremony for CBP El Centro Sector’s Horse Patrol Unit.

By Steve Neavling

CBP opened a new facility for El Centro Sector’s Horse Patrol Unit and dedicated it in honor of a Border Patrol agent who died in a car crash. 

The Calexico Stable Facility is dedicated in honor of Agent Alejandro Flores Bañuelos, who was fatally struck by a vehicle on March 15, 2021. At the time, he was responding to a car crash on State Route 86 during a dust storm that caused low visibility. 

His family and friends, along with Border Patrol Chief Raul L. Ortiz, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the new facility.

In 2003, El Centro’s HPU began with four agents and five horses. Today, it has 13 riders and 17 horses, whose primary duty is to patrol the Jacumba Wilderness region and Yuha Desert, where the terrain makes it impossible for vehicles to operate. 

The facility, located next to the Calexico Border Patrol Station, has an 18-stall mare motel, a large and small arena, a 50-foot round pen, a one-acre turnout, multiple storage shelters, and three wash racks with multiple hitching posts.

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.”

DOJ Reviews Preliminary Probe into Border Patrol Agents’ Handling of Haitian Migrants

By Steve Neavling

Viral images of Border Patrol agents on horses trying to block Haitian migrants from entering Del Rio, Texas, sparked outrage, and Homeland Security officials pledged a swift investigation. 

More than month later, the agents have not yet been questioned, ABC News reports, citing a law enforcement official.

Homeland Security officials have declined to comment on the investigation. 

The Justice Department has received a preliminary report from the CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which was investigating. No decision has been made on whether criminal charges are warranted. 

According to one law enforcement official, the internal investigation could only proceed – and the agents interviewed – when the U.S. attorney made a decision. 

“The investigation is ongoing,” a DHS spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News. “The Department is committed to a thorough, independent, and objective process. We are also committed to transparency and will release the results of the investigation once it is complete.”

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. 

Border Patrol Agents Track Down Horses Used to Smuggle Drugs into U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Drug smugglers are known to use boats, tunnels and other means to bring drugs across the U.S. border.

On Sunday night, Border Patrol agents captured two horses that were helping smuggle packs of marijuana across the border near Sasabe.

Agents spotted two people on horseback illegally crossing the border, triggering a field and air operation.

When the smugglers saw a helicopter approaching, they abandoned their hoses and ran back across the Mexican border.

The horses were lugging about 100 pounds of marijuana.