Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was told last year that there was no evidence Border Patrol agents had “whipped” or “strapped” Haitian migrants at the US-Mexico border — hours before he bolstered President Biden’s claims about the incident at a press conference.
A Sept. 24, 2021 email to Mayorkas from Marsha Espinosa, assistant secretary of DHS public affairs, highlighted an interview with the photographer who captured images of agents on horseback trying to corral migrants and block them from entering the US near Del Rio, Texas, according to Fox News.
Photographer Paul Ratje had told an interviewer that he did not witness the agents harming the migrants, but Mayorkas did not contradict Biden’s false narrative as he stood next to him at the White House podium, the New York Post reports.
“To see people treated like they did, horses barely running over, people being strapped — it’s outrageous,” Biden told reporters that day.
The three agents had in fact been using cord split reins to control their horses, a Customs and Border Protection internal investigation revealed this summer.