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Tipsheet

Border Patrol Sources Deny Agents on Horseback Were Whipping Haitians Illegally Crossing into the US

AP Photo/Felix Marquez

DEL RIO, Texas — Outrage on social media ensued after reports stated U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback were using whips in an attempt to force Haitians from illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, though sources within Border Patrol say the description is far from accurate.

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Social media users pointed out the agents were actually holding reins, which are used to control their horses, but others insisted video and photographs showed the agents spinning the reins.

A source within Border Patrol explained to Townhall that agents spin their reins as a deterrent for people getting close to the horses to prevent people from being trampled:

"Agents use their reins for a lot of reasons. Primarily it's used to steer the horse, but agents will also spin them sometimes to deter people from getting too close to the horse. If they get too close, the horse can step on them, breaking bones or causing other injuries. Agents also need to maintain control of their reins so they don't lose control of the horse, which can cause injuries to immigrants, the agents, and the horses.  

"We are not aware of anyone being struck with the reins."
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National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told Townhall agents are specifically trained to spin the reins to stop people from getting close to the horses.

"You'll notice none of the pictures show any person being struck by the reins," Judd said, adding, "But of course, that's not going to be the story...We do not strike people, nor was anybody struck in this particular case."

Illegal immigrants, mainly originally hailing from Haiti, flooded the small border town of Del Rio, overwhelming the federal and local law enforcement. Up to 15,000 migrants were placed underneath the international bridge as they waited to be processed by Border Patrol, leading to poor conditions.

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