Border Patrol agents on horses facing families in the Rio Grande, near Del Rio, Texas, in September 2021 did not use their reins to target migrants, but acted inappropriately and unprofessionally, an internal report found.
The report released on Friday also said agents did not get the advice they needed from agency leaders.
Footage and photos from the time showed the agents waving the reins at the migrants and yelling at them. They were briefly trying to stop migrant families from bringing food to a camp where 15,000 people had gathered to apply for entry into the US.
The footage drew strong criticism from many, including President Joe Biden and other Democrats, who argued that agents whipped migrants, drawing comparisons to the history of slavery in the US.
Biden said the immigrants were “under arrest” and that punishments would follow after the investigation.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Professional Responsibility released a report totaling 511 pages on Friday. He said that no migrants were affected and that no one was denied the right to apply for asylum in the US.
But the report also found that the agents had not acted correctly and that the move to help Texas state police officers who were trying to stop immigrants was not following the agency’s goals.
The CBP said in a statement that there were “failures at various levels of the agency, a lack of appropriate policies and training, and unprofessional and dangerous behavior by a number of individual agents.”
Federal prosecutors said in March that no criminal charges would be brought, and Friday’s report made no recommendations for punishment. The report’s findings were sent to a CBP disciplinary review board. A senior agency official will decide which punishments are necessary, if any, in accordance with The Washington Post.
After the fight, the agents involved were reassigned to administrative positions.
“It’s horrible what you saw. Seeing people like they did, with horses, running them over, people being tied up, is outrageous,” Biden said last year. “These people will pay.”
“There is an investigation underway now and there will be consequences,” he added at the time.
Appearing on ABC In cashVice President Kamala Harris said the incident “conjured up images of some of the worst times in our history, where this type of behavior was used against the indigenous people of our country, it was used against African Americans in times of slavery.”
Although some agents did not act professionally, the videos do not show any migrants being hit. An agent was filmed confronting a man with his family carrying things. “Hey! That’s why your country sucks! You use your women for this!” shouted the agent.
The Border Patrol was fighting at the time. Thousands of migrants, many from Haiti, crossed the Rio Grande and then camped under a bridge.
Migrants began returning to Mexico for supplies, which the agency allowed. Migrants who came to the camp received a note showing when they first arrived. Families tried to show their tickets to agents on horseback as they crossed the river.
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott instructed Department of Public Safety soldiers to block another crossing, a measure the Border Patrol agreed to as people drowned in the area.
Migrants tried to cross the river on a boat ramp on 19 September when soldiers tried to block them. Border Patrol agents were instructed to help the soldiers. The report said that when they asked for guidance from a supervisor, they were told to provide help.
But that’s not what the Border Patrol wanted them to do because they couldn’t supply the camp properly, which means migrants should be allowed to come and go with goods.
Investigators received “inconsistent responses” from agents when asked whether swinging the reins was consistent with their training as CBP agents. The report also said that they provided erratic responses when asked about their crowd control preparations.
The agency said investigators “found several instances where agents acted inappropriately during the incident, including a border patrol agent who used derogatory and inappropriate language and maneuvered his horse unsafely near a child,” according to the agency. agency. Opposite.
The disciplinary review board recommended punishments for four officers, which could be an unpaid suspension or a “letter of reprimand” outlining misconduct, former employees said, the newspaper reported.
Former Border Patrol chiefs sent a letter to Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last month saying they were concerned they might have undermined the inquiry with their earlier statements.
“Every agent and representative of our government must be held to the highest standards of law enforcement and professionalism, regardless of the circumstances,” they said. “However, due process is critical to safeguarding against frivolous claims or undue influence in the process by political, partisan or unaffiliated interest groups.”
“We collectively believe and point out that the statements made by the President and Vice President predicted the desired outcome of the investigation and may therefore influence the case,” they added. “Openly declaring that there will be consequences presupposes the outcome of an investigation.”
The Border Patrol Syndicate tweeted on Friday: “The three liars – Biden, Harris and Mayorkas are some of the most spiteful humans on the planet. Destroying careers and making sure the innocent pay to cover their sins. This shameful BS has to stop. Wake the hell America.”
They added: “The hypocrisy of this stupid accusation is astonishing: ‘We consider your misconduct received significant media attention and had a negative impact on the Agency’s reputation’ No BP line agent could negatively impact ‘the Agency’ more than Mayorkas. . Charge it.”