According to a federal investigation, U.S. Border Patrol agents engaged in “unnecessary use of force” against non-threatening Haitian immigrants, Associated Press reports. The report said agents on horseback used their horses to forcibly block and move migrants during an influx of Haitian migrants last September. Photos and videos made it appear that agents were whipping migrants. Investigators deny this, saying that the agents did not “intentionally or otherwise” whip anyone. However, the images caused an uproar from both civil rights leaders and advocacy groups. The Biden administration promised a full investigation. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus said they would learn from this incident and do better. Magnus, who took over in December, is being closely watched to ensure ethical treatment of migrants.
By September 19, 2021, 15,000 Haitian migrants had entered the U.S. by crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. A day later, the investigation began and several witnesses testified. Magnus said four Border Patrol agents are being recommended for disciplinary action. The CBP commissioner under the Trump Administration, Mark Morgan, previously declined an investigation and accused Democrats of trying to vilify the Border Patrol. According to the federal investigation, one agent made inappropriate comments about a migrant’s nationality and almost crashed into a child with his horse. Investigators also cited Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's allowing authorities to apprehend migrants and return them to the U.S.-Mexico border. According to Magnus, his agency's goal is to work with Texas to create a “safe, orderly and humane immigration process.”