Jennie Taer, DCNF
- Democratic lawmakers and media figures are silent on their past claims that Border Patrol agents whipped migrants, despite a U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) investigation finding that there was no such action.
- The Daily Caller News Foundation asked over a dozen figures, media outlets, including President Joe Biden, about their previous claims and only received one response that doubled down.
- “No. I have eyes. I saw what everyone else saw,” Futuro Media President and Founder Maria Hinojosa told the Daily Caller News Foundation when asked if she’d recant her earlier statement. “Also if Tucker Carlson is going to use me in his newsletter the least he should do is to be prepared to speak with me directly.”
Democratic politicians and media personalities who peddled the now debunked claim that mounted U.S. Border Patrol agents “whipped” illegal immigrants were silent when asked by the Daily Caller News Foundation if they’d like to correct the record. Out of the over a dozen Democrats and media members contacted by the DCNF, just one responded.
After nearly a year, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus announced Friday that the investigation found no evidence of whipping. The probe involved looking into the Sept. 19 incident, where horseback border agents were seen attempting to control thousands of Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas.
Futuro Media President and Founder Maria Hinojosa, who previously claimed that “Haitian Black people” were “whipped” during an MSNBC appearance, told the DCNF she wouldn’t recant her statement. She was the only one out of dozens to respond to the DCNF.
“No. I have eyes. I saw what everyone else saw,” Hinojosa told the DCNF. “Also if Tucker Carlson is going to use me in his newsletter the least he should do is to be prepared to speak with me directly.”
Several Democratic politicians, including Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Maxine Waters of California and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley made the claim early on.
Days after the incident, Waters stated that “What we witnessed was worse than what we witnessed in slavery.”
“Cowboys with their reins in hand whipping black people, Haitians, into the water where they’re scrambling and falling down and all they’re trying to do is escape the violence in their country,” she said.
Use of whips on refugees? Disturbing and unacceptable. This must end immediately. https://t.co/C28fk2QFqL
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) September 20, 2021
The claims were also peddled by top figures in the Biden administration, including the president, who said that migrants were “strapped,” promising that “people will pay,” according to Fox News. Vice President Kamala Harris said the images were a reminder of the “times of slavery.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the images of the horseback agents evoked America’s past of “systemic racism,” according to Fox News.
Pressley said that Border agents “chased” migrants with whips. MSNBC host Joy Reid elevated the claim during a segment with Omar.
“Should we be looking at the budget of Department of Homeland Security? Because I was not aware that whips which come from the slave era, slavery era, were part of the package that we issue to any sort of law enforcement or government sanction personnel,” Reid stated.
“Were you aware that was being issued to people, that people had that kind of equipment on them that they could use on humans?” Reid questioned.
Omar responded that she was “quite appalled” and claimed that the incident involved “systematic racism.”
Vice News tweeted on Sept. 20 that “Border Patrol agents are whipping Haitian migrants at the US-Mexico border in Texas.”
Border Patrol agents are whipping Haitian migrants at the US-Mexico border in Texas.https://t.co/9sFNCds7Ur
— VICE News (@VICENews) September 20, 2021
“Border Patrol is mounted on horseback rounding up Haitian refugees with whips,” Sawyer Hackett, who is the senior adviser to Julian Castro previously tweeted.
CNN Political Commentator Bakari Sellers applauded Harris on air for being outspoken about the “whipping” event.
Also, former CNN host Chris Cuomo previously said the images reminded him of slavery.
“It does smack of a bygone era, of slavery, aided by reports of people being beaten, whether with a riding crop, or the reins, most likely,” Cuomo said.
In addition, The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer said the “horrifying” incident was “like something out of the 19th century.”
The White House, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Omar, Waters, Merkley, Pressley, Cuomo, Serwer, Hackett, Sellers, Vice News and Amnesty International didn’t respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
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