President Biden will ban the use of horses by officials attempting to secure the border after controversial photos emerged of agents on horses confronting Haitian migrants.
“[W]e will no longer be using horses in Del Rio,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during the daily press briefing with reporters.
Psaki cited the ban as proof the president was upset by the images, and activists and members of Congress shared their outrage that these tactics were happening under Biden’s watch.
Psaki defended Biden’s failure to condemn the images publicly.
“His actions make clear how horrible and horrific he thinks these things are,” she said.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called the incident “worse than slavery.”
“I’m pissed,” she said during a press conference Wednesday. “And I’m not just unhappy with the cowboys who were running down Haitians and using their reins to whip them. I’m unhappy with the administration. We are following the Trump policy.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) shared her outrage on Twitter, “Cracking a fucking whip on Haitians fleeing hardship shows you that this system simply can’t be reformed.”
Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary, denied the claim that agents were using whips on people; he stated that the images captured a long-separated rein to control their horse.
However, he later said he was “horrified” by the images and declared an ongoing investigation on the incident.
The border agents were compared to slave hunters by activists.
On Tuesday, VP Harris called for an investigation as she voiced her outrage over the photos.
“I fully support what is happening right now, which is a thorough investigation into exactly what is going on there,” she said. “But human beings should never be treated that way. I’m deeply troubled about it.”