DEL RIO, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Border Patrol agents riding horseback to hold back and quell the masses of migrants living under the Del Rio International Bridge were captured in several videos taken by Border Report last week prior to the closure of the bridge.
Border Patrol horse patrol agents can be seen under cowboy hats with reigns in hands walking several feet behind migrants, mostly Haitians, living under the bridge. The agents can be seen waving at migrants to tell them where to walk and at one point a woman backtracks to cross behind the horse as the agent and horse turn in her direction.
Border Report spent about three hours on the international bridge, which leads to Acuña, Mexico, in the state of Coahuila, on Sept. 17, just hours before federal officials shut down the bridge due to safety concerns.
But after media reports that Border Patrol agents on horses were improperly treating migrants, the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday suspended using the horse units at the bridge.
On Friday, federal officials reported that all migrants had been relocated from under the bridge encampment. Many were repatriated back to Haiti.
During a visit on Monday to Del Rio, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said accusations of improper behavior by Border Patrol agents will be investigated.
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, who himself once rode a horse patrol unit, accompanied Mayorkas and told media on Monday that “horse patrol units down here will play an integral part in security response.”
Mayorkas said “riding on horseback in riverine is a difficult situation.”
In a video taken by Border Report, two agents on horseback can be seen paused atop their horses as a National Guardsman helps up a man who had been lying on the ground with his hand in the air. Then the agents rode past.
Agents also are seen patrolling the perimeter near a potable water station. They are seen helping Border Patrol trucks drive through the crowds, and helping to push back migrants as a truck brought in a bank of new porta-potties.