Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a member of the Republican Party, has blatantly defended US Border Patrol agents on horseback seen whipping Haitian migrants, saying he would hire them if they were fired by the federal government.
“You have a job in the state of Texas,” he told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “I will hire you to help Texas secure our border,” after images and videos circulated of American border patrol agents on horseback using whips on migrants seeking asylum.
Abbott said the fault for any misbehavior should be placed on US President Joe Biden and his administration because they didn’t keep the Haitian migrants from crossing from Mexico into Del Rio, Texas, according to Politico.
He also claimed that Texas was going to take some of the functions of border control, even though according to the US Constitution the federal government is responsible for it.
“I'm going to step up and do whatever I have to do,” Abbott said, “to make sure that I protect the people of Del Rio, as well as all these other communities in the state of Texas that the Biden administration is ignoring.“
Biden on Friday denounced his administration’s treatment of Haitian migrants at the southern border.
“To see people treated like they did, horses barely running them over and people being strapped. It was outrageous. I promise those people will pay,” Biden said.
Vice President Kamala Harris also condemned the US treatment of Haitian migrants at the southern border, saying images of American border patrol agents on horseback whipping the migrants evoked "times of slavery.”
In an interview broadcast on Saturday, Harris said the imagery, which circulated widely on social media, reminded her of tactics “used against the Indigenous people of our country" and that have "been used against African Americans during times of slavery.”
“Human beings should not be treated that way,” Harris added, referring to photos and videos of Border Patrol agents chasing and beating up migrants.
Images appeared of riders on horseback rounding up Haitian migrants and using their reins in an aggressive manner. The brutal treatment of the migrants by the border agents drew a swell of criticism toward the Biden administration's handling of the issue.
The remarks of Biden and Harris represented the US administration’s most extensive comments on the influx of Haitian migrants at the southern border to date. Biden has been almost entirely silent on the topic since last week, but the White House has denounced the images of Customs and Border Protection agents chasing migrants as horrifying.
The Biden administration has defended the controversial policy and insisted they are working to implement an “orderly and humane process” at the border.
“Our policy process has continued to be the same with Haiti as it is for anybody coming through an irregular migration across our border,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday.