(LibertySociety.com) – House Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on March 15th, 2023, over policies at the southern border amid ongoing concerns about illegal immigration in the US. Democrat members of the committee decided at the last minute not to attend, citing politicization by Republicans. Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz testified to the committee, during which he brought up the outrage that ensued back in 2021 when they accused Border Patrol agents on horseback of whipping Haitian migrants.
The border chief defended the actions of the agents in his opening statement. The agents were found in an investigation not to have whipped the migrants, although the Customs and Border Protection report on the matter did suggest that the agents had used excessive force. Before that, however, photographs spread like wildfire on social media, prompting Democrats, President Biden, and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to target the agents over the alleged whipping incident.
Chief Ortiz informed the committee of the agency’s ability to handle the massive flow of illegal migrants that were coming through when the media-induced incident occurred, citing the fact that there were no deaths and that they did their best to accommodate and provide safety for every single person they encountered. Chief Ortiz has previously defended the horse patrol agents. However, according to Fox News, Mayorkas was told in 2021 that the incident between migrants and border agents was being misinterpreted before a conference where he did not challenge the allegations.
Chief Ortiz also mentioned the criminal actions of some of the illegal migrants during that same time period, where they allegedly attempted to hijack the buses that were being used to transport migrants to different facilities. He said that the agents handled these incidents with no complaints or trouble. During the hearing, he also testified that DHS does not have “operational control” of the border.
Copyright 2023, LibertySociety.com