Republican legislators are slamming Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after Fox News reported he was alerted to an article stating that no Haitian migrants were “whipped” by Border Patrol agents on Sept. 19, 2021.
The email, which was sent on Sept. 24, 2021, by Marsha Espinosa, assistant secretary of DHS public affairs, alerted Mayorkas and other officials within DHS, pointing them to a news article with quotes from a photographer behind the images showing Border Patrol agents on horseback, and he denies ever seeing agents “whipping anyone.”
Espinosa highlighted portions of the comments from the photographer, which state that he didn’t experience any whipping.
The email was obtained by the Heritage Foundation through a Freedom of Information Act Request.
Mayokas then stood at a press conference with then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki, and condemned the alleged wrongdoing by Border Patrol agents.
“Our nation saw horrifying images that do not reflect who we are. We know that those images painfully conjured up the worst elements of our nation’s ongoing battle against systemic racism,” Mayorkas said.
An investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility in July found that no migrants were struck by reins and there were no whips in possession of the Border Patrol agents, but found other alleged infractions, including using “denigrating and offensive” language to migrants and maneuvering a horse around a child in a manner that was “unsafe.” Agents were also accused of using “unnecessary use of force” to push the migrants back.
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., responded to the newly surfaced emails, saying that if they’re true, Mayorkas should resign.
“If reports are true, then Secretary Mayorkas should resign. This is a failure of leadership and a complete betrayal of the hardworking Border Patrol agents who have been doing their best to maintain some control of the border in midst of this administration’s failed policies,” Tillis said.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said that Mayorkas will be impeached in “just a few months.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., asked Mayorkas, “Where is your integrity.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., alleged that Mayorkas attacked Border Patrol agents despite knowing that the “whipping” claims were false.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said on Twitter that Mayorkas’ career “should be over.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Bill Melugin contributed to this report.