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Column: No, those aren’t whips the Border Patrol is using while dealing with Haitian migrants

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A picture, as an old saying (almost) goes, is worth 10,000 mixed messages.

That’s what I saw in the startling weekend news video of what looked like U.S. Border Patrol agents using whips to round up and shoo Haitian immigrants who had waded across the river from Mexico back across the border.

Shocked commentators and the Twitterverse decried the stark resemblance of Black asylum-seekers and the uniformed horsemen to slave catchers rounding up fugitive slaves in the antebellum South. Not pleasant.

“Using ‘whips’ to round up Haitian immigrants?” gasped an AZCentral commentary’s headline. “How is that OK?”

Whoa! Fortunately, the Border Patrol reined in the chatter with assurances that whipping migrants would violate their rules.

Although the matter is being investigated, my own closer look at the news video revealed the agents were swinging not whips but the reins hanging from the bridles of their horses.

Still, the images were “disturbing” and the situation “challenging and heartbreaking, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at a news conference near the border Monday. But he defended the use of horse patrols to protect the borders.

“If you come to........

© Chicago Tribune

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