White House pressed on treatment of Haitian migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border

At the White House briefing on Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki received several questions about reports that some say appear to show Customs and Border Patrol agents using whips on Haitian migrants as they cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Video Transcript

- And, Jen, a follow up question on Haiti. There are photographs and reports of border agents on horseback using what appeared to be whips on Haitian migrants. Does the administration view that as an appropriate tactic? Can you speak to that? There are people who are upset.

JEN PSAKI: Yeah, understandably so. I have seen some of the footage. I don't have the full context. I can't imagine what context would make that appropriate. But I don't have additional details and certainly, I don't have additional context. April, I don't think anyone seeing that footage would think it was acceptable or appropriate.

- Thanks so much, Jen. I want to follow up on the question about Haitians and specifically these photos that are surfacing on border patrol agents, seemingly using whips. I know you said that there's no context that it would be seen as inappropriate.

So the question really is why would this be happening under the Biden administration? Is this going to stop? What would the-- I wonder, sort of, what are going to be the consequences, if what we're seeing is what we're seeing?

JEN PSAKI: I mean, Yamiche, it's all good questions. We just saw this footage. It's horrible to watch. I just have to get more information on it.


April, I don't have more information on it. I've also seen the video. I can't imagine what the scenario is, where that would be appropriate. I'm certainly not suggesting that. But we've just seen the footage shot earlier this morning.

- On the photo, I know you said that you're still assessing it, but just to add. If this is what we see, is it the president's stance or the White House's stance that whoever these border agents are using what seems to be whips on migrants that they would be fired or, at least, never be able to do that again?

JEN PSAKI: Of course, they should never be able to do it again. I don't know what the circumstances would be. It's obviously horrific, the footage. I don't have any more information on it so let me venture to do that. And we'll see if there's more to convey. Karen, go ahead.


I think, April, I absolutely understand your question. I think I've been very clear about how horrific the footage is. I don't have more information. As a US official, I have a responsibility to get more context and information.

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