Border Patrol agents cleared of whipping illegal immigrants

Border Patrol agents didn’t whip or strike Haitian migrants last year, a lengthy internal affairs investigation concluded Friday, but some agents did use excessive force by positioning their horses in the Rio Grande to try to keep the migrants from reaching the U.S.

Investigators largely faulted agency leaders, saying they lacked clear goals for dealing with the unprecedented incursion of 15,000 migrants who established a squatters camp on the American side of the river, then began to come and go freely from Mexico, challenging the integrity of the border.

Though all agents have been cleared of criminal charges, four have been recommended to face disciplinary action over their use of force and, in one case, for insulting language used against migrants. Those cases are still pending, officials said, and the agent remains on desk duty nearly 10 months after the incident, which drew international attention.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus said they showed “discrimination” and “intolerance.”

“It’s clear from the investigation that decisions made by some of the agency’s leadership and the lack of appropriate policies and training all contributed to the incident. But there is no justification for the lack of actions of some of personnel, including unprofessional and deeply offensive conduct,” Mr. Magnus said.

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