The New York Times quietly issued a correction to a story that alleged Border Patrol agents on horseback used their reins as whips against Haitian migrants trying to cross the southern border.
“An earlier version… overstated what is known about the behavior of some Border Patrol agents on horseback. While the agents waved their reins while pushing migrants back into the Rio Grande, The Times has not seen conclusive evidence that migrants were struck with the reins.” pic.twitter.com/yJ84moz9ET
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) September 27, 2021
In the original story published last week, Times White House correspondent Michael Shear wrote:
“The images of agents on horseback chasing, and in some cases using the reins of their horses to strike at running migrants, came as Mr. Biden’s administration moved to forcefully round up and deport more than 2,000 of the 15,000 migrants who gathered in a makeshift camp in Del Rio, Texas. Thousands more have been moved to other parts of the country or have been released with orders to appear in court later.”
However, additional photographic evidence of the encounter between Border Patrol agents and migrants revealed the agents never “whipped” migrants.
The Texas photographer who captured the incident on camera even said his photos were being “misconstrued” to make it seem like the agents were violent towards migrants when they never were.
Shortly after this narrative was debunked, the Times updated its story to remove its claim that agents were “striking” migrants.
The story now reads:
“Images of Border Patrol agents on horseback waving their reins while pushing migrants back into the Rio Grande have prompted a torrent of criticism from Democrats and civil rights groups who have accused Mr. Biden of continuing some of the most aggressive approaches to immigration put in place by President Donald J. Trump.”
The publication also included a formal correction, which appears at the bottom of the story:
“An earlier version of this article overstated what is known about the behavior of some Border Patrol agents on horseback,” the correction reads. “While the agents waved their reins while pushing migrants back into the Rio Grande, The Times has not seen conclusive evidence that migrants were struck with the reins.”