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U.S. Border Patrol agents watch as Haitian immigrant families cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 23, 2021. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday temporarily suspended the use of horse patrol in Del Rio, Texas a DHS spokesperson confirmed.

Why it matters: The suspension comes after images showing border patrol agents reportedly whipping at and charging their horses at migrants surfaced earlier in the week, prompting widespread criticism of the Biden administration's handling of the crisis at the border.

Driving the news: "We have ceased the use of the horse patrol in Del Rio temporarily," a DHS spokesperson said. "We'll prioritize other methods for identifying individuals who might be in medical distress."

  • Administration officials and congressional Democrats have condemned the treatment of Haitian migrants and asylum-seekers living in a temporary encampment in Del Rio.
  • Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the incident involving horse patrol and has alerted the DHS Office of Inspector General, Axios previously reported.
  • Worth noting: AFP photographer Paul Ratje took the photos and later told KTSM he didn’t witness agents using reins as whips. Another reporter on the scene, Martha Pskowski of the El Paso Times, said that reins were swung like a whip by at least one agent.

The big picture: U.S. authorities began deporting hundreds of migrants back to Haiti on Sunday.

  • The special envoy for Haiti on Wednesday resigned from his position, writing in a resignation letter obtained by PBS that he "will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees."

Go deeper: Photos show Border Patrol whipping at migrants from horseback

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include comments from multiple media outlets who were at the scene on what they witnessed happen.

Go deeper

DHS secretary orders ICE to halt mass workplace raids

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday issued a memo ordering U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop mass worksite raids.

Driving the news: Mayorkas said the Biden administration would instead focus on pursuing employers who hire and take advantage of immigrants without work authorizations, rather than the employees.

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Celebrities are America's new politicians

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Launching gubernatorial bids, making presidential endorsements, founding schools: Celebrities are getting increasingly involved in U.S. public and political life.

Why it matters: As we've reported, politics is no longer just the purview of career politicians, as companies and their CEOs throw their weight around to affect policies. Now, movie stars, famous musicians and professional athletes also are using their influence in politics.

Updated 12 mins ago - Sports

Baseball's minor leaguers get a major win

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting next season, MLB teams will be required to provide housing for minor league players.

Why it matters: "This is a historic victory," Harry Marino, director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, told ESPN. It's also just the beginning of a fight for improved quality of life.