Tension Grows Between Border Patrol and Biden’s Admin Over the Weekend
The tension between Border Patrol agents and President Joe Biden’s administration has become more evident as a spat erupted between agents and their chief when Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas went on a visit. Many of the agents believe that the current administration’s policies are stopping them from keeping the border secure.
In Laredo, Texas, Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz had an intense back and forth with agents on Friday while Mayorkas was in the area for a visit. Fox News published a video that was shared by a Border Patrol source, showing Ortiz admitting that “morale is at an all-time low.”
Ortiz can be heard, acknowledging the agents’ frustrations while Mayorkas was in the same room.
“I get it,” Ortiz can be heard saying. “You come to work, you’re frustrated. You’re upset because you didn’t get the desired outcome that you want. Doesn’t mean you give up.”
Agents chimed into the conversation, commenting that “you keep releasing criminal aliens into the country.”
At one point in the video, Ortiz asked the agents “Why are you guys getting caught up in semantics? … I’ve been doing this job as long as y’all,” when several of them seem to not be satisfied with any answer.
“That’s the problem, chief,” one agent said. “For evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. That’s exactly what’s happening here. Good men are doing nothing. You’re allowing illegal aliens to be dropped off in communities.”
Mayorkas seemed to have referenced the exchange in a Twitter post. He said, “Challenges and frustrations voiced, solutions proposed, honor and duty to mission paramount.”
Joined the 2 pm muster in Laredo with Border Patrol, Field Ops, Air & Marine, DHS volunteers, military members.
Challenges and frustrations voiced, solutions proposed, honor and duty to mission paramount.
These men and women deserve the best, and we will provide it for them. pic.twitter.com/uJBMO3XZVc
— Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (@SecMayorkas) January 29, 2022
Mayorkas’ predecessor was astonished by what happened in the video, describing it as “remarkable.”
“I’ve never seen anything like that where Border Patrol agents are pushing back so aggressively on their leadership,” said former acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf on “Cavuto Live.”
“And I think what is probably most striking from that video, which is if you can see in the background the DHS secretary is standing right there, he does not step up. He does not address any of these concerns from the Border Patrol agents. There’s no vision,” he added. “There’s no leadership. He just stands to the side because he knows he cannot talk to these agents and defend what is going down on the border because of the policies of this administration,” Wolf went on to say.
The exchange between the agents and Ortiz came a day after Townhall managed to obtain audio of what Mayorkas said to Yuma sector agents. There, an agent allegedly turned his back on Mayorkas after telling him he doesn’t allow agents to do their jobs.
Another agent reportedly pressed the secretary about the way agents are unable to secure the border because of the Biden administration’s policies. Meanwhile, one other agent allegedly said that Yuma ran better while former President Donald Trump was in office as “everyone was doing their jobs.”
“The job has not gotten any easier over the last few months, and it was very, very difficult throughout 2021,” Mayorkas told the agents, as per the Townhall report. “I know apprehending families and kids is not what you signed up to do. And now we got a composition that is changing even more with Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, and the like, it just gets more difficult,” he added.
“I know the policies of this administration are not particularly popular with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but that’s the reality, and let’s see what we can do within that framework,” Mayorkas continued.
Also, Mayorkas reportedly told the agent who turned his back, “You can turn your back on me, but I won’t turn my back on you.”
According to a DHS spokesperson, as reported by Fox News, Mayorkas had intended to have a frank discussion, and the point of his trip was to listen to agents in an unfiltered way. He already had several constructive discussions during his three-day trip in the region.
“Secretary Mayorkas’s priority for this trip is to meet directly with the workforce to hear about their experiences and address their needs,” a spokesperson mentioned in a statement.
“Border Patrol Agents are dedicated to their mission, and demonstrate tremendous bravery and life-saving skills in the performance of their duties. Secretary Mayorkas welcomes candor during these conversations, and appreciates and respects the opinions of each member of the CBP workforce,” the spokesperson said.