If Americans are discouraged by the Biden administration’s open borders agenda, the men and women on the front lines are experiencing an epic collapse in morale.
In the past two weeks, the president declared that Border Patrol agents “will pay” for allegedly whipping Haitian migrants (a media-confected claim that has been widely debunked). Meantime, officers were informed they will be fired if they do not take the COVID vaccine – even as untested and unvaccinated illegal aliens continue to move into the country.
The deflating developments came as more than 15,000 Haitians landed at Del Rio, Texas, last month. After days of increasingly bad optics, the Border Patrol was ordered to clear the crowd. No, not to send migrants back across the Rio Grande, but to rapidly “process and release” them into the U.S.
Then President Biden made a bad situation worse. The dust had barely settled when he announced that horseback officers “would pay” for the purported whipping. Never mind that an investigation has not been completed, or that the photographer who took the pictures said there were no whips. Biden’s inflammatory comments were an ill-advised rush to judgment.
Then the president doubled down by summarily stripping the Border Patrol of its horses. Taking away mounted units (the only effective means for patrolling some areas of the border) that have been used for decades comes off as yet another political move by the White House to hobble enforcement operations.
“There is white hot anger and rage over the Biden horse patrol handling,” says Todd Bensman, a Center for Immigration Studies reporter who interviewed Border Patrol officers in Del Rio.
The president’s directive that all Border Patrol agents must take the COVID vaccine isn’t going down well either. The National Border Patrol Council, which represents rank-and-file officers, continues to look for ways to find an accommodation that doesn’t result in members being fired Nov. 1.
Oxymoronically, the Biden administration does not require testing – much less vaccinating – of illegal border crossers, many of whom come from countries where the virus is widespread. With agents overwhelmed at the border, COVID-carrying migrants are being bused and flown into the U.S. every day. Officials in McAllen, Texas, reported recently that more than 7,000 COVID-infected border crossers were released into their border community since February.
Long before Mr. Biden became president, the Border Patrol suffered from high vacancies and chronic attrition because the work is dangerous and the rewards are few. Despite the obstacles and disrespect heaped on it by this administration, the tattered green line still tries to perform its sworn duty to defend America’s borders.
Will the beatings continue until morale improves, Mr. President?