Amid a record surge in illegal immigration that has followed a reversal of Trump administration policies, the chief of the Border Patrol union says he’s never seen morale so low among his colleagues.
Brandon Judd, who began his career under President Bill Clinton, charged in a radio interview that President Biden used the manufactured controversy over border agents on horseback to “deflect attention from his failures.”
“I’ve never seen the morale any lower than it is right now,” he said.
“When you have a president who is willing to throw his employees under the bus for doing what he ordered them to do, that’s crazy,” Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, told FM Talk 106.5 in Mobile, Alabama.
“He’s completely and totally failed the American public,” Judd said of Biden. “And because of that, he had to find a scapegoat.”
Judd was referring to the claim, based on selected photos by a journalist, that border agents on horseback were whipping Haitian migrants who were trying to illegally cross the border.
The New York Times had to correct an article that “overstated the behavior of some Border Patrol agents on horseback,” admitting the paper “has not seen conclusive evidence that migrants were struck with the reigns.” A video posted on Twitter by Associated Press reporter Sarah Blake Morgan showed the agents were using their reins only to steer horses. And the photographer himself said he never saw anyone being whipped.
Judd was asked if Border Patrol morale was lower than even during the Obama administration.
“Oh yeah, by far,” he said. “Nothing even comes close to this.”
Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley said the false charges of agents “whipping” migrants likely were defamatory, but Biden’s comments, saying the agents “will pay,” were “the most damaging to both the investigation and the reputation of these agents.”
“Not only did Biden shatter his own administration’s investigation but he joined other leading Democratic figures in defaming the agents,” said Turley, a law professor at George Washington University.
Border Patrol advocates also are decrying the policy of not requiring vaccination for the illegal immigrants while border agents who choose not to take one of the experimental COVID-19 vacccines face termination.
Irene Armendariz-Jackson, a candidate for Congress, said her husband is a Border Patrol agent, and he’s being given until Nov. 22 to get vaccinated.
“How is there a mandate for Border Patrol but illegal aliens can pass through without even a test, much less a jab?” she asked on Twitter.
Last week, while publicly reassuring the nation that the southwest border is under control, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asked senior officials if they were prepared to handle as many as 400,000 migrants crossing in October, nearly double the 21-year high in July.
On Thursday, Axios reported Panama’s foreign minister warned that as many as 60,000 more migrants, mostly Haitian, are heading to the United States through her country. She said the Biden administration seemed caught off guard after “we sounded the alarm.”
Exploiting race for political purposes
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, says Democrats are undermining the morale of border agents with fraudulent charges of racism.
Roy recalled to SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday host Joel Pollak on Sept. 28 that Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., described the images of a Border Patrol agent on horseback trying to apprehend a Haitian illegal alien as “worse than what we witnessed in slavery.”
Waters said the Biden administration should not have “horses chasing down black people.”
“The Biden administration is looking for every way it can to exploit race for political purposes,” Roy said. “How they treat one population versus another, I’ll let all the race baiters figure all that out.”
The Texas congressman said the border “is completely wide open.”
“It’s not being enforced by this administration,” Roy said. “They’re giving a lot of lip service, a lot of double speak, using terms about enforcement, but the fact is we had 1.4 million people — pretty much the population of Dallas — get apprehended in the last year.”
Along with the illegal immigrants has come some 10,000 pounds of fentanyl, Roy noted.
“Of the people that have come in, probably half a million of them have been released in the United States, and another three or four hundred thousand got-aways have gotten in,” he said.
The recent Haitian migrant crisis, Roy said, is “shining a spotlight on an otherwise absolutely horrendous problem that endangers American citizens and endangers migrants who get put into the sex-trafficking trade, get abused, die in the desert, die in South Texas in the heat.”
“Democrats pat themselves on the back because they’re supposedly compassionate,” he said, saying they are “‘for brown people,’ and those of us who want to secure the border are somehow, anti-brown people.”
“Let me tell you,” Roy said, “there’s a hell of a lot of brown people in South Texas — Hispanics — who are sick and tired of their state, their communities, their country getting overrun by cartels and by human beings that are being used by cartels for profit [and] that are endangering them and their families, as well as the migrants in question.”