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OPINION

Video of Border Patrol Altercation with Leadership is Only Tip of Iceberg

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

A video showing an altercation between Border Patrol agents and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leadership in Laredo, Texas, is making rounds on social media. The interaction was seen as unprecedented, and the optics were disastrous for DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz. This video, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. Spats among frontline workers and Biden’s DHS leadership are a widespread, recurring pattern with no end in sight. 

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The latest video from Laredo reveals a major problem: The employees of the nation’s largest federal law enforcement agency do not have faith in its leaders. 

In the video, Border Patrol agents scold Chief Ortiz in front of Secretary Mayorkas, who was conducting a rare border trip. “You keep releasing criminal illegal aliens into the country,” agents yelled. Another agent shouted, “That’s the problem, chief…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."

Just days before this incident, similar interactions occurred across the country. In the Yuma Sector along California and Arizona, a Border Patrol agent turned his back to Secretary Mayorkas as agents griped about getting removed from the border to handle the processing of illegal aliens. In New York, leaked footage showed DHS contractors complaining about President Biden’s secret migrant night flights, and that they cannot discuss their work because of “who’s in office,” and that “if this gets out, the government is betraying the American people.”

Even previousDHS leaders—many of whom served for decades and under administrations of both political parties—cannot get on board with the Biden administration’s leadership. Former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tom Homan said the leadership appointed by the current administration has “abandoned the Border Patrol, while at the same time destroying morale as the national security crisis at the border rages on.” Former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Mark Morgan said that the Biden leadership has “vilified and scapegoated” agents at the border. Former DHS secretary Chad Wolf says the current officials lack “leadership and transparency.” 

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These actions and remarks from frontline employees and former leadership officials are warranted. President Biden’s DHS lacks transparency, fails to enforce the rule of law, and crafts unconscionable policies that jeopardize public safety.

The Biden administration cannot continue to delay or conceal important border and immigration data to the public. DHS continuously delays its monthly report on border encounters totals (most likely because they’re virtually always historically bad). It has yet to even release ICE’s annual report for Fiscal Year 2021—despite the fiscal year having ended on September 30, 2021.

DHS leadership is defying the rule of law, despite its role as a law enforcement agency. It is releasing hundreds of thousands of individuals who have entered our country unlawfully, and in many cases subsidizing their transportation and legal costs. It has issued guidance that limits who, where, and how those unlawfully present can be arrested and removed from the country. It has rendered the “Remain in Mexico” program virtually nonexistent despite receiving a federal court order to reimplement it in good faith.

These actions jeopardize public safety, and those on the frontlines know it.Criminal illegal aliens on terror watch-lists are entering the country. COVID-positive illegal aliens are being released without comprehensive vaccination, testing, or quarantine requirements. Border Patrol personnel are no longer patrolling the southern border for illicit drugs, criminals, and other threats. Instead, they’re serving as babysitters and processing hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens as quickly as possible.

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The video from Laredo underscores a schism between frontline workers who take their sworn duty to protect the country seriously and the Biden political appointees who are committed to eviscerating border and immigration enforcement. These confrontations between angry and disheartened law enforcement officers who serve on the frontlines and their political overlords demonstrate the depth of the crisis at the border and the untenable policies that are to blame. The administration may choose not listen, but they can no longer claim they have not been warned about the grave dangers of their policy.

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