Julio has been doing outstanding work in his border crisis coverage, accessing recordings that underscore how upset border enforcement officials are with their political superiors. What Julio covered wasn't an isolated incident, either. Anger is high and morale is low, and those phenomena are manifesting themselves elsewhere, too. Here's another similar encounter, in which rank-and-file agents clearly aren't buying leadership's talking points:
NEW: Tense exchange between @CBP agents & @USBPChief today in Laredo—Chief Ortiz says they signed up for this job. Agent says, “For evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing… Good men are doing nothing. You’re allowing illegal aliens to be dropped off in communities…” pic.twitter.com/hITyachCIH— Ali Bradley (@AliBradleyTV) January 29, 2022
What is driving this discontentment? Listen to this interview with Fox's Bill Melugin, who has documented US officials facilitating travel into the US interior for untold scores of single male illegal immigrants, some with criminal records. They're put in taxis and buses, dropped off at airports, and permitted to travel to American cities of their choosing. Again, these are not children or (real and alleged) family units. These are single male illegal immigrants. It's breathtaking:
We’ve been coming down here for about these last eight months, and this is the first time that we have started seeing the mass release of single adult male illegal immigrants from federal custody. We’ve all seen before the women, the children, the family units being released. But this has been the first week where we have seen only grown adult men with no families, no kids just being mass released by ICE. We went down to Brownsville and we started seeing dozens of men dropped off by ice busses at a time at a random parking garage in the city of Brownsville. They get taken behind this black tarp that is set up to block public view. Then they go across the street to an NGO. The NGO helps get their travel documents in order that had taxicabs called for them. They go to the airport to fly to wherever they want across the country. Others are walked to the bus terminal, and we watched this for two or three days in a row. Busload after busload after busload.
Please listen to the full interview. It's shocking, even if the context of this long-term crisis. He's not just asserting that he's seeing these things. He's been documenting them:
NEW: We were on scene as ICE mass released another a large group of single adult male migrants at San Antonio airport this morning. A NGO escorted the men inside. It aired live on @FoxNews— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) January 27, 2022
People at the airport told us they’ve seen these mass ICE releases happening for months. pic.twitter.com/q4NtbbkIfs
In Brownsville, TX today, we once again witnessed repeated mass releases of single adult male illegal immigrants by ICE. We’ve now seen hundreds of men released from fed custody here in the last 24 hours.— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) January 27, 2022
Now, ICE is responding.
Our report tonight for @SpecialReport. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/UkpTgW08yi
As of our interview, Melugin said Fox's inquiries about his practice had been met with total silence by CBP and DHS. They appeared to attempt to justify what's happening over the weekend:
JUST IN: @CBP statement on ICE release of single adults, “@DHSgov continues to expel migrants under @CDCgov Title 42 authority. Those who cannot be expelled under Title 42 and do not have a legal basis to remain are placed in expedited or full removal proceedings…” 1/2 pic.twitter.com/iJ3BIAj16t— Ali Bradley (@AliBradleyTV) January 28, 2022
But as Melugin points out in our conversation, here's the problem with that spin:
NEW: Just 59% of single adult migrants encountered by Border Patrol agents in December were expelled via Title 42 public health protections -- attributable at least in part to an increase in migrants from countries that are not "Title 42-able."https://t.co/1bWbshdMDG— Adam Shaw (@AdamShawNY) January 28, 2022
Meanwhile, remember the Border Patrol "whipping" controversy, which was the last time the national media deigned to cover the border crisis in earnest. Federal agents were smeared by President Biden, who said they'd be made to pay for their invented abuses. The DHS Secretary promised a full and speedy investigation. That was months ago. What's the status on that probe, which was likely to confirm that the president and others had defamed the law enforcement agents?
The status of the promised investigation into horse-mounted Border Patrol agents accused by President Joe Biden of whipping migrants remains unknown more than four months later, and a report may never be released, Department of Homeland Security officials told the Washington Examiner. The administration promised a quick review of the incident, but the lack of a conclusion vindicating or convicting mounted Border Patrol agents in Del Rio, Texas, for their behavior in preventing Haitian migrants from illegally crossing into the United States in September has prompted suspicion among DHS officials, who said the report should have been concluded by now regardless of the outcome...“I doubt that the current administration will release this report on the horse patrol incident because it makes the administration look terrible,” the first DHS official said in a phone interview. “They essentially convicted the mounted agents based upon a lie, which the investigation after 120 days would surely have revealed." "My experience would be that this would have been done within a period of weeks," the official said, adding that no agent had been disciplined to date.
Sec. Mayorkas vowed to get to the bottom of the "whipping" matter in "a matter of days, not weeks." Then crickets, for months. It would be egregious and unacceptable for the administration to attack the agents in question, lie about what they did, promise an investigation, then refuse to put one out because it vindicates the officers and indicts the president's reckless words. Will the journalists who pronounced themselves horrified by what happened demand answers? Or are they only interested if the story fits their preferred partisan narrative? I'll leave you with this apparent development, which many journalists will not be eager to highlight or report:
NEW: Five Syrian men were arrested by Rio Grande Valley sector Border Patrol agents after they crossed illegally into Hidalgo, TX on Thursday, a DHS source tells me. @FoxNews— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) January 29, 2022