Photo Credit: US Border Patrol Del Rio Sector / Facebook
By Bethany Blankley [The Center Square contributor] –
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he would hire any Border Patrol agent fired by the Biden administration after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said agents would no longer be permitted to use horses to guard the border in Del Rio, Texas.
Criticism of mounted agents was widespread after a photograph showing agents using horse reins was misconstrued by members of the media and some politicians suggesting the agent was using the reins as a “whip.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last week said the agency would conduct an investigation into the use of the reins after President Joe Biden said the mounted agents “will pay” for how they handled the Haitians.
“There will be consequences,” Biden said.
But Getty photographer Paul Ratje, an eyewitness to horse patrol interaction with Haitians who took the photographs in question, told KTSM News, “I’ve never seen them whip anyone,” referring to the agents. “He was swinging it, but it can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture.”
Border Patrol Council Union Chief Brandon Judd told The Center Square that he personally went through the training the agents employed at the border.
“As anyone steps close to a horse, the rider is trained to twirl their reigns, they’re not whips, and these reigns will extend about two feet beyond their hands,” Judd said.
“They will twirl the reigns to keep people away from the horses. They will also use the horses as a deterrent to keeping people away from entering the United States illegally. So when taken into context and understanding the entire situation, [the agent’s behavior] was absolutely appropriate. That is the training the Biden administration is giving the horse patrol agents today.”
On Fox News Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott said the agents “wouldn’t have been in that situation had the Biden administration enforced immigration laws.”
And if President Joe Biden “takes any action against them whatsoever – I have worked side by side with those Border Patrol agents – I want them to know something,” Abbott said, “If they are [at] risk of losing their job by a president who is abandoning his duty to secure the border, you have a job in the state of Texas. I will hire you to help Texas secure our border.”
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Because the Biden administration isn’t enforcing immigration laws, the state of Texas has to do it.
“Del Rio was overrun by a population almost the same size as its own population,” Abbott said. The cumulative number of Haitians that have come through total 30,000 in a border town that has slightly more than that number of residents.
“As Governor, I’m going to step up and do whatever I have to do to protect the people of Del Rio as well as all of these other communities in the state of Texas that the Biden Administration is ignoring,” Abbott said. “The people in south Texas, they are angry,” he added, because “the Biden administration cares far more about people who are not in this country than he does about American citizens who live in this country.”
About the Author: Bethany Blankley is a writer at the Center Square, Patheos/Hedgerow, political analyst and former press secretary at Capitol Hill / NY / WDC. Follow Bethany on Twitter @BethanyBlankley.