February 3, 2022
By Brian Lonergan
During the Information Age there have been a handful of iconic moments that symbolized speaking truth to power and standing up to tyranny. They would include “Tank Man” in Tiananmen Square and German youth hitting the crumbling Berlin Wall with hammers. Such events were unscripted, went against government narratives and revealed a largely suppressed popular sentiment.
We may have had a similar moment in Laredo, Texas, recently, when a leaked video showed an exchange between Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz and his agents while Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas looked on. As Ortiz attempted to give a pep talk, agents bravely spoke out on the Biden Administration policies that have left them demoralized. Their audible comments said volumes about what the agenda of this White House has done to the agency and to our border security.
“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.”
“We can’t even say ‘illegal aliens.’”
“Under this administration we have the highest fentanyl deaths in the history of our country.”
Ortiz, for his part, is in a nearly impossible situation. He has to implement the administration’s radical anti-borders agenda while managing the increasingly frustrated rank-and-file agents. In the video, however, he came off as a clueless bureaucrat, ignorant to the reality his agents in the field are facing every day.
“You’re getting bogged down in the policies and the politics,” Ortiz chided the agents. How could they not? By instituting catch-and-release and seeking to end the Remain in Mexico policy, among other things, this administration has taken away the tools that enabled us to have the most secure border in modern history. When agents are told to stick to the mission as they are handcuffed by nonsensical policies, they have every right to be frustrated.
This is anything but a few disgruntled employees with an ax to grind. The reality they speak of is inescapable, despite the best efforts of the media and the White House to obscure it. In fiscal year 2021, more than 2 million migrants illegally crossed the southern border, an all-time record, and a nearly 315 percent increase from fiscal year 2020. A by-product of catch-and-release is that 85 percent of those released into the country evade deportation. While Ortiz claims his agency is making progress stopping illicit drugs, the country is awash in fentanyl as it is now the leading cause of death among Americans ages 18-45.
To compound the damage, the White House has been quick to betray immigration enforcement agents when they need support from leadership the most. There was no clearer example of this than when mounted agents were smeared by the media and anti-borders activists with the demonstrably false accusation that they whipped Haitian migrants with horse reins last September. Even the photographer who took the most widely seen photos admitted that there was no evidence supporting the accusations.
Given an opportunity to defend the agents who work for him, Biden instead shamelessly took the side of the activists. Before any investigation took place, Biden accused the agents of running over migrants with horses and strapping them. “Those people will pay,” Biden vowed of the agents. With much less fanfare, the DHS Office of the Inspector General declined to investigate the incident, presumably for lack of evidence. Neither Biden nor Mayorkas apologized for their betrayal and rush to judgment.
Given this complete abandonment, is it a surprise that agents who swore to defend our borders are increasingly speaking out, quitting the agency or ending their lives? These are people who have made incredible sacrifices to protect their country, only to have political extremists demonize them and render their dedication irrelevant.
The leaked video is even more significant because the voices of those agents are channeling the voice of the silent American majority. Polling from numerous sources show that Biden’s approval numbers on immigration are deeply underwater. Thanks to Big Tech censorship and media partisanship, those voices have largely been silenced. We citizens owe a debt of gratitude to the agents of the Border Patrol, not only for their daily commitment to their mission, but for speaking truth to power for us in the most direct way.
Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Also published at: Brian Lonergan, Border Agents Channel the Voice of the Silent Majority, American Greatness, February 3, 2022.
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