The Most Difficult Job in America


April 28, 2022

By Brian Lonergan

Is there a group of people today more scorned, slandered and unappreciated than the men and women who defend our borders? It is difficult to think of another profession that requires so much commitment and bravery, and at the same time is so misrepresented and vilified.

An argument could be made that our police forces have been treated similarly in recent years. After our nation’s brief experiment with slashing police budgets and the crime sprees that have come as a result, however, more Americans are now realizing that we cannot function as a society without law enforcement in our communities.

To date, no such epiphany has occurred when it comes to the enforcement of our immigration laws. This is the result of a years-long campaign by anti-borders activists to convince the American public that entry into the United States is the birthright of everyone on Earth, and those who stand in the way are the face of evil in the modern world.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has been one of the worst traffickers of this propaganda. With the wisdom and experience of a freshman sociology major at Oberlin, she said in a 2019 homemade video that “the United States is running concentration camps on our southern border.” Aside from the fact that her crude rhetoric is demonstrably false, it left the uninformed viewer with the inescapable conclusion that anyone who works in such a facility is the moral equivalent of an SS officer at Bergen-Belsen.      

This message is pushed by more than just ambitious young members of Congress. When still images surfaced last September of mounted border agents apprehending Haitian nationals trying to enter Texas illegally, the campaign kicked into overdrive.

Corporate media fanned the flames, giving megaphones to activists who compared the agents’ actions to those of plantation overseers beating runaway slaves. Joe Biden, in his signature reckless style, promised before any investigation took place that the agents in question “would pay” for allegedly “strapping” the migrants.

Much as we have discovered about local police, we need law enforcement at the border.

Despite all the sensationalism, a slow-walked investigation exonerated the agents in March. Neither Biden nor anyone in his administration apologized for their rush to judgment. The accused agents must have felt like Raymond Donovan, asking where they can go to get their reputations back.     

This top-down propaganda campaign is utterly at odds with the truth. Border-area detention facilities prior to the Biden administration—I have visited them—were well-maintained and gave those brought there likely the best medical care and housing they had ever seen. Border law enforcement personnel routinely save the lives of children and others who attempt the dangerous passage north.  

That heroism was on display recently, when Texas National Guard member Bishop Evans lost his life while attempting to rescue migrants who were drowning in the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass. While offering the obligatory condolences, White House press secretary Jen Psaki couldn’t resist splitting hairs, noting that Evans worked for the State of Texas, not the federal government.

In other words, the Biden White House bears no responsibility for Evans’ death. That is very much open for debate, as the exponential increase in border crossers since early 2021 is undeniably the result of Biden administration policies that have accelerated the border area’s descent into anarchy.

As a further insult to border agents, the administration is going full speed ahead with its plans to end Title 42, which immigration enforcement officials are predicting will result in even more caravans of migrants swarming the border. With the federal government actively undermining them, the agents’ last hope may be litigation brought by the attorney general of Texas, with the Immigration Reform Law Institute serving as outside counsel, to prevent the administration from ending operational control of the border.

Border agents are not concentration camp guards. They bear no racial animus toward migrants, in part because more than half of agents are Latino themselves. They took an oath to defend our nation, and along the way save lives every day. They do this for meager pay as activists, politicians and media punch down at them. Much as we have discovered about local police, we need law enforcement at the border. It’s time to treat them with the respect they deserve.  

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, The Most Difficult Job in AmericaAmerican Greatness, April 28, 2022. Photo credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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