The Biden White House has created so many disasters, emergencies and crises in less than two years, the American public can be forgiven for not remembering ones that happened just a few months ago. Lost in this whirlwind are the brave members of immigration law enforcement who have had their lives and careers turned upside down in the chaos.
In September 2021, photos emerged of Border Patrol agents holding onto their reins in front of Haitian migrants during a surge at the border. Anti-borders activists immediately seized upon the photos and used them to dishonestly accuse the agents of whipping the migrants.
After Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas initially defended the agents, he quickly changed course and joined the rest of the administration’s baseless assault on the integrity of the agents, claiming that the incident was part of America’s legacy of “systemic racism” and promising a swift investigation. Perhaps the most egregious slander came from Joe Biden himself, who vowed swift punishment for the agents.
“It’s outrageous. I promise you those people will pay. There will be an investigation underway now, and there will be consequences. There will be consequences,” Biden said at the time.
Half a year later, the incident has largely been memory-holed, and the White House has been mum about the swift investigation they promised. However, those victimized by the Biden Administration’s smear campaign have not forgotten.
“6 months later … crickets. Step up and explain why some of these innocent agents are still on desk duty @POTUS,” the National Border Patrol Union said in a recent tweet directed at Biden. “So eager to pander, so slow to admit your screw-ups.”
Border Patrol Union President Brandon Judd said last month that he believes that DHS is intentionally slow-walking the investigation to help Biden politically.
“I believe that they’re trying to drag this out and get the American public to forget about it because ultimately they’re going to have to come back and say [the agents] did nothing wrong, or they’re going to have to make some charges up and try to fit some charges under policy,” Judd said.
The Biden administration has reneged on its promise to carry out a swift investigation, because there’s nothing to investigate. The agents at the border that day were simply doing their job. The photographer who took the photos stated that he did not see the agents whip anyone, and that his photos had been misconstrued.
In November 2021, the DHS inspector general decided not to conduct an investigation into the incident, likely due to a complete lack of evidence of any wrongdoing. Still, the agents in question have been substantially punished, and have had their careers upended by baseless smears emanating from the highest levels of power.
While the Border Patrol agents are in the clear as far as any criminal investigation is concerned, they still may lose their jobs, according to a recent report from The New York Post. The internal investigation is now in the hands of the Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Personal Responsibility (OPR), and the agents could face termination if OPR finds any wrongdoing. The agents have been prohibited from doing their jobs and relegated to desk duty for over six months now.
That these dedicated law enforcement professionals are still being subjected to punitive measures over this sham is abhorrent. One can’t help but wonder if the Biden administration is making an example out of these agents in order to intimidate others in the agency from doing their job. If this administration has a shred of decency left, they should immediately reinstate these agents to their posts.
It’s likely that the Biden administration smeared these agents in an attempt to create a moral panic that would distract from their failed immigration policies. That strategy didn’t work, but innocent Border Patrol agents continue to pay a steep price. The American people must not forget the disgraceful and baseless smear campaign that this administration waged against some of America’s most patriotic public servants.
William J. Davis is a communications associate for 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.