A rational response, if Reuters has their finger on the pulse at Customs and Border Protection. What’s the point of sticking around, Border Patrol agents wonder, if Joe Biden’s intent on undoing all their work — and encouraging overwhelming migration to make that work even harder? They didn’t sign up to be the “US Welcome Patrol,” as one bitter joke circulating at the moment characterizes the Biden view of their agency:
Some U.S. border patrol agents are so frustrated with President Joe Biden’s more liberal border policies that they are considering early retirement, while other disgruntled colleagues are buying unofficial coins that say ‘U.S. Welcome Patrol.’
Interviews with a dozen current and former agents highlight growing dissatisfaction among some rank and file members of the agency over Biden’s swift reversal of some of former President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies. Since Biden took office, border apprehensions have risen sharply.
Some of that frustration is coalescing into opposition to Biden’s pick to lead the border patrol’s parent agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The nominee is Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, who still needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The discontent was partly reflected in an unusual memo from the acting Border Patrol chief last month, who objected to a new directive to stop using the term ‘alien’ when referring to migrants, saying it would hurt agents’ morale.
Border Patrol agents have a front-row seat at the circus Biden has created. It’s gotten so bad that the White House now wants to change the way the government reports on the situation, which the Washington Post reports as an effort to seek “new metrics”:
Nearly four months into President Biden’s term, and as his administration settles into a new normal of superlative border numbers, he and his top officials are looking to break with Trump’s measurement standards, even as immigration ranks as one of their worst-polling issues.
U.S. agents are making about 6,000 arrests and detentions along the Mexico border each day, a level of law enforcement intensity that has no recent precedent. Family groups and children needing care remain a major challenge for CBP, while growing numbers of adult migrants are trying to sneak past them and evade capture. Border state lawmakers from both parties fault the White House for doing too little.
Rather than attempting to drive down migration through more stringent enforcement, Biden officials in recent weeks have been seeking to change the perception that high border numbers equate to a crisis, a failure, or even something manifestly negative.
There is only one reason to change metrics in midstream, and it’s to spin reality. The Biden administration wants to avoid responsibility for having incentivized mass migration and creating the crisis on the border. Rather than deal with the consequences of their own rhetoric and actions by changing policy and restoring the previous disincentives, Biden and his team have busied themselves with orders to CBP to use more politically correct language and tinkered with measurements to cover up the scope of their failures.
The union representing Border Patrol agents isn’t fooled by these attempts at misdirection:
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the labor union that represents three-quarters of the roughly 20,000 border patrol agents, sharply criticized Biden in a news conference with Republican senators on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. The union endorsed Trump in the 2020 election and still supports his restrictionist policies.
“I can confidently say that President Biden owns this crisis,” Judd said, referring to the recent spike in border crossers. “It is his fault.”
Perhaps their support for “restrictionist policies” stems from the fact that they work. The border crisis didn’t erupt until Biden got elected, when migrants from Central America took his messaging as an invitation to cross the border. Biden’s been president for almost four months, and the crisis continues — even if the White House wants to change how it’s measured to avoid responsibility for it.
Under those circumstances, it’s not surprising that a significant number of Border Patrol officers are looking for the exits. The only surprise is that more of them aren’t doing so.