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Texas Gov. Abbott Vows to Hire Horseback Border Patrol Agents If Biden Fires Them

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has pledged his state will hire any horseback-riding U.S. Border Patrol agents fired by the Department of Homeland Security after they were singled out by President Joe Biden and members of his administration for allegedly mistreating Haitian migrants.

Abbott, a Republican up for reelection next year, made his remarks during an interview with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, in which he responded to comments from DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Biden that an investigation had begun into agents falsely accused of “whipping” migrants with their horse’s reins.

“A number of people have been — Democrats especially — have expressed outrage over those Border Patrol officers on horseback who were at the border and seemed to be trying to block Haitians pretty aggressively from coming across the border. Here was President Biden on all of that this week,” Wallace said before playing a video clip that include Biden’s comments.

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The president said in the video clip, “It was horrible what you saw coming to see people treated like they did, horses running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous. I promise you. Those people will pay. They will be an investigation underway now, and there will be consequences.”

“It’s an embarrassment,” he added. “It’s beyond an embarrassment. It’s dangerous, it’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world. It sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are.”

“Governor, even if you think that those officers are being scapegoated, are you at all troubled by the images of these officers on horseback very aggressively pushing back on the Haitian immigrants coming across?” Wallace asked.

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For his part, Abbott noted that the border crisis is generally of Biden’s making in the first place after reversing nearly all of his predecessor’s border enforcement actions.

“They wouldn’t have been in that situation had the Biden administration enforce the immigration laws and secure the border in the first place,” Abbott said.

“As you know, of course, the person who took those pictures said that the characterization that the Democrats have made about the Border Patrol using them as whipping people coming across the border is false. They were simply maneuvering horses,” the GOP governor added.

“I will tell you is what the president said going after the Border Patrol who were risking their lives and working so hard to try to secure the border. If he takes any action against them whatsoever — I have worked side by side with those Border Patrol agents — I want them to know something,” Abbott continued.

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“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,” he said.

As for the investigation into the Border Patrol agents, a noted law professor and constitutional expert believes Biden may have unduly prejudiced the outcome.

“Presidents long resisted pressure to get them to comment on pending cases or investigations to avoid charges of undue influence or bias in the results. This is one such case,” Jonathan Turley of Georgetown Law School wrote.

“It was wrong for Biden to say what he did in promising punishment for agents before any investigation is complete. It sends a message to investigators about the expected conclusions of their work. It also suggests that a finding of no whipping or wrongdoing would contradict the President and would not be supported by the White House,” he added.

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“That could present serious career issues for investigators. It is unfair to the agents. It is unfair to the investigators and it undermines the integrity of the investigation,” he noted further.

“It seems to me that there are two separate issues here. The most discussed is whether migrants were in fact whipped or ‘strapped.’ Biden stated that they were indeed strapped, but many are now saying that that was not in fact true.

“The investigation will hopefully establish the truth, but now investigators may be concerns about embarrassing the President with any contrary finding,” the professor said.

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