Is Border Patrol working to sabotage Biden administration? Former agent claims 'they do this on purpose'
As the GOP continues its offensive against President Joe Biden's administration over brewing immigration trouble at the southern border in the belief that the Republicans could flip the House in the 2022 midterm crisis by playing up the crisis, insiders who have worked with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Border Patrol and other executive branch agencies believe that the Border Patrol labor union is teaming up with the Republicans.
Republicans accused Biden saying that his moves to reverse former President Donald Trump's hard immigration policies have encouraged migrants to come back to the US. However, Biden told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, March 16, that his administration was “sending back people” who crossed the border.
Earlier this week, House Republicans John Katko (R-NY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) suggested that the US-Mexico border is being exploited by terrorists due to Biden's policies and alleged that those on the terror watchlist from Iran, Turkey, and Yemen were being caught at the border. While Representative Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) said that border agents made no mention of terrorism suspects coming across the border, the Customs and Border Protection agency confirmed to Congress that four people arrested at the southern border since October 1 match names on FBI's Terrorist Screening Database, according to Axios.
However, insiders who worked with DHS, Border Patrol, and other executive branch agencies say that the allegations made by House Republicans and some of the problems arising at the border have the hallmarks of a "coordinated push by Border Patrol officers, including the leadership of the Border Patrol's pro-Trump labor union, to undermine the current administration," according to a report from The Independent.
Jenn Budd, a former Border Patrol agent who is now an immigrant rights activist working with the Southern Border Communities Coalition told the outlet, "This is a planned, coordinated attempt to sabotage the Biden administration." Budd added that the fact that unaccompanied minors are being kept at Border Patrol stations for extended periods of time appears to be "an internal crisis" created by the agency, saying, "It does not take that long to process children."
Budd recalled an episode in 2019 when she approached a border station and spoke to agents who knew she worked with Border Patrol, but were not yet aware of her current immigration activism and said, "I asked them why it was taking them so long to process — it didn’t take that long [even] when I had to hand-write everything back in the day — and they would say, ‘We’re trying to teach them a lesson.' So they were intentionally keeping people in there for over two weeks at a time in these conditions to punish them. That is the only reason why they were doing that.”
Budd added that the same people who were responsible for the harsh treatment of migrants while Trump was in office are still in charge, saying, "They do this on purpose. And none of that has changed, the management has not changed at all. But the same people who separated families and created the last crisis are doing it again.”
Budd also commented on the appearance of Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) at a joint press conference with Texas Governor Gregg Abbott, during which Abbott called out Biden's immigration policies. Budd suggested that the measure was a deliberate attempt to undermine the chain of command that runs from rank-and-file agents to the president.
Budd believes that even the best attempts to "house-clean" Customs and Border Protection by the current Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will not be sufficient as long as Border Patrol's union continues to exercise an effective veto over policy by "spreading propaganda" with Republican officials.