Tensions rose again Friday between Border Patrol leadership and agents over President Biden’s policies on illegal immigration and protecting the U.S.-Mexico border,
Two days after leaked audio revealed a heated exchange between Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Border Patrol agents in the Yuma Sector of Arizona, the fresh footage shows Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz in Laredo, Texas, responding to agents accusing Biden administration leaders of hampering their ability to do their jobs and keep people safe.
“We don’t give up. We stay focused. We continue to do the job and the mission we all signed up for. We all raised our hand,” Ortiz said.
Among the group of agents in attendance, people could be heard getting restless, saying, “It’s kind of hard to say that,” with another retorting “to defend the Constitution.”
“It’s not hard to say that,” Ortiz fired back, raising his voice. “It may be hard for you to say it, but I’ve been doing this for 31 years. It’s not hard for me to say it. Every day, I wake up, and I’m committed to this organization, and I’m committed to each one of y’all,” he continued, talking over someone in the crowd.
The crowd shot back with claims that the policies don’t match the rhetoric. One appeared to complain about the release of criminals into the country.
Ortiz said the agents were getting too focused on the policies and politics of the administration rather than the mission of getting drugs and criminals out of the country.
“You’re getting bogged down in the policies and the politics,” an increasingly frustrated Ortiz said.
One person claimed they can’t even say “illegal aliens,” to which Ortiz spat back that he “just said it. See? Is anything going to happen to you?”
“Why are you so caught up in the semantics, right? There’s a mission out there to be had guys,” Ortiz continued. “We can sit here and argue until we’re blue in the face. I’ve been doing this job as long as y’all.”
“That’s a problem,” one of the crowd said.
“For evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. That’s exactly what’s happening here,” the person added. “Good men are doing nothing. You’re allowing illegal aliens to be dropped off in our communities.”
Ortiz insisted that the agents are still doing good work every day by making arrests and getting rid of drugs such as fentanyl and methamphetamine. One of the crowd rebuffed Ortiz, saying “under this administration” over the past year, there was the “highest [number of] fentanyl deaths in the history of our country.”
A final heated moment in the nearly four-minute video, in which someone lamented a “lack of results,” was quickly defused when another shouted a question that led to a wave of laughter and applause in the room.