A whistleblower alleges that Border Patrol agents have received official notice that they must receive COVID-19 vaccines by November 2021 or face termination. The Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding answers about the notification. It raises several key points.
First, the letter, which was signed by Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), notes that Border Patrol has encountered 1,263,295 illegal aliens crossing the border since January of 2021. The congressmen point out the historic difficulty of recruiting Border Patrol agents, citing remote and often dangerous working conditions. How dangerous? Here is what Jaeson Jones, the CEO of Omni Intelligence, told Tucker Carlson in March:
As a retired captain from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division, Jones has witnessed the cartels evolve from gangs to international terrorist organizations that use sophisticated weapons and tactics.
Jones said, “The cartels are not just a U.S.-Mexico problem, I think the way most people see them. They have gone through massive changes.” After providing a specific example of one cartel that functions in dozens of countries, Jones added, “This is a global problem. We have continued to do the same thing hoping for a different result. Building cases on these folks as they have evolved all over the world. And begin using military-grade weapons and tradecraft that we are seeing terrorist organizations around the world using.”
Border crossings have reached their highest point in 20 years. The crisis created by the administration’s lax border policies flashed across our screens in living color last week as an estimated 14,000 to 15,000 Haitian illegal immigrants congregated under the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas. When Mayorkas appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” we learned that DHS had released approximately 12,000 of them into the interior of the U.S.
Amid the crisis, President Biden eliminated the ability of agents to navigate the rough terrain along the border on horseback and vowed to “make them pay” after a picture emerged of an agent using long reins to control his horse with a migrant nearby. Vice President Kamala Harris echoed the overwrought media narrative that the picture appeared to show an agent whipping the migrant. The full video debunked this version of the event. But as the congressmen note, the administration has offered no apology to the agents.
Now, the administration will reportedly reduce the number of agents through a vaccine mandate. These agents have been encountering, transporting, and processing untested migrants for months. Many of them have been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19 during that time. Dr. Anthony Fauci told Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN that he had no firm answer to why recovered individuals need to receive COVID-19 vaccines in light of natural immunity studies. Still, the Biden mandate has no exceptions for demonstrated immunity or other medical conditions that might preclude an individual from taking the vaccination. Of course, there is no religious exemption.
National Border Control Council (NBCC) President Brandon Judd has said the Border Patrol agents deserve better and deserve an apology after the allegations of abusing migrants. A reported 90% of the workforce belongs to the union. A vaccine mandate is a term and condition of employment. The NBCC should immediately file a grievance indicating that the mandate is subject to collective bargaining on behalf of affected agents. The administration should at least relax the requirements to allow the recovered and those who cannot be vaccinated to work.
And the Biden administration should consider how the optics on the border contribute to negative polling. According to Rasmussen, of the 86% of likely voters who indicated they followed the news of the recent surge closely, 66% said that the Trump administration’s policy was better. Further, 82% Republicans, 33% of Democrats, and 60% of unaffiliated voters said the DHS made a bad decision to release the Haitian migrants into the United States. Reducing the effectiveness and morale of the Border Patrol through an unnecessary and authoritarian vaccine mandate will not improve these numbers.