Abbott encourages Border Patrol agents despite president ‘disrespecting’ their service | Texas

(The Center Square) – Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday night thanked U.S. Border Patrol agents for their service and encouraged them despite the president “disrespecting” them, he said.

Abbott thanked them “for the magnitude and danger of their service” to secure the border at a National Border Patrol Council event in Houston.

He said he was “speaking for millions of Texans who I hear from all the time who are so grateful for what you do on a daily basis, on the front lines, protecting and securing our border … in an area the president treats like some frontier outpost completely ignoring the growing dangers that are surfacing on a daily basis.”

And they’re doing their jobs “in the face of a president who’s being pitiful in his approach to enforcing the immigration laws that are already on the books,” Abbott said. Worse still, he added, was “how bad he [the president] disrespects you and your service. Look at the way he treats you. Look at the way he almost dismisses you, disregards you.”

Abbott referred to BP agents on horseback being accused by the president and White House officials of whipping Haitians who’d illegally entered the U.S. in Del Rio, Texas, in September 2021, when they were using horse reigns to steer the horses away from trampling on them as they tried to evade capture. “Every entity that had a responsibility to clear them did clear them,” Abbott said. However, “as of today, President Biden still has not said that these border patrol agents did nothing wrong.

“That is disgusting. It’s disgusting they would even be accused of doing anything wrong,” he added. “But if you accuse somebody of something wrongfully you should apologize and say, ‘I was wrong. You’re cleared.’ That’s what the president of the United States thinks about the men and women who serve this country on the border.”

He also said, “I want you to know that regardless of what state you’re from you’re in a state that appreciates you and what you do. As long as you’re in Texas you have a governor who has your back.”

His remarks were interrupted by a standing ovation.

The governor also addressed the violence of cartels and fentanyl pouring through the border. He said if the president “wanted to save lives, he’d stop the fentanyl from coming across the border in the first place. And he would do that by more strongly empowering our border patrol agents and provide more border patrol agents to do their jobs.”

With at least 1.6 million apprehensions and gotaways reported this fiscal year, Abbott said Biden was failing to protect Americans from those coming from “extraordinarily dangerous countries.”

Referring to the nearly 300 known terrorists apprehended this fiscal year, he said, “Those are the ones that were caught. If you’re on the terrorist watch list you’re paying a whole lot more money to not be caught,” meaning the threat is far greater because known terrorists have likely illegally entered who haven’t been caught.

“Who do we have in our country from these terrorist-based countries and what are their intentions and what are they doing?” he asked. “No one knows,” and the president “is doing nothing about it,” he said. “There needs to be a sense of urgency to stop the danger that’s being posed to our country.”

He also addressed the fact that Border Patrol agents weren’t being given the resources they needed to do their jobs and were “being forced to do a job you should not have to be doing because the laws are not being enforced,” referring to processing and releasing illegal foreign nationals into the country.

He added that Texas would continue to work with them and “shoulder the responsibility … with you.”

He also gave them a word of encouragement knowing many agents are demoralized by Biden administration policies and a record number committed suicide last year.

He shared his experience of becoming paralyzed when he was 26 years old. A massive oak tree fell on him when he was jogging and crushed his spine. He’d never walk again.

“Somebody in a situation like that could feel helpless, angry, give up, quit, stay in bed, depend upon the government,” he said. “That is a complete alteration of a person’s life. But I decided I will not let this challenge define who I am. Instead I will use my life in a way that I will respond to this challenge.”

“We are defined by how we respond to challenges,” he added, noting that he’d go on to become the longest serving attorney general, and later, the governor of Texas.

Americans face enormous challenges to securing the border, he said. “We could give up. We could quit. We could do nothing about it. We could rely on another government to do something about it. We could feel helpless, or we could refuse to allow the United States of America to be defined by the challenges we face at the border.”

He encouraged BP agents and Americans to “define the future of America by the way we respond to that challenge.” He also thanked them for “embracing that challenge” and for “stepping up into the breach and helping America respond the way that Americans do,” adding they represent the “very best of America.”

This article First appeared in the center square

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