The dissension in the ranks of Customs and Border Patrol was shown in full view Friday in a leaked video from a meeting with Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in Laredo, Texas.
"You're getting bogged down in the policies and the politics," Chief Ortiz shouted at agents in front of Mayorkas, as they objected to the Biden administration's open border policies, with one saying, "you keep releasing criminal aliens into this country."
A video was rolling covering tense exchanges between the agents and their chief who was elevated into his role last June under Mayorkas and President Joe Biden.
"Why are you guys getting caught up in the semantics, right?" Ortiz shouted back as Mayorkas looked on. "There's a mission out there to be had guys.
"We can sit here and argue until we're blue in the face, all right. I've been doing this job as long as y'all."
"That's a problem," one replied.
Earlier this week, CBP agents turned their back on Mayorkas, forcing Mayorkas to tell them they might have turned their back on him, but he would never turn his back on them.
This exchange with Ortiz got even more heated, as Ortiz attempted to rally his agents under the "mission" and the "duty," but agents in attendance were unabashedly shouting back in a video shared on social media by independent immigration crisis reporter Ali Bradley.
"We don't give up," he said. "We stay focused. We continue to do the job and the mission that we signed up for. We all signed up for it. We all raised our hand."
One agent chimed in "to defend the Constitution, not the agency."
Another said "it's kind of hard to say that" the agents signed up for "releasing criminal aliens into this country."
"It's not hard to say it," Ortiz shot back with his voice raised. "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."
Another agent lamented the administration no longer permits the term "illegal aliens," a phrase that has been denounced by the Biden administration as insensitive.
"You just said it. See? Is anything going to happen to you?" Ortiz said.
Another agent chimed in, suggesting the agents are being told "to do nothing" to stop illegal migrants from entering the country.
"For evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing," the agent said.
"That's exactly what's happening here. Good men are doing nothing. You're allowing illegal aliens to be dropped off in our communities."
Ortiz suggested their mission is to save lives at the border, stressing, "you are doing something."
"No, sir, we're not," he agent shot back, as the agent and chief began to exchange political talking points on drug seizures and fentanyl deaths.
"Under a different administration in the last year, we've had higher fentanyl deaths in the history of this country," the agent said.
Ortiz responded claiming more fentanyl was seize in January than all of last year.
Ortiz noted the struggles of the agents, adding one of his friends from the agency had committed suicide this week, a funeral that coincided with Mayorkas' visit to the border agents to address "low morale," according to Ortiz on the video, in an extended version shared by Bradley on Facebook.
"As an organization, we need to do a better job of taking care of each other – no offense Mr. Secretary," Ortiz told the agents, turning to Mayorkas.
Former President Donald Trump is holding a rally in Conroe, Texas, on Saturday night, which will be aired live on Newsmax with the pre-show at 6 p.m. ET and a recap show at 10 p.m. ET.
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