Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday that he’ll hire Border Patrol agents concerned about losing their jobs under the Biden administration, which is investigating their treatment of migrants along the Texas border.
The agents are under scrutiny after footage and images circulated last week showing them on horseback and charging at Haitian migrants. The Department of Homeland Security temporarily suspended the horse patrol unit in Del Rio, Texas.
Responding to the footage of the agents’ actions, President Joe Biden pledged Friday that “people will pay.”
But speaking on Fox News Sunday, Abbott defended the Border Patrol agents.
“They wouldn’t have been in that situation had the Biden administration enforced the immigration laws and secured the border in the first place,” Abbott stated.
He offered to hire agents whose jobs are under threat “to help Texas secure our border.”
“What the president said, going after the Border Patrol, who were risking their lives and working so hard to try to secure the border. If he takes any action against them whatsoever, I have worked side by side with those Border Patrol agents, I want them to know something,” Abbott said.
“If they are at risk of losing their job, at a president who is abandoning his duty to secure the border, you have a job in the state of Texas,” he added.
Abbott also mentioned comments made by a photographer who captured images of border agents on horseback that fueled claims that agents were using whips on the migrants. But the photographer said he never saw the agents whip anyone.
“They were simply maneuvering horses,” Abbott said of the agents.
“What he essentially did was act as judge, jury and executioner for these customs and Border Patrol agents on horseback,” Gabbard told Fox News.
“How can they expect to have a fair outcome to an investigation when the president of the United States has already declared their guilt and that they will be punished?” she added.
On CNN‘s State of the Union Sunday, host Jake Tapper asked the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, about comments he made saying images of the border agents “horrified” officials–as well as the president’s own statement from Friday.
“How can DHS claim to have an independent investigation into these Border Patrol agents when the president says ‘Those people will pay’ and you say the images horrified us?” Tapper asked.
“I think it’s quite clear that what the images suggest horrify the American public,” Mayorkas said.
“That is quite different than learning what actually happened, determining the facts, and the fact determinations will be made in an independent investigation by the Office for Professional Responsibility,” he added.
“And the facts that are adduced, the facts that are determined will drive the outcome, nothing less and nothing more.”
Newsweek has reached out to the White House for comment.
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