Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blasted President Biden on Friday over what he called the federal government’s “despicable” treatment of US Border Patrol agents accused of using their horses’ reins to whip Haitian migrants — and said he’d be “honored” to have them work for the Lone Star State.
During a news conference at the Anzalduas International Bridge between the US and Mexico, Abbott defended the agents following a recent report that said the Department of Homeland Security was poised to discipline them over the infamous incident last year.
“It’s despicable that these Border Patrol agents — who were on those horses, who were using reins to control those horses — have been completely exonerated by all law enforcement agencies and yet the Biden administration, it still seems intent on punishing those Border Patrol officers,” he said.
“As governor, I’d be more than happy — I’d be honored to have those border patrol officers be a part of the Texas team to secure the border.”
Fox News reported Wednesday that DHS officials were preparing proposals to slap the agents, who’ve been cleared of criminal wrongdoing, with “administrative violations,” citing a federal source familiar with the matter.
Biden has vowed that the agents “will pay” after photos emerged showing them swinging their horse’s reins while trying to stop Haitian migrants from crossing the Rio Grande on Sept. 19 — even though one photographer who documented the incident said the images were “misconstrued.”
Brandon Judd, president of the Border Patrol agents’ union, told The Post on Thursday the proposed discipline “can range anywhere from a letter of reprimand to termination” but added, “I have heard that no terminations are coming.”
Abbott also lashed out at Biden over the recent revelation that 50 people on the terror watchlist have been caught crossing the southern border since October.
Abbott called the surging number of potential terrorists entering the country illegally “one of the most reprehensible things that the Biden administration is doing” but said he was even more concerned about “all of those on the terrorist watch list who got away.”
“If you’re on the terror watch list, you will be spending more money to the cartels to try to evade being caught,” he said.
“So what that means is there’s a high probability that there are a lot of people on the terror watch list who’ve been, who’ve come into the United States.”
Abbott added: “The president of the United States is failing in his most fundamental duty — and that is to keep our nation safe.”
The latest figures compiled by US Customs and Border Protection showed that 15 people on the terror watchlist were caught crossing the southern border in May.
That brought the number of potential terrorists nabbed during fiscal 2002, which runs from October 2021 through September, to 50 — more than the total 30 caught crossing both the southern and northern borders during the previous five fiscal years.
Abbott also said he was briefed before his appearance by leaders of the Texas National Guard and the state Department of Public Safety amid a monthlong effort to prepare for the arrival of migrant caravans headed for the border.
“Some evidence makes it seem as though the caravans are disbanding to some extent,” he said.
“Part of it is maybe because of a lack of resources, part of it may be because of weather, some of it may be because of other conditions.”
But Abbott warned that “even if the caravans are breaking up, it doesn’t mean that the people who were part of the caravans are not going to be trying to make it to the United States of America.”
“It’s just that they may be making it in ones and twos, as opposed to large caravans.”