A new Border Patrol enforcement policy has been released to agents warning them not to enforce immigration laws or try to arrest migrants near waterways, walls, canals or other barriers. According to a CBP source, the policy likely heralds pending administrative disciplinary charges against members of the agency’s Horse Patrol Unit, brought forward during the Haitian migration crisis in Del Rio.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, says the document also warns against repatriating migrants without due process, encouraging them to return to Mexico. The memo from Tony L. Barker, acting head of the Border Patrol Directorate of Law Enforcement, was released on Friday.
Specifically, the document advises agents to follow the instructions given when apprehending migrants in or near the immediate border area:
When encountering individuals in hazardous environments, Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) must take extra law enforcement safety precautions. Whatever the situation encountered, such as a river, canal or other watercourse; border fence, wall or other barriers keep the following general guidelines in mind:
If individuals are “parking” along the United States’ international border, BPAs may use deterrent measures, give instructions not to cross, and/or contact foreign government partners for assistance.
For everyone’s safety, BPAs are advised not to attempt to apprehend or arrest anyone in a waterway, border fence, or any other dangerous barrier. Arrests should be made in an area where it is safe, such as when the migrant arrives on land or climbs down from the fence.
BPAs will not forcefully guide the individual(s) back into waterways or other unsafe environments.
BPAs will not forcibly remove anyone from the United States at the border. Migrants must be inspected and processed for appropriate dispositions.
A presentation intended to educate Border Patrol officers about the new enforcement policy accompanied the memo. The source says the document will likely encourage agents to refrain from any enforcement activities near the immediate border.
The source says the sudden release of the new instructions is likely a harbinger of administrative disciplinary charges for mounted agents involved in the Haitian migration crisis in Del Rio last fall. In all likelihood, the Horse Patrol agents in question will be accused of endangering the migrants near the river, claiming they were trying to force them to return without due process, the source explained to Breitbart Texas.
Four Border Patrol agents from the Horse Patrol Unit have been assigned to administrative duties since allegations were filed against them by DHS Secretary Mayorkas. The allegations stem from a highly publicized incident on Sept. Videos and photographs taken by freelance journalist Paul Ratje were widely circulated and sparked initial allegations that agents were “whipping” the migrants.
Closer examination led many to admit that the footage showed Border Patrol agents using long reins to control the horses. The photographer who captured the incident also denied witnessing the agents taking any action to whip the migrants.
In December 2021, the agents were cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the US Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as Division Chief of Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations in Sector Del Rio, Texas. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.