Here is your job description:
You must patrol a rugged frontier where everything stings and bites. In 105-degree weather.
You must confront and interdict hundreds of desperate illegal aliens alone in remote brush and ensure that no dangerous people or drugs get in. But you must also treat them all with the utmost care.
You must confront the most violent and deadly terrorist groups in combat mode, but you can’t be in combat mode.
Your job is to protect Americans, but unofficially your job has become protecting those invading who are strategically sent here by rival groups beheading each other.
You must grope around in the dark through overgrown sugar cane at night with cartels monitoring your every move, where you can be ambushed at any moment without backup.
You are an American hero, right? Nope. You are called a Nazi and a concentration camp guard by the elite members of the political and media class.
You are a modern Border Patrol agent.
Sergio Tinoco had an impoverished childhood in south Texas, as his mother remained in Mexico, and he labored on a farm to support himself. He pulled himself up by the bootstraps, served in the military for 10 years, and then became a Border Patrol agent protecting the land in which he grew up in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). The last thing this son of Mexican immigrants expected was to be compared to a Nazi by America’s elites for serving his nation and protecting our dangerous border, but it’s more personal than just general criticisms leveled in the media.
“Our agents are just completely overwhelmed; they are exhausted,” said the exasperated Border Patrol supervisor on my podcast yesterday. “Not only are they exhausted out in the field, exhausted inside the stations processing, they are exhausted with all the rhetoric that’s coming down through the media and Congress. Our own congressional leaders are vilifying our agents. These are the people holding America’s front line. It hurts us all. The most evil statement ever made – that Border Patrol is running concentration camps – let me tell you, I have kids, all of us have kids, we are regular people. We’re regular Joes and Jameses. We have kids and spouses who also hear these comments. Our kids’ friends hear these comments. And they get bullied in school, they get bullied at the playground, they get bullied at parties. Our spouses have to hear it at their own workspaces. It’s just a sad scene for my wife to go into the work office and the very first question, instead of saying good morning, is it true that your husband is gassing these immigrants or killing these immigrants or raping them? I mean how do you even start your day off like that?”
Sergio, who patrols one of the hardest-hit regions, told me that the public has no clue how the emotional abuse from political leaders exacerbates their nearly impossible physical job.
“I’m supposed to come home at the end of my shift, a ten-hour shift mind you, of dealing with hundreds and hundreds of bodies every single day. I’m exhausted physically, I’m exhausted mentally, I’m exhausted emotionally. I want to come home and this is supposed to be my shelter, right? My fortress of solitude where I can relax and unwind? No, I can’t do that any more. Because now I have to come home and hear what my kids were told by their friends. … And now we have to correct that. So, at what point does the agent truly relax and unwind? Congress has truly taken that away from us and placed us in a very, very dark spot.”
And our agents now are not even able to perform their first job of protecting Americans. All border agents do now is care for these people as if they are the slaves of foreign nationals rather than protectors of the American citizen. They are falling on their swords for illegal aliens at the expense of protecting the American people, yet they still get accused of running concentration camps.
“Our agents are the most compassionate agents out there,” Tinoco said. “We give up our water, we give up our food. We care for these kids, we care for the moms. I mean, just place yourself in a room overcrowded with kids crying; moms and dads pleading, ‘I am hurting, I need to go to the doctor.’ ‘Yes, sir. Yes, ma’am,’” we say. “‘We’re about to take you to the hospital.’ Mind you, these are things that we are not designed for, but because of our compassion, our human nature, of course, we deal with it. … That’s part of the emotional exhaustion that we experienced daily, you know, and then to hear all these evil things being said about us, it just undermines our mission, it undermines the work we’re doing, it undermines the challenges that we face.”
One other border agent in the Rio Grande Valley who must remain anonymous because he’s not authorized to speak to the media told me that this is a broader problem with the culture in the RGV. “People from outside the area don’t realize that a lot of the culture among the power players and even among some of the people in south Texas are very favorable towards the cartels and illegal aliens. To paint a target on the backs of Border Patrol when they have families going to the schools in the region is unfathomable. Just a few weeks ago, my seven-year-old was cornered by a group of kids who were brainwashed against Border Patrol. They also give children of ICE and DEA agents a hard time.”
It would be one thing if Border Patrol officially just became babysitters and hospital transporters in a safe environment. But they face unimaginable danger in the field when they patrol. Not only are they in danger while dealing with the cartels and the criminal elements of the migrants, but even dealing with the family units is volatile.
Tinoco explained how he has been in situations where he is alone in a remote area and as many as 54 individuals show up. Even if they are just run-of-the-mill migrant families without any gang or criminal record (which are extremely common), Sergio painted a picture for my listeners of how nerve-racking such confrontations can be.
“These people lost everything. They either owe money to the cartel or they owe money to a coyote. God only knows what has happened to their daughters on the trip to the border. And now all of a sudden, they have just one man or woman in a green uniform and that is the last person they have to go through, in their minds, to reach freedom. That’s a very dangerous predicament for us to be in. They are pinned up against a wall and in the last moment of frustration, anything can happen.”
One man among 54.
“We go into any sort of area knowing in the back of our minds that sooner or later, our backup is going to arrive, hopefully sooner rather than later.”
Will the backup from the American people and their political leaders ever arrive?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.