Bill Melugin is no stranger to border issues. He’s been covering the U.S.-Mexico border, federal border policy and border-related D.C. politics in-depth for Fox News, and he knows the people and the principles involved.
So when the Los Angeles-based national correspondent says he has an “observation” to make about recent events on and around America’s southern border, smart people pay attention.
Which, of course, is what he did in a tweet yesterday evening about President Joe Biden’s inattention to the border and the men and women who protect it.
“An observation on sinking Border Patrol morale,” he wrote on Twitter. “One day after President says the border isn’t important enough to visit, a BP agent dies in line of duty. I have not seen any reaction from the White House re: his death.”
Yeah, that would probably do it. But Melugin wasn’t done.
“WH also never apologized for pushing false ‘whip’ claims,” he wrote.
An observation on sinking Border Patrol morale.
One day after President says the border isn’t important enough to visit, a BP agent dies in line of duty.
I have not seen any reaction from the White House re: his death.
WH also never apologized for pushing false “whip” claims.
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 8, 2022
On Tuesday, during a visit to north Phoenix to “highlight Arizona’s high-tech manufacturing industry,” President Joe Biden was asked why he hadn’t visited the U.S.-Mexico border since he was within a couple hundred miles of it.
“There’s more important things going on,” Biden replied, according to KNXV-TV. “They’re going to invest billions of dollars into new enterprise.”
Biden was eviscerated for that response all over social media, but perhaps nowhere more pointedly than on the account of the union representing the men and women who work day and night to secure that border and defend American interests, territorial integrity and even lives.
Visiting an ice cream shop: Very important
Visiting our border, where illegal immigration, deaths, escapes and fentanyl smuggling set new records non-stop with thousands dying as a result: Not important
— Border Patrol Union – NBPC (@BPUnion) December 6, 2022
The following day, a Border Patrol agent was killed in an ATV accident, marking the second line-of-duty death for Customs and Border Protection in three weeks, the agency confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The death of an Agent who died while securing our nation’s border is a tremendous loss for our organization and our nation, our prayers are with his family and co-workers during this difficult time,” CBP said.
“The White House, however, did not release a statement acknowledging the Border Patrol agent’s untimely death, nor did White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre address the incident at Wednesday’s press briefing,” TheBlaze reported Thursday.
As for the whipping, readers of The Western Journal will recall that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was informed that the photographer who took pictures of horseback Border Patrol agents in 2021 said long ago that he and his colleagues didn’t see any migrants being whipped, according to emails obtained by The Heritage Foundation.
The incident, which occurred on Sept. 19 when thousands of Haitian migrants crossed the border illegally into Del Rio, Texas, overwhelmed Border Patrol agents on the ground.
The images that circulated of the incident showed the horseback Border Patrol agents, who have since been cleared of the whipping accusations, trying to address the situation, using the reins of the horses to push the migrants back; many commentators claimed the agents were “whipping” the migrants.
A DHS colleague sent an email to Mayorkas including a news interview with the photographer who captured the incident and said he didn’t see Border Patrol agents whip anyone, according to Fox News, which first reported the Sept. 24, 2021, emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request.
“The photographer behind the images depicting Border Patrol agents on horseback told KTSM things are not exactly what they seem when it comes to the photos,” read the news story, sent to Mayorkas by the assistant secretary of DHS public affairs Marsha Espinosa, according to Fox News.
“The photos caused outrage because from certain angles, it appears to show Border Patrol whipping migrants, but photographer Paul Ratje said he and his colleagues never saw agents whipping anyone,” the news story continued.
For Mayorkas, the images reminded him of “systemic racism,” he said at a White House news conference just hours after receiving the email, according to Fox News. Mayorkas also responded to the photographer’s statements, saying the situation “horrified the nation.”
“The horses have long reins, and the image in the photograph that we all saw, and that horrified the nation, raised serious questions about what … occurred and as I stated quite clearly, it conjured up images of what has occurred in the past,” Mayorkas said at the time, according to Fox News.
“There’s also a question of how one uses the horse and how one interacts with individuals with the horse,” he said, according to Fox News. “And so I’m going to let the investigation run its course.”
Several Democratic politicians accused the agents of “whipping” some of the migrants. The White House also condemned the agents on multiple occasions.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said that the Biden administration’s knowledge of the photographer’s account and their statements that followed “proves” they “don’t care about the truth,” he told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“They certainly don’t want the American public to know the truth,” Judd said. “They specifically withheld facts from the American people so that the narrative would go forward.”
“They knew that it wouldn’t matter that the truth was going to come out later,” he added. “Because they know that the media is not going to cover it. So they went forward with a completely bogus story, misrepresenting facts and misleading the American public. That should not be tolerated from the president of the United States.”
And it isn’t, except by Democrats. Which, of course, includes most of the establishment media that Americans still too often foolishly rely on for the truth.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.