President Biden’s Department of Homeland Security is now instructing border patrol agents to not arrest migrants traveling near walls, waterways and other barriers, according to a memo shared by a source within the agency.
The memo, which was disseminated by Tony Barker, the acting chief of the Border Patrol’s Law Enforcement Directorate, advised border patrol agents to take extra “precautions” when encountering migrants near barriers like rivers, canals, fences and walls.
While the memo allowed agents to “use deterrence measures,” such as instructing migrants not to cross or contacting others for assistance, the document told agents to not “attempt to apprehend or arrest anyone in a waterway, on the border fence, or any other dangerous barrier.”
The guidelines also forbid agents from guiding migrants “back into waterways” or removing migrants from the United States, even if they have crossed into the country.
According to the source of the memo, who first shared the document with Breitbart News, the DHS’ new policies will likely stop agents from performing any enforcement activities near the immediate border.
The source also explained that the instructions are a reaction to last September’s Haitian migrant crisis, in which thousands of Haitian migrants gathered in a camp outside Del Rio, Texas. At the time, many criticized border patrol agents’ handling of the situation, largely in response to a viral photo which appeared to show a horse-mounted agent whipping a migrant.
Since then, however, the photographer who took the picture has said that he didn’t witness any agent whipping a migrant, and that the agent in question was simply using his rein to control the horse. The involved agents were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in December 2021.
The dissemination of the new guidelines for border patrol agents comes as the U.S.-Mexico border sees record numbers of migrants trying to cross. According to a breakdown of Customs and Border Protection figures, 239,416 migrants were encountered at the border in May alone — the highest number ever recorded in a single month.
Shockingly, 15 of these migrants were individuals on the FBI’s terror watch list — a very “bad number,” according to Todd Bensman, a former official with the Texas Department of Public Safety.