The chief of the US Border Patrol is bucking a recent order of Democratic President Joe Biden to soften the legal terms to refer to illegal crossers to the country warning against politicizing the agency and saying that doing so would impact the morale of those in charge of protecting America’s borders.
Rodney Scott, made the comment in response to the memo reportedly sent by the Biden administration to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — instructing them to drop the use of terms like “illegal alien,” and “assimilation” when referring to immigrants seeking to enter the country.
Scott sent a memo to Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Troy Miller, saying that he cannot endorse Biden’s new order against the use of some illegal immigration terms which are part of US federal statutes.
The chief of the US Border Patrol reportedly said that he cannot comply with the proposed changes and that the new Democratic administration should first pass its proposed “US Citizenship Act of 2021” before they could alter the terminologies used when referring to illegal aliens.
The April 19 memo on “Updated Terminology for CBP Communications and Materials” established an “updated language” aligned with the communication practices of the Biden Administration regarding immigration terminology — which changed terms like alien to noncitizen or migrant; alienage to non-citizenship; unaccompanied alien children to noncitizen unaccompanied children; undocumented alien to undocumented noncitizen or undocumented individual migrant; illegal alien to undocumented noncitizen or undocumented individual migrant.
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The Biden admin has ordered U.S. immigration enforcement agencies to stop using terms such as ‘alien,’ ‘illegal alien’ and ‘assimilation’ when referring to immigrants in the United States, a rebuke of terms widely used under the Trump admin. https://t.co/1q9UXgYjTY
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 19, 2021
It also sought to replace the term assimilation to integration or civic integration; and the term immigrant assimilation to immigrant integration.
“The Administration has provided guidance on the preferred use of immigration terminology within the federal government. The Administration’s view is also reflected in the US Citizenship Act of 2021, which President Biden sent to Congress on January 20, 2021,” the memo sent out by the Biden administration read.
Border Patrol chief responds
In response to the new guidelines set out, Scott wrote: “This memorandum serves as my official nonconcurrence to the proposed updated terminology for US Customs and Border Protection communications and materials. I will not undermine this effort; however, I cannot endorse it.”
He maintained that the US Border Patrol should remain an “apolitical” federal agency — thus, the Democratic administration has to make changes to the law first.
“The US Border Patrol (USBP) is and must remain an apolitical federal law enforcement agency. Over the years, many outside forces on both extremes of the political spectrum have intentionally, or unintentionally politicized our agency and our mission. Despite every attempt by USBP leadership to ensure that all official messaging remained consistent with law, fact, and evidence, there is no doubt that the reputation of the USBP has suffered because of the many outside voices,” Scott said.
“Mandating the use of terms which are inconsistent with law has the potential to further erode public trust in our government institutions,” he added.
Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector chief @USBPChiefTCA is breaking w the chief of the Border Patrol Rodney Scott’s insistence that agency be allowed to use term “illegal alien” to describe undocumented migrants. Scott’s demands were 1st reported by Breitbart https://t.co/HeRGfPOWJr https://t.co/TNzpt53SU4
— Michel Marizco (@BorderReporter) April 28, 2021
The USBP chief also lamented how the softening of stance against illegal immigration could adversely impact those guarding the country’s borders.
“I am also concerned about the morale of our workforce. To be clear, when I reference morale, I am not referring to an employee’s happiness. I am referring to an individual’s willingness to take personal risk each day to keep others safe. There are countless human capital studies which indicate that mission criticality and support from leadership affect the willingness of personnel to comply with policy and professional standards,” Scott added.
“I respectfully recommend that we delay these changes until the US Citizenship Act of 2021 is enacted and then adjust appropriately.”
Despite Scott’s objection, Breitbart News reported that the policy was “ultimately put in place and remains in effect.”
It said the language, however, will not impact official reports and legal documents that must contain the terms codified in the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Meanwhile, the remarks of the Border Patrol chief came as the spiraling crisis at the US’ southern border continues to be an eyesore for the Biden administration with Americans giving the Democratic chief executive failing marks for his handling of the border crisis.
A new poll revealed that the majority of Americans disapprove of how President Joe Biden and his administration are handling the crisis at the southern border. According to a new Quinnipiac … https://t.co/9OzQyV0J3L
— Conservative News Daily (@ConservNewsDly) April 15, 2021
The immigration issue — which had border officials reporting historic number of illegal crossers — also continued to drag Biden’s approval rating, with a recent poll finding him with the third lowest approval rating at the 100 day mark in his presidency, despite a relatively positive news coverage from the mainstream media compared to his predecessor, President Trump.
Only one-third of Americans also approve of his handling of his border crisis.
Biden has long criticized the tighter border measures of his predecessor, former President Donald Trump — which was earlier able to tide the number of crossers in the country’s southern border.
As part of his very first policy actions as US President, Biden reversed Trump’s immigration policies and implemented more lax border rules as he signaled that he wants the refugee and asylum systems “back to a more humane and orderly process.”
As the Biden administration continues to downplay the border situation — estimates said law enforcement officers along the US-Mexico border could be apprehending between 500,000 and 800,000 illegals per month as well as record-breaking numbers in terms of unaccompanied minors entering the country.