People online are furious after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott offered employment to Border Patrol agents at risk of losing their jobs for their involvement in the mistreatment of roughly 14,000 migrants most of whom are Haitian.
Photos and videos published by The El Paso Times began making their way around social media which depicted agents on horseback charging at Black migrants with rope as they crossed the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, into Del Rio, Texas, at the height of the influx this month.
The images sparked outrage, while President Joe Biden described the scene as “horrible” during a recent press conference. “To see people like they did, with horses, running them over, people being strapped, it’s outrageous,” he added.
But Abbott didn’t appear to be as upset over the situation as many other politicians were, like Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, who said she was “unhappy with the administration” and even compared it to the previous and often controversial Trump administration.
Instead, during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace, Abbott downplayed the severity of the mistreatment of the migrants. The governor also claimed the agents were “simply maneuvering horses,” and that Biden was “ignoring” the situation before offering those facing termination “a job in the state of Texas.” He added, “I will hire you to help Texas secure our border.”
Abbott doubled down on his proposal later on Twitter. “If Biden fires the Border Patrol Officers who were securing the border on horseback, Texas will offer them a job. They can bring their horses too,” he wrote on Sunday, Sept. 26. “We will put them on the front line to do Biden’s job to secure the border.”
The backlash ensued almost immediately. “Can’t find money to help everyday Texans with Medicaid expansion, but miraculously finds dollars for his faux wall, voting audits, etc,” wrote one critic. “Then again, ‘politics over people’ has been a constant in the GQP.”
Another person commented, “Because human compassion and general decency is a Foreign idea in Texas.”
Other people responded to Abbott’s post by suggesting several other tasks he could be tending to instead of offering jobs to people who might be deemed unfit to continue as Border Patrol agents.
“Why don’t you work on fixing your state’s foster care system and energy grid instead of playing politics with immigrant’s lives?” a third wrote.
“You won’t,” said a fourth person flat-out. “How is your promise to build the wall going?”
The number of migrants at the border has since reduced, with many put on flights back to a troubled country, while thousands more have been released into the U.S. while awaiting asylum hearings.