Border Patrol chief bucks Biden effort to scrub 'alien,' 'illegal': 'Further erode public trust'


Rodney Scott, chief of the United States Border Patrol, pushed back against the Biden administration’s vocabulary changes related to immigration in a recent memo, citing contradictions with U.S. law and the impact such politically motivated changes would have on his officers.

What is the background?

The Biden administration last week ordered Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to abandon words like “alien,” “illegal,” and “assimilation” when talking about migrants or immigration.

Instead, officials were directed to use words like “noncitizen or migrant,” “undocumented,” and “integration.” CBP top official Troy Miller said the lexical changes are necessary to protect the dignity of immigrants. “The words we use matter and will serve to further confer that dignity to those in our custody,” Miller said.

What did Scott say?

Prior to the administration’s directive, Scott wrote Miller bucking the vocabulary changes, writing on April 16 that he would not “endorse” the changes.

Breitbart Texas first obtained Scott’s letter.

“Rationale: The U.S. 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,” Scott wrote.

“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,” he continued. “Mandating the use of terms which are inconsistent with law has the potential to further erode public trust in our government institutions.”

In fact, Scott said he worried politically motivated changes would impact the willingness of Border Patrol officers to serve sacrificially if they know the shifting political winds in Washington will micromanage them in the midst of a migrant crisis.

Scott wrote:

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