Border Patrol agents on horseback were invited to ride in the inaugural parade for President-elect Donald J. Trump. The agents are from the U.S. Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector’s (RGV) Horse Patrol team.
While this is not the first time for Border Patrol mounted agents to ride in an inaugural parade, it is the first time horses and agents from the RGV Sector have been selected to receive the honor. Eight members of the RGV Horse Patrol will be riding in the parade, information obtained by Breitbart Texas from Border Patrol officials stated.
“The inauguration in Washington, D.C. is a hallmark event and we are proud to represent the US Border Patrol in this fashion with distinguished agents whose presence will surely enhance the festivities,” RGV Sector Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla, Jr. said in a written statement. The sector chief is slated to attend as well.
The move could be particularly meaningful for the agents selected to ride in honor of the new 45th President of the United States. It was about 10 months earlier that the 18,000 agents of the U.S. Border Patrol, through the National Border Patrol Council, gave their first-ever presidential endorsement to then-candidate Trump, Breitbart Texas reported.
“Mr. Trump will take on special interest and embrace the ideas of rank-and-file Border Patrol agents rather than listening to the management yes-men who say whatever they are programmed to say,” NBPC President Brandon Judd wrote in a statement released in March 2016. “This is a refreshing change that we have not seen before–and may never see again.”
Throughout the campaign, Mr. Trump met with the men and women who walk the line defending the borders of the United States.
“There is no greater physical or economic threat to Americans today than our open border,” Judd concluded in his statement. “And there is no greater political threat than the control of Washington by special interests. In view of these threats, the National Border Patrol Council endorses Donald J. Trump for President–and asks the American people to support Mr. Trump in his mission to finally secure the border of the United States of America, before it is too late.”
The endorsement helped solidify the candidate’s authority on border issues making security a top-level priority in the campaign. Two days after his election, the President-elect reiterated his pledge to keep this as a priority issue.
“A lot of really great priorities. People will be very, very happy. Well, we have a lot. We’re looking very strongly at immigration. We’re going to look at the borders, very importantly, we’re looking very strongly at healthcare and we’re looking at jobs,” Trump told reporters after meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).
The mounted patrol agents are not just for show. The RGV Sector utilizes nearly 40 horse-mounted agents to patrol areas of the border not easily accessible by other means. The horses were adopted from the Noble Mustang program, officials stated. “Horses have been a valuable asset in securing the border since the inception of the Border Patrol in 1924,” Border Patrol officials wrote.
“It is an honor for our horse patrol to be invited to participate in the ceremonial aspects of the inauguration,” Chief Padilla said, “and to be able to stand alongside other federal and state agencies with pride.”
(Disclosure: Breitbart Texas sponsored the Green Line podcast for the NBPC in an effort to provide a platform for agents to inform the public about the realities on the border and what Border Patrol agents face. Director Brandon Darby received an award from the Laredo chapter of the NBPC for his work in helping to defend and bring a voice to Border Patrol agents. Breitbart News assisted in covering funeral costs for a slain Border Patrol agent previously. Darby and Breitbart senior management have directly stated and shown that helping to bring a voice to the expressed needs and interests of Border Patrol agents is a top priority–personally, individually and together through Breitbart News.)