The Biden administration has recently directed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to adopt a new language protocol when interacting with the public, cautioning agents
This directive, outlined in an internal memo, specifically instructs agents to refrain from using gender-specific pronouns such as “he, him, she, her” until they have more information about the individual’s self-identified gender.
The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project revealed this development earlier this month, disclosing the internal memo via a post on X.
🚨Biden Directs Border Patrol to use Illegal Aliens' Preferred Pronouns— Oversight Project (@OversightPR) November 17, 2023
We just obtained @CBP documents directing personnel to only use woke language when encountering individuals invading the United States pic.twitter.com/HwhiYJmqmm
“Keep in mind that gender identity (sense of self) and sexual orientation (attraction) are separate and distinct; hence, transgender people, for example, may identify as heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bisexual,” the memo continues.
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) guidance to CBP staff emphasizes the use of “gender-neutral language” and the importance of respecting the “self-identified pronouns and name” of individuals. The memo explicitly advises against using salutations like “Mr., Mrs., Ms., Sir, Ma’am,” particularly in reference to individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, non-binary and gender nonconforming.
This guidance is intended for all CBP employees who interact with the public, including those in law enforcement, trade, human resources, public liaisons and other roles. The memo also clarifies that gender identity and sexual orientation are distinct concepts, with the possibility of transgender individuals identifying as heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Amid an ongoing illegal immigration crisis at the southern U.S. border, this memo has been criticized by some as an unnecessary distraction. National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd expressed his concerns, stating, “We can’t be worrying about whether we’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings.” He argues that the focus should be on enforcing laws rather than being preoccupied with civil rights issues, which he views as a matter of preference.
Mike Howell, the director of the Oversight Project, criticized the guidance as “forced speech.” He commented, “I guess it wasn’t enough for the Biden administration to betray the Border Patrol by purposefully unleashing chaos on the southern border. Now, the radical political leadership is enrolling agents in a forced-speech program to call illegal aliens by their preferred pronouns.”
The chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Tennessee Rep. Mark Green, also voiced his disapproval.
“Border Patrol agents are crying out for tools and policies that will help them do their jobs, but are being handed manuals on misgendering instead,” Green said. Green highlighted the contrast between the memo’s focus and the reality of the border crisis, noting the release of “criminal illegal aliens” and the entry of individuals on the terrorist watchlist into the United States.