Fox's Pete Hegseth: Border patrol work is “much like being in combat sometimes”

From the April 22 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

Video file

PETE HEGSETH (GUEST CO-HOST): Welcome back on this Monday morning. Military officials confirming Mexican troops did in fact draw weapons on and question two American soldiers on the U.S. side of the border in an incident earlier this month. Well, as a former border patrol agent, our next guest says he has had to confront and arrest Mexican soldiers patrolling on U.S. soil. Here to share his own personal story is Tom Homan, retired ICE director and Fox News contributor. Tom, good morning. Thank you for your service. So, break down this story and then tell us your own, please. 

TOM HOMAN (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): Well, you know, I read this story and it looks like they were outnumbered. It looks like the Mexican officials did draw their weapons on them and one of the U.S. soldiers actually surrendered a firearm to the Mexican soldier -- which I don't understand, I wasn't there, I'm not going to judge them. Back in my day, I was talking to a producer, back in 1985, I was a young border patrol agent probably a year in when we got a call from dispatch saying a rancher has reported a group of what appeared to be soldiers on his property. So of course we responded at the time and we showed up and there was probably eight to 10 of them and a couple units, [inaudible] like three of us, maybe four. Quickly realizing they were Mexican soldiers. Because on the way there, you got to understand, are there actually Mexican soldiers that are lost? Are there Mexican soldiers that are acting as a security detail for a drug smuggling operation -- which happens -- or are these just drug smugglers dressed in fatigues? We didn't know when we were on our way there. But once we got there, quickly recognized Mexican soldiers. And we arrested them. We disarmed them, we arrested them. We took them back to our station and we processed them for entering the country illegally. And we returned them through a port of entry to their commander and handed back the firearms. 

HEGSETH: Why were they there? Why does this happen?

HOMAN: After this was all said and done they were on a training expedition and they got lost. Back then the Mexican borders were only surrounded by a barbed wire fence. So you don't know, is that the border or is that a rancher's fence keeping cattle in? But they got lost. Hopefully they weren't training on a compass because if they did their training session went really bad. But it wasn't until after the situation we actually think wow, that could have went bad.

HEGSETH: But there are scenarios where the Mexican military is working with cartels, maybe creating a diversion and helping drugs get through. 

HOMAN: Absolutely. And that's what you think about when you respond to the scene. Are they on the bad side? Are they operating as a security detail for drug cartels? Because that does happen, still. Or were they actually drug smugglers dressed in fatigues, which happens all the time. So, these situations are very dangerous and very hairy. 

HEGSETH: Absolutely. Hey, the job you guys do on that border, incredibly difficult, very ambiguous, much like being in combat sometimes. Thank you very much for what you've done and sharing your story. 


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