June 1, 2022 7:27pm
Updated: June 1, 2022 11:06pm
The Department of Homeland Security celebrated Pride Month on Wednesday with an LGBTQI+ flag-raising ceremony, while Border Patrol agents are encountering record numbers of illegal migrants.
"While initially a holiday to honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising in response to police harassment and persecution of LGBTQI+ citizens, today's celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts," Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Christopher Magnus wrote in an email to Border Patrol agents, obtained by Just the News.
During the flag-raising ceremony with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Magnus, the agency's first openly gay leader, said he shared some of his "personal experiences" and his "commitment to continue to make CBP a welcoming agency for members of the LGBTQ+ community."
He added, "And for the first time in our agency's history, the Pride flag will fly outside our headquarters for the entire month of June."
"LGBTQI+ Pride Month invites all of us to celebrate who we are and challenges us to strive every day to welcome everyone into our workplaces and communities," wrote the border enforcement chief, whose nomination for the post was opposed by the National Sheriffs' Association. "Pride month represents the assertion that everyone has a place in our society no matter who you love. CBP is made up of people from all cultures, religions and sexual orientations and our diversity gives us strength," .
He concluded by urging CBP employees to participate in local Pride events as well as "Diversity and Inclusion Program Committee activities at headquarters and various field offices in honor of LGBTQI+ Pride Month."
Secretary Mayorkas tweeted after the ceremony: "The waving flag symbolizes our core value of, and abiding commitment to, diversity, equity, and inclusion. We raised and fly the flag with pride."
The celebration comes after illegal migrant encounters at the Southern Border hit a record high of more than 234,000 in April. May data has not been released, but the number of encounters are expected to climb still further.
Magnus admitted in a press release at the time that his agency "will likely see an increase in encounters" after President Joe Biden drops Title 42, the Trump-era COVID immigration mitigation measure.