Ronald Colburn is the former border patrol agent whose comments shocked a lot of people when he appeared on Fox & Friends on Monday morning. Colburn was asked about the use of tear gas against would-be migrants trying to reach the US-Mexico border on Sunday. Colburn responded that the pepper spray is so natural that, in his words, “you could actually put it on your nachos and eat it.”
Here’s what you need to know about Ronald Colburn:
1. Colburn Called Pepper Spray ‘A Good Way of Deterring People Without Long-Term Harm’
Colburn told Fox News that pepper spray is an all-natural product, consisting of pepper, water, and a little bit of alcohol to help it disperse through the air. He said that in fact, the spray is so natural that “you could actually put it on your nachos and eat it” and added that this made it “a good way of deterring people without long-term harm.”
Many people were shocked by images of women and children fleeing from tear gas at the border between Tijuana and San Diego on Sunday. US border agents sprayed the tear gas into a crowd of people who had broken past Mexican police and were trying to reach the San Ysidro crossing point. You can see some footage from the scene here.
2. Colburn Was National Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol Until He Retired in 2009
Colburn retired from Border Patrol in 2009, but he still does consulting work for the agency. He was serving as National Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol when he retired.
Colburn’s family has a long tradition of serving in Border Patrol. He was the third generation of his family to serve in the agency; a fourth generation is in the agency now.
3. Colburn Is on the Executive Board of the Border Foundation
The Border Patrol Foundation is an organization that provides support to the families of border patrol agents who are injured or killed in the line of duty. Colburn sits on its executive board.
The group describes itself as follows:
“The primary mission of the Border Patrol Foundation is to provide financial resources to the immediate families of the fallen. Request for support can also be made for off-duty deaths, injuries, illnesses, and family medical emergencies. Financial support is available to all employees of the Border Patrol to include uniformed personnel and mission support. Through personal and corporate donations, the Board of Directors directs the distribution of funds as they are available and needed.”
4. Colburn Helped Oversee an Effort to Double the Size of Border Patrol
By the end of his tenure at Border Patrol, Colburn was helping to lead a staff of more than 20,000 people. He was also instrumental in overseeing efforts to double the size of the U.S. Border Patrol. He was a key player in the deployment of billions of dollars worth of technology and infrastructure designed to assist U.S. law enforcement efforts.
Before he was promoted to National Deputy Chief, Colburn served as Acting Deputy Executive Director of the Secure Border Initiative.
5. Colburn Spent a Year Working for President Bush’s Department of Homeland Security
Colburn served a special tour of duty at the White House from 2002 to 2003. He served as Director of Law Enforcement at the Homeland Security Council. He was responsible for, in his words, “developing policy and crafting the implementation of Homeland Security and national law enforcement initiatives.”