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Thread: Border Patrol union says policies, criticisms hinder border protection

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Border Patrol union says policies, criticisms hinder border protection

    By Aaron Martinez / El Paso Times /
    Posted: 06/19/2015 06:14:53 PM MDT

    The El Paso-area U.S. Border Patrol union this week supported calls for the agency to address policy changes that limit agents' ability to do their job and that open them up to public criticism.

    The National Border Patrol Council, the national union, held a conference call with media outlets Wednesday to discuss several issues, including agents continually being assaulted on the border, public criticism increasing over Border Patrol-related shootings and agents no longer having the tools needed to conduct drug investigations.

    U.S. Custom and Border Protection officials in the El Paso region directed all questions to the agency's national office. Officials in Washington, D.C., did not response to emails with questions regarding any changes to Border Patrol policies as well as other issues brought up by union officials.

    Stuart Harris, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1929 (El Paso Sector), said the main concerns brought up by the national union are key issues plaguing agents in the El Paso and Southern New Mexico areas.

    One of the biggest issues is that agents continue to be "vilified" for incidents involving use of force, Harris said. The criticism comes as agents continue to be assaulted on the border, while the number of use-of-force incidents by agents continue to decrease, he said.

    "It is unfortunate that agents are getting vilified especially when you look at the numbers," Harris said. "The Border Patrol used deadly force seven times less than the national average. That's a fact. Border Patrol agents since 2005 have arrested 6.5 million people and the use of lethal force occurred in less than .01 percent of the time."

    He added, "the vilification of Border Patrol agents is absolutely wrong and not accurate. The Border Patrol is a model agency. We should be looked up to and not torn down."

    One incident in El Paso made international news when a border patrol and shot and killed a 15-year-old boy in 2010. The boy, Sergio Adrian Hernández Güereca, and three other boys were running up a concrete drainage ditch and touching a chain-link fence on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande near the Paso del Norte Bridge, according officials. As U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. detained one of the boys, Hernández and the other two boys allegedly began throwing rocks at the agent from the Mexican side.

    Border Patrol officials said Mesa fired his gun in self-defense and struck Hernández twice including a fatal shot to the head. U.S. authorities said there was no evidence that would warrant filing criminal charges against Mesa.

    According to a report released in April by U.S. Custom and Border Protection, the number of use-of-force incidents for 2015 is expected to drop by 30 percent. In the 2013-14 fiscal year, there were 542 incidents between October and March. In that same time period in the 2014-15 fiscal year, there were 385 incidents, according to the report.

    The report said, "reduction in the use of force is encouraging, considering that assaults against agents are trending upward." Although, the report does not give numbers on how many incidents there have been of agents being assaulted.

    Another key issue brought up by local union officials included policy changes they claim are stopping agents from conducting drug investigations.

    "The concerns we have right now is that we lack the political will to enforce the laws that are already on the books," Harris said. "This is evident by the policies that restrict our transportation check duties."

    Harris said one of the policy changes in recent months is limiting agents efforts to search for drugs at train and bus stations.

    "In some areas, we would do train checks, like at Amtrak, checks at bus stations and places like that," Harris said. "But policies have put restrictions on those types of duties. Essentially, those policies are preventing us from checking transportation hubs."

    According to union officials, the policies were instituted in an effort to help protect the civil liberties of the people being searched.

    Harris said in order to help agents do their jobs, agency officials must return to old practices of drug enforcement, while making increased efforts to keep agents safe.

    "There are a number of changes that need to be made and it all starts with enforcing existing laws," Harris said. "We need to go back to doing the things we used to do with interior enforcement. But in order to do that, we need to add an additional 5,000 agents."

    He added, "some of the other things we need to do is that our agents are getting assaulted and these people are not being prosecuted and they need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_2...-hinder-border
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  2. #2
    Senior Member vistalad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    "There are a number of changes that need to be made and it all starts with enforcing existing laws," Harris said. "We need to go back to doing the things we used to do with interior enforcement. But in order to do that, we need to add an additional 5,000 agents."
    President Eisenhower conducted an effective program of removing illegals, with many fewer agents. Ike let people - including, I think, then Senator Lyndon Johnson and his cronies - know that he would go after employers, as well.

    In any case, corporate culture is established from the top. The agents are having problems because everybody in Western hemisphere knows that 'Bamacrats have no intention of enforcing American laws for the benefit of our own people.
    *****************************
    Judy likes this.

  3. #3
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    These restrictions are so stinky that they are 10 times worse than B.S. IMO, with this going on for 29 years with no restrictions provided by Mexico, it is obvious to all that this is an invasion, promoted by foreign governments. Once over the border by one foot, one order, "Stop,...I will shoot!"....KA-BOOM a shot meant to lethal. If a child alone, like some other areas of the world, how can a border patrol not be sure that is not a walking bomb? With ISIS becoming so aggressive, you cannot be sure that a child alone is not a lethal threat, nor should they be treated as they aren't! Who will take over the job of BP when they quit or go out on strike?

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