Border guards warn of morale collapse during the crisis: “trampled and almost dead inside”


Austin, Texas — The only federal law enforcement officer along the US-Mexico border 245 miles surrounding Del Rio, Texas is 12 border guards. This is the lowest number of agents ever working in the region, despite more immigrants passing through here illegally than ever before.

The surge in illegal immigrants is at great cost as it prevents agents from carrying out their national security missions. Agents say they are physically exhausted and struggling to see beyond the crisis.

“Morale is in the bathroom,” said John Anfinsen, a spokesman for the Border Guard union. “The morale is low because agents are not allowed to work. If our job is to patrol the boundaries of immigration and actively search for people who have crossed illegally, I We are not allowed to go. The work, which basically creates this defeated feeling for everyone. “

“Morale is fighting fast. This is seen in simple statements made by agents, but more importantly, in increased processing time. The United States, the federal agency that oversees border guards. A former senior official at the Customs and Border Protection Bureau wrote in an email.

According to Anfinsen, this isn’t the first crisis these agents faced, but it’s already “burning out and the end isn’t visible”, which is a big blow to personnel.

The 19,000 Border Guard agents are not allowed to speak to the media, but five current agents and three former officials working in the Biden administration told the Washington Examiner about the story.

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The situation faced by border guard agents over the past six months is the highest level of illegal immigrants the United States has seen since 2000, when former President Bill Clinton took office. It keeps getting worse every month.

60% of known illegal crossings occur in Texas and New Mexico. Up to half of Texas agents have been pulled from the border and are indoors handling people in custody. Tens of thousands of families and children have been released to the United States under President Joe Biden. There they will face immigration proceedings a few years later. However, many others have been arrested and have not avoided arrest. Agents know this thanks to new technology.

Anfinsen, chairman of the Del Rio branch of the Border Guard, said: “In the meantime, immigrants who don’t want to have anything to do with us run away, but sometimes they walk because they don’t have to run because we aren’t there.”

A federal agent working in CBP’s Aviation and Marine Operations Department in Texas said it was easy to find a group across the Rio Grande, but “no investigators available” to detain them. “There are no investigators counting on the scene. The number of people running away. One day recently, the McAllen Border Guard in Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, sent an emergency medical technician and K-9 to the scene to handle all other agents indoors, transport migrants, or otherwise non-existent. You have performed an enforcement task.

The fourth agent assigned to the Texas horse patrol unit was when the unit was last allowed to patrol on horseback as the team was pulled aside to transport and process immigrants. He said he couldn’t remember.

“Everyone seems to be trampled and almost dead because there is no better term,” Anfinsen added. “They are not allowed [do] Work, and they know that people are running away every day, every hour. “

A fourth person, CBP’s chief executive officer, said he was “surprised” at how much the agent was doing.

The fifth person, who has retired and is in daily contact with agents on the scene, has the Biden administration turned border guard agents into prison officers, placed them in detention centers, and managed dozens of people packed in small containment chambers. Said that. Cases in the last 18 months in the United States, 37 CBP employees died as a result of being infected with the coronavirus, and more than 10,000 people tested positive.

“This isn’t treated like emergency care,” the same former agent said on the phone. “These people feel abandoned by CBP, DHS and the government. No one comes to save them.”

In Arizona, agents aren’t as overwhelming as Texas agents, but one agent was willing to speak on condition of anonymity, with some of the state borders, including stupid and Sell’s, filled with agents, and others. Said that the part was “cruelly left behind.” Spreads thinly by human power. “

“The size and frequency of the groups are the same as they were more than a decade ago, but the number of agents is much smaller. [working] The sixth agent wrote in a text message.

A seventh agent based in Arizona said, “We are being attacked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

“The mission is no longer deterrence, detection, or detention. Wait until they all cross, take them to the station and handle them,” the agent wrote in a message. “Morale is below the Mason / Dixon line. We need more agents on the line (not hospitals or treatment plants). Agents working at Intel to nail their son behind these groups I need more. “

CBP did not address the issue of morale in a statement sent to the Washington Examiner.

“Border guard agents continue to meet the need to protect borders and handle migrants safely and quickly every day,” an official spokesman wrote in an email.

Agents were initially dissatisfied with how Washington’s border guard managers handled the security and operation of agents in the Trump administration in early 2020.On-site agent I talked to The Washington Examiner at the time said he was told to stay six feet away from immigrants, despite having to physically capture people at the time of his arrest. Some agents have to prove that they got sick at work to get workers’ accident compensation without clarifying whether sick leave could be used if Washington headquarters got sick. I was particularly dissatisfied with it. AMO agents said the agents inside the processing migrants were ill and many used all of their paid sick leave.

Retaining agents and keeping them happy at work has long been a struggle for border guards, according to a 2019 report by the Washington Government Accountability Office. Less than a quarter of agents who retired from 2013 to 2017. The rest was left for another job or other reason.

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“Agents may not want to live with their families in areas without hospitals, with poorly performing schools, or in areas where the commute from home to work is relatively long.” report read. “Border guard officials say that other agencies can often provide more desirable mission locations, such as major cities, and in some cases, higher rewards.”

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tag: news, Human smuggling, Foreign policy, Customs and Border Security, Border guard, Law enforcement agency, Immigrants, Labor, Biden administration, Union, Law

Original author: Anna Giartelli

Original location: Border guards warn of morale collapse during the crisis: “trampled and almost dead inside”