FLORENCE, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) – No new agents, agents not assigned to high-trafficked areas, and misleading numbers are all concerns for Sheriff Paul Babeu and Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, from 2000 to 2015 the number of apprehensions of illegal immigrants on the southern border went down from 1.6 million to about 330,000. Judd says the administration claims if that low numbers mean a safer border, but agents say otherwise.
“The administration and [Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection] have engaged in a campaign to mislead the American people to believe our border is secure. He has manipulated the data, had agents assigned to low-trafficked areas, and attempted to quiet dissent by calling those who question his approach as misinformed without offering any evidence to support his allegations,” said Judd.
Chris Cabrera is an agent in the Rio Grande Valley and says he and fellow agents are kept in lower-trafficked areas of the border.
“Our agents are not assigned to some of those [high-traffic] areas, and they are told to stay in the areas they are assigned,” said Cabrera.
He added that if they were to patrol a different area, it would go against orders. Cabrera says he had a former boss who told him “if nobody is there to see them, did they really cross?”
Agents say apprehensions would increase if they patrolled high-traffic areas.