A top Border Patrol agent revealed Thursday that if border agents follow the law and ask illegal aliens why they are coming to the U.S. they will be terminated.
The Border Patrol previously had a policy of “catch and release” that drew the ire of Border Patrol agents: “These orders are called Notices to Appear (NTA). The only problem, however, is that these official orders are usually ignored; so much so that Border Patrol Agents have dubbed them Notices to Disappear,” Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council testified.
“The latest data that I have seen shows that approximately 40 percent of the individuals being issued NTAs do not show up. The willful failure to show up for court appearances by persons that were arrested and released by the Border Patrol has become an extreme embarrassment for the Department of Homeland Security,” he said.
Eventually the DHS implemented a new policy that was even easier for illegals to exploit. The policy makes mandatory the release of any person arrested by the Border Patrol for being in the country illegally as long as they don’t have a felony conviction and claim they have been in the U.S. continuously since January 2014.
They don’t have to have proof of this residence and just have to make the claim. “A lot of agents will actually ask them where they heard this from and they’ll tell the agents, ‘Well, I was just told to tell you,'” said Judd.
He made the comments in testimony before the House Judiciary subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.
“Right now the Border Patrol has actually told us that we can no longer ask them that question, why are they coming any more?” Judd said. “We can’t even ask that question. In some cases we still do, but we are being told that you can’t even ask why they are coming.”
“What do you think are the consequences for agents who are unwilling to comply with these limiting policies?” asked Rep. Raul Labrador.
“They’ll be terminated,” Judd replied.
Labrador than asked, “So for wanting to enforce the law that is in the books, they are going to be terminated from their jobs?”
“Absolutely,” Judd affirmed.
He said no agents have yet been fired because the agents in Judd’s group follow the policy directives.
Illegal immigration surged in 2014, and Judd said that “we’re actually seeing a lot more at this point than what we did in 2014.” He added that the Border Patrol currently does not have the resources to adequately respond.
“The vast majority are coming because they understood that they would be allowed to stay, and that the smugglers are telling them and advertising in their home countries that if they get to the border that they will be released and allowed to stay for an indefinite amount of time,” Jessica M. Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies testified.The surge of unaccompanied minors has also been abused by Mexican drug cartels.
“Why did the cartels drive them to the middle of the desert and then have them cross over the Rio Grande only to surrender to the first Border Patrol Agent they came across?” Judd said before the committee. “The reason is that it completely tied up our manpower and allowed the cartels to smuggle whatever they wanted across our border.”
Another public official who testified said that the whole country, not just border states, should be concerned with border security.
“For instance, if a community in this country has a drug problem — such as the current heroin addiction epidemic and explosion of heroin-related deaths in the northeast region of United States — they have a Mexican Cartel and unsecure border problem and if a community is plagued by transnational gangs such as MS-13 and MS-18, they have an unsecure border problem,” testified Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
During 2015 alone, the Texas DPS seized $646.5 million worth of drugs in the border region.