About Time! Legislation Introduced to Support Maligned Border Patrol Agents

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

March 11, 2016

A new bill has been introduced in the Senate that would help border patrol agents carry out their job responsibilities, namely enforcing immigration laws. The beleaguered agents not only have been ordered by their superiors to resume catch and release, but their big boss at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services publicly insulted them for wanting to carry out the duties they swore to perform.

CBP Commissioner to agents: Like it or lump it!

In his testimony to Congress, National Border Patrol Council president Brandon Judd said that agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal immigrants caught crossing the border, and thereby avoid the embarrassment to the White House when they don’t show up for their court date, which has been an ongoing problem. The releases are known as President Obama’s Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). In earlier written testimony, Judd said that catch and release is, along with fewer agents and drug cartels, one of the reasons the border is so porous.

Judd concluded that immigration laws are “mere suggestions,” and nonenforcement at the border is well-known worldwide, a red carpet invitation for foreign nationals to come to the U.S. illegally with a high degree of certainty that they’ll be allowed to remain. A Migration Policy Institute study found PEP provides 87 percent of illegal immigrants with “some degree of protection” from deportation.

In his statement to Congress, Judd said that the Department of Homeland Security is embarrassed by the very high percentage of illegal immigrants who don’t show up for their mandatory deportation hearings. Instead of cracking down on the aliens, DHS ordered agents not to arrest them in the first place — meaning they no longer had a court date assigned to show up for!

Instead of acknowledging that he’ll look into the agents’ valid criticisms based on their experiences on the front or acknowledge that border security is more important than a political agenda, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowsi said: “Mr. Judd and fellow agents who object to Mr. Obama’s policies should usher themselves out of their jobs.” Kerlikowski to agents: Take a hike!

Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your Senators to co-sign S 2538 that would help agents enforce immigration laws.

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