In a letter to Stuart Harris, Vice President of Local 1929 of the National Border Patrol Council, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concluded the Border Patrol was in violation of OSHA standards and other program elements.
Based on an inspection conducted on August 24, 2010, OSHA found:
Border Patrol Agents were working in the Sky Watch Tactical Platforms which have non-functioning controls within the cabin. Controls found to be non functioning included, but not limited to: the Up/Down Joystick, safety buttons and wind speed meter. This condition exposed employees to potential fall and/or Struck-by hazards.
As a result, OSHA issued a Notice of Unsafe and Unhealthful Working Conditions to the Fabens Border Patrol Station . All NBPC local officials should conduct similar inspections of SkyWatch Towers being utilized in their sectors to ensure similar non-functioning controls are not found.
San Diego, California - The U.S. Border Patrol continues their attempt to militarize the Border Patrol and display contempt for the rank and file by providing agents with substandard sleeping arrangements while they attend training in the San Diego Sector. Below is a picture of the sleeping arrangements in an airport hangar that the Border Patrol provided for the agents who traveled to San Diego.
In an attempt to further support the failing National Border Patrol Strategy, the Border Patrol decided to waste millions of dollars to construct permanent Forward Operating Bases (FOB) in the Tucson, Yuma, and El Paso sectors. The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) believes FOBs are an enormous waste of taxpayer money for numerous reasons, some of which are documented later in this article. If FOBs are going to be constructed without regard to their effectiveness, then the NBPC believes the Border Patrol should be required to construct the FOBs in accordance with regulations designed for permanent government housing and Border Patrol stations, not regulations designed for temporary migrant worker camps. Finally, the Border Patrol should be forced to cease operations at all FOBs until the Border Patrol properly addresses the serious safety and security issues that currently exist at the FOBs or the Border Patrol will not be able to falsely claim they were unaware of the unsafe conditions that exist if and when one of our agents are injured or killed while assigned to the FOBs.