The incident with 10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez is resulting in verbal attacks against Border Patrol agents and the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) calls upon Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to clarify the facts surrounding the issue to the public.
On October 24, 2017, at approximately 3:30 a.m. Rosa Maria Hernandez (10 yrs. old) and her adult cousin, were on their way to Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. Rosa Maria and her cousin were traveling from Laredo, Texas, in a four-door sedan via Highway 59. The four-door sedan Rosa Maria and her cousin were traveling in was a non-ambulance/contracted private medical transport. Rosa Maria was traveling to Driscoll Children’s Hospital for a scheduled gallbladder surgery.
We thank the Administration for proposing an additional $374 million in funding for FY 2017 that will allow the Border Patrol to increase its manpower. The U.S. Border Patrol is already more than 1,700 Agents below the congressionally mandated floor of 21,370 agents and the lack of manpower is already negatively impacting Border Patrol operations. Adding an additional 5,000 agents will be a logistical challenge, but will have a tremendous impact on border security.
Securing the border will be a difficult task and we are thankful to have the support of the White House. We have previously met with the Administration to discuss the many needs of Border Patrol agents resulting from the eight years of under-investment from the Obama Administration.
Although we welcome these additional resources, we fully understand that resources for border security are not unlimited. Tough choices will have to be made as to which investments will have the greatest impact on border security and this includes funding for “the wall”.
We will be making a formal request to meet with the President and his team to discuss the areas where we have concerns. We want to thank President Trump for his focus on border security and look forward to working with the Administration in achieving our mutual goal of protecting the American people.
On February 16, 2017, at 8:46AM Pacific, New Yorker Magazine reporter Jonathan Blitzer contacted NBPC Vice President Shawn Moran by phone requesting comment for a story he was writing concerning CBP, the NBPC, and President Trump. Blitzer said he would email over some questions and points that he wanted to give the NBPC the chance to respond to.
Blitzer emailed the questions at 9:20AM Pacific.
On February 17, 2017, at 9:20AM Pacific, Shawn Moran responded by email with the NBPC's answers and viewpoints on the questions provided.
The New Yorker did not even allow the NBPC 24 hours to respond to these very charged accusations before it ran the story. The story posted at 9AM Pacific on Febraury 17th. The NBPC can come to no other conclusion than that the New Yorker was not interested in our answers and had the story written prior to contacting us. The call and email was simply an attempt by the New Yorker to cover itself and say it sought out the perspective of the NBPC.
The topic of "fake news" tops headlines everywhere these days, and this instance by the New Yorker falls into that category. Sloppy reporting, anonymous sourcing, and a reliance upon unverified facts make this article out to be nothing more than a hit-piece on the National Border Patrol Council and by extension Border Patrol agents everywhere.
We commend President Trump for recognizing that in the US Border Patrol, experience matters. We are unlike any other law enforcement agency in the world. We operate marine, land, and air units in every climate, and every environment. The previous administration's attempts to treat the Border Patrol like any law enforcement agency, resulted in leadership that was reactive and in constant crisis. As we begin to implement President Trump’s plan to secure the border and protect our communities, Mr. Vitiello's experience will be invaluable. We look forward to working with Chief Vitiello.