After careful review the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents over 16,500 Border Patrol agents, has concluded that H.R. 399 will do very little to secure the border and is a missed opportunity for Congress to meaningfully address border security. Because of this, Border Patrol agents are advocating that members of Congress vote no on the legislation when it is considered in the House next week.
Shawn Moran, NBPC National Spokesperson, stated: “We believe that overall H.R. 399 will not be effective in helping to secure our borders. This legislation speaks about metrics but frankly does not provide either the strategy or the resources necessary to achieve them. We need real solutions on the border where the trends are moving in the wrong direction with increased apprehensions, more aggressive action from smugglers and drug cartels, and continued threats from terrorists.”
The National Border Patrol Council believes that in order to reverse the current trends legislation must contain the following elements:
H.R. 399 will disburse hundreds of millions of dollars in Operation Stonegarden funding, without a single requirement to show its effectiveness in helping to secure the border.
HR 399 only duplicates a staffing floor that is already in place through the annual appropriations bill.
Increased training to better prepare agents to react to changing threats on the border. This would include restoring the academy to approximately 20 weeks that most law enforcement agencies have, and not the 54 days used by the Border Patrol.
Increased resources for agents to do the job they are trained to do. This would include better gear, more M-4 rifles in the field, and improved communications equipment.
Moran concluded: “Although there are some positive elements to H.R. 399, we believe in it’s entirety it will only serve as window dressing and was drafted without any input front line agents who are protecting our border. We are very interested in working with any member of Congress to create legislation that focuses on a real strategy that keeps our nation and our agents safe.”