As uncomfortable as it is for some activist groups to admit, the U.S. border with Mexico is not secure. Daily our agents risk their lives to keep violent people, dangerous drugs, and potential terrorists from entering our nation and causing harm to our citizens.
But instead of engaging in a meaningful debate, some immigration activists choose to attack Border Patrol agents for speaking the truth. Rather than discussing the challenges of border security and immigration reform, the Center for New Community decided to attack our organization.
The CNC has stated that Congress and the media should question our expertise and decide who is credible. We agree. The fact is there is no other organization better suited to address border security and the challenges faced by those tasked with keeping our country and our communities safe.
Among the allegations the CNC makes is that our agents and our union is collaborating with other groups to oppose their open-border policies. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that we provide a unique and hard-won perspective on border security and we are often asked to share that perspective with individuals from all sides of the political spectrum.
Indeed, we are happy to educate anyone, regardless of their views on immigration, about the challenges our nation faces at its borders. Unfortunately, CNC failed to mention that the National Border Patrol Council and its locals have met with pro-immigration groups including the ACLU, Tucson Samaritans, No More Deaths, Interfaith Center for Worker Justice, and Border Action Network to discuss the complexities of the border region.
The men and women of the Border Patrol are highly trained professionals. To allege otherwise is irresponsible. Agents follow orders, of course, and we fully understand our crucial role in upholding the nation’s laws. We urge the CNC to dial back their inflammatory and unsupported rhetoric and stop putting out misinformation that makes the job of an agent more difficult and perhaps more dangerous.
Finally, in the zeal to attack and disrespect our Agents, CNC made many assumptions about information provided by the NBPC and its locals, resulting in many errors and conclusions not supported by the truth.
Yes, our opinions are sought after. Members of Congress periodically request that representatives from our union testify under oath about the border security. We are happy to provide accurate and truthful testimony and make no apologies if doing so makes it more difficult for activists to convince the American public that the border is secure.
Among the facts our agents have recently reported:
• An increase number of unaccompanied minors crossing illegally in the Rio Grande Valley.
• An increased number of those other than Mexican (OTMs) attempting to cross in New Mexico and West Texas.
• The increased numbers of illegal entries and assaults against Border Patrol agents nationwide.
At the end of the day, the public must ask themselves whether they should trust activist groups opposed to strong enforcement of our immigration laws or the men and women who are on the front lines risking their lives to protect our communities.
Democracy thrives on healthy and robust debate, but disagreeing with a group’s goals does not automatically equate to being racists or members of a hate group, just as agreement with a group does not prove collusion.
In any case, we have a duty to advocate for our fellow agents and to educate the nation about what it takes to truly secure our borders. We will proudly continue to do so.