For Immediate Release
Deputy National Spokesperson
NBPC Joins Governor Abbott, Senator Cornyn And Congressman Cuellar and Calls on DHS to Request Flight Hours for Operation Phalanx
Washington, DC (December 20, 2016)
Today, the National Border Patrol Council joined the bipartisan effort officially requesting flight hours for Operation Phalanx. Operation Phalanx supports Border Patrol operations in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
NBPC President Brandon Judd stated, “While illegal aliens continue overrunning the Rio Grande Valley, the Obama Administration refuses to act. By providing agents actionable intelligence in the field, Operation Phalanx is an important tool in securing the border. We call on the Obama Administration to request the funding to restore Operation Phalanx immediately.”
Judd commented, “The AP recently reported that DHS’s study supports the agents' long-held assessment that only half of the illegal aliens crossing into the US are apprehended. Operation Phalanx enables us to deploy limited resources to protect our agents, communities, and borders.”
“It is unfortunate that the Administration and President Obama continue to play politics with border security. It makes no sense to keep Operation Phalanx grounded when illegal aliens are overrunning the border, and we are barely catching half of the individuals, cargo and contraband illegally entering the US. In these dangerous times, keeping Operation Phalanx grounded makes no sense.”
Operation Phalanx is a program through which the National Guard provides aerial surveillance, detection, and situational awareness capabilities in support of the Border Patrol. Congress provided full funding for Operation Phalanx in fiscal year 2016. Given that the government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution, that full funding remains.
According to the National Guard, Operation Phalanx will officially end on December 31st if there is not an approved request for additional flight hours for 2017. Once the aerial support flights have concluded, they will be terminating contracts for hanger space and housing.
The National Border Patrol Council would like to thank both President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence for seeking our opinion about the nomination of General Kelly as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. We have faith in President-Elect Trump, and although General Kelly does not have immigration experience, we recognize that he comes in with stellar credentials. We caution however, that because President-elect Trump's meteoric rise was built on border security, we believe no other cabinet level nominee will be under more pressure to produce.
Editor’s Note: This Op-Ed was exclusively provided to Breitbart Texas by the executive board of the National Border Patrol Council, the organization representing approximately 16,500 of our nation’s Border Patrol agents.
Approximately 6 months ago, CBP Commissioner Gil R. Kerlikowske officially announced the hiring (appointment) of Mark Morgan, one of the Obama Administration’s top risers within the FBI. Morgan is the same FBI Agent that a number of congressional offices believe “scrubbed” FBI training manuals of information that would have been damning to the agency and the Administration. Chief Morgan is a disgrace to the Border Patrol.
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Rudy Lopez was arrested on Monday on charges of harassment. These charges were part of a chronic situation which had previously been reported to the Border Patrol chain of command in the Laredo Sector.
Numerous grievances, Unfair Labor Practices, and complaints had been lodged against Lopez only to be swept under the rug by Laredo Sector management. Lopez would then file complaints against the complaining agents and Union representatives through Customs and Border Protection's Joint Intake Center. This systemic abuse of the grievance procedure and Joint Intake Center left agents with no other recourse than to contact local law enforcement authorities. After finding probable cause that Lopez had committed these crimes, he was arrested and booked before posting a $3,000 bond.
The National Border Patrol Council and its subsidiary locals seek to resolve issues at the lowest level possible. In cases like this one, where Border Patrol managers condone, aid, and cover-up the criminal actions of other managers, there is little recourse but to seek assistance from other law enforcement agencies.