Commissioner Kerlikowske announced a pilot project last week that could ultimately lead to a requirement that Border Patrol agents wear body cameras. We are opposed to this ill-conceived, politically motivated idea. Our concerns are numerous.
First, trust and respect matter. It was disturbing that the new Commissioner chose to unveil this news in front of an audience of activists who openly advocate against Border Patrol agents and criticize our every action. Not only has he chosen not to sit down with us to discuss this, he failed to mention this change in policy in an interview he did earlier that morning with NBPC Vice President Shawn Moran. This is hardly the best way to establish a respectful relationship with the men and women who protect our borders.
As the threat from ISIS increases the U.S. Senate has taken steps to increase border and cybersecurity. The passage of S. 2354 - DHS Cybersecurity Workforce Recruitment and Retention Act of 2014 increases resources to protect our nation from cyber attacks and from dangerous individuals, cartels and terrorists attempting to cross our borders.
Brandon Judd, NBPC National President, praised the Senate for passing this important legislation. “The men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol would like to thank Senator McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) for their tireless efforts. We are honored to have worked with these longtime friends and advocates of Border Patrol agents, our nation’s first line of defense.”
Judd said the legislation makes our nation safer. “It effectively puts another 1,500 highly trained agents on the border while saving taxpayers $100 million a year. Given the crisis in the Middle East, it is critical that we secure our borders, and we simply cannot do it without the passage of this legislation.”
“It is now time for the House of Representatives to act,” he added. “As the ISIS threat grows, we have less manpower on the border today than we did two years ago. Potentially adding another 1,500 highly trained and motivated Agents will make a huge difference. The House of Representatives is in session only one more week before they recess. The question my Agents keep asking themselves is will they act.”
Pay Reform Bill Will Save Taxpayers Millions and Put More Boots On The Ground
The National Border Patrol Council, the union for Border Patrol Agents, is urging Congress to pass a crucial amendment to H.R. 5230 that will increase border security.
Council President, Brandon Judd says, “At this time of critical need, we are not fully staffed at the border. Currently, federal restrictions prevent us from doing the job we are trained to do. We must be able to use the resources we have to fulfill our mission of protecting the borders. The Pay Reform legislation introduced by Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana), Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) gives us the ability to get our full complement of agents in the field.”