In an attempt to further support the failing National Border Patrol Strategy, the Border Patrol decided to waste millions of dollars to construct permanent Forward Operating Bases (FOB) in the Tucson, Yuma, and El Paso sectors. The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) believes FOBs are an enormous waste of taxpayer money for numerous reasons, some of which are documented later in this article. If FOBs are going to be constructed without regard to their effectiveness, then the NBPC believes the Border Patrol should be required to construct the FOBs in accordance with regulations designed for permanent government housing and Border Patrol stations, not regulations designed for temporary migrant worker camps. Finally, the Border Patrol should be forced to cease operations at all FOBs until the Border Patrol properly addresses the serious safety and security issues that currently exist at the FOBs or the Border Patrol will not be able to falsely claim they were unaware of the unsafe conditions that exist if and when one of our agents are injured or killed while assigned to the FOBs.
The first camps were established in the Tucson Sector in 2002. Later, during the period when David Aguilar was the chief of the Border Patrol, he started modeling the Border Patrol, a civilian law enforcement agency, after the military and it was during this time that they adopted the military term of "Forward Operating Base" for the camps. Unlike the military, the Border Patrol clearly does not appear to understand the importance of providing agents with the appropriate facilities, equipment, resources, etc. to maintain operational security of an FOB.
March 25, 2011 - San Diego, CA - Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's recent remarks concerning border safety are wrong and give citizens a false sense of security.
Napolitano stated that the idea that violence is spilling into U.S. border cities is "wrong" and that "the border is better now than it ever has been." The violence that has occurred along the border in recent years shows that crime indeed is spilling over from Mexico. Three Border Patrol agents have been murdered by the cartels in the last three years, ranchers and citizens have been gunned down in border communities, and the Phoenix area has risen to become a cartel related crime hotspot.
If the border was better now than it has ever been Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry would not have been brutally murdered by heavily armed Mexican criminals operating over 13 miles inside the United States. In some countries that is construed as an act of war, but here we get words not deeds when Napolitano terms events like this as evidence, "there is much to do with our colleagues in Mexico in respect to the drug cartels."
It is time for the political games to stop for fear of insulting the government of Mexico. U.S. citizens are being kidnapped and killed while our Border Patrol agents fight a war at home that no one will allow them to win. Not one more Border Patrol agent should fall or citizen be victimized because our government fails to act. Mexico is hemorraghing violence and we are being hit with the splatter.
The U.S.-Mexico border is unsafe and to say anything else is not true.
The National Border Patrol Council is a professional labor union representing more than 17,000 Border Patrol Agents and support staff. The NBPC was founded in 1965, and is recognized as one of the most effective labor organizations in the Federal sector.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2012 - Border Patrol Agent Jesus Diaz was sentenced to 24 months in prison on October 20, 2012 for depriving a drug smuggler of his Constitutional rights under color of law. This sentence was the culmination of a prolonged investigation by DHS investigators and prosecutors from the US Attorney’s office. This case continues the tradition of bias against Border Patrol agents in the Western District of Texas.
The National Border Patrol Council disagrees with the exorbitant waste of time and resources that were devoted to this prosecution. The National Border Patrol Council believes that Diaz’s actions did not rise to the level of a crime; those actions should have been dealt with at the administrative level resulting at most in Diaz’s termination as a Border Patrol agent. Thousands of man-hours and millions of tax dollars were expended to obtain a 24 month conviction for someone who has already spent eight months in custody. Plans to appeal this verdict are under way.
While the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas has a job to do, one that includes prosecuting Border Patrol agents who commit crimes, it has shown a distinctly quick trigger in going after Border Patrol agents. That same quickness would be better served in prosecuting the criminals who routinely assault Border Patrol agents and violate the immigration and drug laws of the United States.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Finally, when Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) began her questioning of Holder, she asked the question that this organization has been asking for over a year. Buerkle asked, “How many more Border Patrol agents would have had to die for you to take responsibility?” Holder could only respond by attempting to paint the question as one that shouldn’t be asked stating, “I mean, really, as a member of Congress, is that the way you want to be seen, or the way you want to be known?”
The National Border Patrol Council hopes that every member of this committee and every Member of Congress would want to be known for asking a question that needs to be asked. Rep. Buerkle asked the question that Border Patrol agents and their families have been asking since that fateful night in the desert of Arizona. It is a legitimate question that needed to be asked publicly and required a heartfelt response.
For decades Border Patrol agents have felt they were viewed as expendable by the U.S. government. Severe assaults on agents would be met with minimal or no prosecutions of those who committed the act, yet allegations made against Border Patrol agents were pursued by the DOJ with the aggressiveness that was lacking when the agents were themselves the victims. Appearing to enforce the immigration laws of the U.S. while actually accomplishing little became the norm. Empty words and platitudes from elected and appointed officials, or worse yet sleeping officials at the funerals of agents, who gave their lives in the line of duty, provided the final dishonor.
Operation Fast and Furious shows the lack of experience and foresight in running complex criminal investigations. An operation that knowingly put weapons in the hand of criminals committed to doing violence and that had great potential to do harm to American law enforcement officers and citizens is inexcusable.
So we will ask again, Attorney General Holder, how many Border Patrol agents have to die before you take responsibility for Operation Fast and Furious?