President Donald Trump loves the U.S. Border Patrol. The Border Patrol Council—the union that represents Border Patrol agents—endorsed Trump for president. The union’s formal endorsement stated: “We need a person in the White House who doesn’t fear the media, who doesn’t embrace political correctness, who doesn’t need the money, who is familiar with success, who won’t bow to foreign dictators, who is pro-military and values law enforcement, and who is angry for America and NOT subservient to the interests of other nations. Donald Trump is such a man.”
The Border Patrol got its man as president. Whether he has lived up to their descriptions of him is another matter. People in the president’s inner circle have referred to him as an “idiot,” “an imbecile,” and a “moron.” White House staffers have regularly questioned his mental acuity and his psychological stability. He has openly endorsed racist, White Nationalist policies—and he has bowed down, to the embarrassment of the nation, to dictators like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Ergodan.
All of these personal and political character traits is fine with the rank and file of the Border Patrol which, with more than 20,000 agents, is the largest and most funded law enforcement agency in the country—and at the behest of the president, the Custom and Border Protection agency (“CBP”) recently awarded a $297 million sweet-heart deal to a private firm, according to the Los Angeles Times, to hire 5,000 more agents. “The scope of work in the contract requires the company to manage “the full life cycle of the hiring process” from job posting to processing new hires.” Not only will these agents join the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, they will become part of the most violent, corrupt, and lawless law enforcement group in the country.
US Tax Payers Footing Bill for Corrupt BP Agents
The Guardian reported earlier this month that the U.S. government, with taxpayer dollars, shelled out more than $60 million in lawsuit settlements between 2005 and 2017 because of criminal and unlawful misconduct by Border Patrol agents. The newspaper reported these settlements include:
- 20 wrongful deaths involving shootings, beatings, Tasers and collisions with vehicles;
- Reckless driving by agents, six of which involved fatal crashes and 18 that resulted in grave injuries to innocent citizens, such as amputations and disability;
- Three citizens, two immigrants with legal status, and two tourists being illegally detained between four days and two months;
- Incidents of racial profiling, unreasonable searches, physical assaults, and indeterminate detention; and
- Border checkpoints that resulted in lawful citizens having guns put to their heads and being beaten in front of their children.
BP Agents Arrested for Murder, Rape, Drug Trafficking
In recent years, Border Patrol agents have been arrested for the murder of women and babies and the rape or attempted rape of young girls and women, as members of Mexican drug cartels, street gangs, and MS-13 have infiltrated the ranks of the agency. There is no way to measure just how many bodies have been left in gullies and out-of-the-way desert places by rogue Border Patrol agents. It would be simple to lay the blame for this lawlessness and corruption at the doorstep of those “bad hombres” (as the President likes to call them) who have infiltrated the ranks of the agency.
But the evidence suggests otherwise.
65% of Applicants Fail Polygraph Exams
Applicants for the Border Patrol jobs must undergo polygraph examinations. These truth-seeking interviews have discovered applicants who admitted to committing crimes like murder, child pornography, and lesser offenses such as corruption. The Associated Press reported last year that the failure rate on the polygraph interviews for prospective Border Patrol agents was a whopping 65 percent.
The Guardian reported that “The border patrol enjoys extraordinary police powers. Agents operate checkpoints where they stop motorists every day without suspicion, and in the interior of the country up to 100 miles, they can broad planes, trains and buses. There is no geographic limit to which agents can otherwise conduct stops amid roving patrols, though they are technically required to do so.”
Congress seems to be aware of the growing problem in the ranks of the Border Patrol. In March, it rejected President Trump’s requests for a “dramatic increase” in the number law enforcement officers in the Homeland Security Department. In fact, for the second consecutive year, Congress reduced funding for CBP, the overseer of the Border Patrol. Congress slapped down the president’s demand for those 5,000 new Border Patrol agents, instead providing just $7 million in funding for 351 customs officers at the nation’s ports of entry.
Although the Border Patrol is currently 2,000 agents short of the congressional approved floor, lawmakers appear to be waiting for CBP to improve it polygraph testing, refine its fitness test, and reform its training program. The cost to taxpayers of millions of dollars by the lawless actions of thousands of rogue Border Patrol agents has apparently caught the attention of Congress.
The lawlessness and corruption in the Border Patrol demands intense congressional oversight, especially given the nonchalant attitude the Department of Homeland Security has about civil rights violations and criminal wrongdoing of rogue Border Patrol agents. The department’s inspector general told the Guardian that it will review such matters only if they involve “significant public interest and importance.”
This nation’s law enforcement simply cannot accept, much less embrace, the president’s callous and unconstitutional approach towards the rule of law.