The House Judiciary Committee has been getting an earful lately from Border Patrol agents who are unhappy with how business is being conducted on their watch, specifically as it applies to stopping the flow of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border. This week brought new revelations from Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, who reported what we’ve been hearing for some time now through off the record sources: the Department of Homeland Security is operating a catch and release program for all but the worst offenders. Further, they have “no intention” of even trying to schedule all of the apprehended border jumpers for hearings. (Washington Times)
A top Homeland Security official told Border Patrol agents the Obama administration has “no intention of deporting” many of the illegal immigrants caught trying to sneak into the country, ordering instead that they be released so they don’t clog up the courts, a leading advocate for agents testified to Congress.
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said the orders are a new “catch and release” policy, which he said “amounts to amnesty” because it means many illegal immigrants are never asked to leave the country.
It also suggests the Border Patrol is being ordered to break President Obama’s own enforcement priorities, which say new illegal immigrants — defined as those who came after Dec. 31, 2013 — are priorities for deportation, and are supposed to be arrested and processed.
Judd’s testimony contains all sorts of insights into what’s going on between DHS in Washington and the men and women out there on the lines on the Mexican border. He recalls a conversation with Deputy DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who told the agents that there was no point in even bothering issuing a Notice to Appear (NTA) to the illegals they pick up because they “will help alleviate the burden on an already overburdened court system,” by cutting them loose. (There is currently a three to six year wait for court appearances, during which time the illegals are simply running loose.)
Even more amazingly, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske went on the record in response to Judd’s complaints, suggesting that if he didn’t like his job he should probably look for another.
Mr. Kerlikowske said Mr. Judd was “probably not the most knowledgeable organization about what’s actually going on” in the field with Border Patrol agents, and he said agents that object to Mr. Obama’s policies should quit.
“Well, if you really don’t want to follow the directions of your superiors, including the president of the United States and the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, then you really do need to look for another job,” he said.
The sad part of this story is that we’re really not letting you in on any sort of breaking news which should come as a shoch. There have been unofficial, off the record interviews with Border Patrol agents for the past few years saying exactly the same thing. Rather than some aberration on the local level or failure of a particular unit, this is the quasi-official policy of the Obama administration. We won’t put the resources in place to protect the border and we tie the hands of the agents who are fighting an already overwhelming tide. The results are precisely as we see them today and we shouldn’t feign surprise over it.