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Arizona Sheriff Cites Flood of Border Agents Confirming Feds' No-Apprehension Policy

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  • Arizona Sheriff Cites Flood of Border Agents Confirming Feds' No-Apprehension Policy

    Arizona Sheriff Cites Flood of Border Agents Confirming Feds' No-Apprehension Policy

    An Arizona sheriff says he has been flooded with calls and emails of support from local and federal agents who back his claims that the U.S. Border Patrol has effectively ordered them to stop apprehending illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border.

    “Upper management has advised supervisors to have agents ‘turn back South’ (TBS) the illegal aliens (aka bodies) they detect attempting to unlawfully enter the country … at times you even hear supervisors order the agents over the radio to 'TBS' the aliens instead of catching them,” one San Diego border agent wrote in an email to Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever.

    “This only causes more problems as the aliens, as you know, don't just go back to Mexico and give up. They keep trying, sometimes without 10 minutes in-between attempts, to cross illegally,” continued the email, which was among a number of communications to Dever reviewed by FoxNews.com. “This makes the job for agents more dangerous. Not only are the aliens more defiant, they also begin to feel like they can get away with breaking our federal laws.”

    The email is one of more than 100 messages Dever said he received from active and retired Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officers from across the country.

    Many wrote of what they said was their own experience and first-hand knowledge of Border Patrol’s efforts to reduce apprehension numbers by making fewer arrests.

    FoxNews.com first reported this month that Dever said several Border Patrol officials, including at least one senior supervisor, told him they had been directed to keep the number of border apprehensions down by chasing illegal immigrants back toward Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has recently cited a reduction in border apprehensions as evidence of an increasingly secure border.

    Three days after FoxNews.com’s initial report, Border Patrol chief Michael Fisher sent a letter to Dever in which he denied the accusations and invited the sheriff on a ride-along with federal agents at border.

    "That assertion is completely, 100 percent false," Fisher wrote in the letter. "That it comes from a fellow law enforcement official makes it especially offensive."

    But accounts from law enforcement officials around the country continue to pour in supporting Dever and the conversations he says he had with Border Patrol officers, including at least one supervisor, about keeping arrest numbers down.

    “This is nothing new, during my career with the border patrol, this was done regularly,” said another email to Dever reviewed by FoxNews.com. “By assigning agents to different tasks, locations, etc., the apprehensions can be increased or decreased dramatically,” wrote Dan McCaskill Jr., a retired Border Patrol agent who worked in the Anti-Smuggling Unit.

    McCaskill went on to describe how, he said, apprehension numbers were regularly manipulated to achieve various budget, equipment or manpower goals.

    In response to request for comment on the new allegations, Homeland Security offered the same statement from Jeffery Self, commander of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command, that was provided to FoxNews.com earlier this month:
    “As the commander for border enforcement operations in Arizona, I can confirm that the claim that Border Patrol supervisors have been instructed to underreport or manipulate our statistics is unequivocally false. I took an oath that I take very seriously and I find it insulting that anyone, especially a fellow law enforcement officer, would imply that we would put the protection of the American public and security of our nation’s borders in danger just for a numbers game. Our mission does not waiver based on political climate and it never will. To suggest that we are ambiguous in enforcing our laws belittles the work of more than 6,000 CBP employees in Arizona who dedicate their lives to protect our borders every day.”

    Local 2544, the Tucson branch of the National Border Patrol Council union, has also come out in support of Dever, and posted this message on their website after the FoxNews.com report.

    “Sheriff Dever is right. We have seen so many slick shenanigans pulled in regards to 'got-aways' and entry numbers that at times it seems David Copperfield is running the Border Patrol. Creating the illusion that all is well and you can start having family picnics in the areas where we work has been going on far too long. Has there been improvement in some areas? Absolutely. Is the border anywhere near 'under control'? Absolutely not. Do some in management play games with numbers and cater to the wishes of politicians like Janet Napolitano and David Aguilar? Resoundingly, yes. Time for the foolish political games to stop.”

    The union posted another response on their website following Fox News’ publication of Fisher’s April 6 letter to Dever:
    “Just remember, for years now we have been told from the highest ranking managers in our agency that 'every apprehension is a FAILURE' (Johnny Williams - former INS Western Region Director), and that we 'are NOT immigration officers' (current CBP Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar to Border Patrol agents when he was the Chief of the Border Patrol)…. We have been told that - Apprehensions = failure, we are not 'immigration' officers, we should not 'lower' ourselves to the status of an immigration officer, and our primary job is not apprehending illegal aliens. Couple all this with Secretary Napolitano's recent public announcement about what she expects our apprehension numbers to be this fiscal year, and it's not hard to figure this thing out.”

    A second Arizona sheriff, Paul Babeu of Pinal County, also testified at a Senate Homeland Security Committee last week in support of Dever’s charges. Dever was slated to appear at the hearing, but said he could no longer attend when the date of his appearance was changed.

    Asked specifically about Dever’s assertion that agents were told to turn back illegals to reduce apprehensions, Babeu told the committee he’d specifically asked his top lieutenant, Matt Thomas, about the claims.

    "He said, 'Sheriff, I have heard that myself directly from border agents in the Tucson sector,'" Babeu testitified.

    Babeu told FoxNews.com he’s been told by Border Patrol officials that for every person apprehended at the border, an average of 2.7 succeed in crossing into the U.S. With those numbers, he said he was concerned paramilitary or terror cells equipped with more sophisticated support and training could easily get through.

    “This is no longer just public security threat, this is national security threat,” he told FoxNews.com.

    T.J. Bonner, retired president of the National Border Patrol Council, said in an interview with FoxNews.com that he’s familiar with “TBS-ing” and shares Babeu’s concerns about criminals and terrorists crossing the border.

    “TBS has been going on for a number of years. You’ll never find orders in writing, and some agents have even been disciplined for TBS-ing people. That’s a practice that dates back to quite some time, to try and discourage is part of their 'strategy of deterrence.'"

    Bonner said Border Patrol agents are receiving “TBS” orders from someone higher up, but he isn’t sure who.

    “Agents don’t just do this on their own. The orders must come from on high. They don’t just wake up one day and say I’m going to risk my job, my livelihood,” said Bonner, who retired last year after 32 years with Border Patrol. “I’m not sure if it’s Napolitano or folks in Customs and Border Protection, but somebody wants to silence critics in Arizona to claim success in Arizona.”

    As for Dever, he says he’s just hoping that some good will come out of this.
    “Frankly, I don't want to create a firestorm," he said. "I only want this problem solved.”


    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/04/19...ension-policy/

  • #2
    Forward Deployed.
    Last edited by Cyber_Saint; 04-19-2011, 03:32 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow.....and just a few weeks ago when this story broke, Big Pat ASSURED me that the Sheriff was full of crap and the Border Patrol would never issue orders like this.....

      Hmmm....seems that some of Big Pats fellow BP Agents are agreeing with the Sheriff now.......

      Comment


      • #4
        And when you arrest them and take them to the border and release them is the result really much different?

        Unless we will actually jail people (which is going to cost lots of $) for illegal entry it's not going to make a difference.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
          And when you arrest them and take them to the border and release them is the result really much different?

          Unless we will actually jail people (which is going to cost lots of $) for illegal entry it's not going to make a difference.
          Its a question of honesty on part of the government not to mention national security. The only way DHS has of tracking border crossings is US Border Patrol apprehension statistics. If you "TBS" them then they wre never apprehended and on paper, they never entered the US, even though they will just cross again after the agents leave the area. The Sheriff is alleging that the Border Patrol is doing that to keep apprehension numbers low so taht DHS can falsely state that the border is under control.

          Comment


          • #6
            Fox News should try some investigative reporting by sending teams of Mexican-Americans without identification into Mexico and see what happens when they try to cross the border.
            Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
            Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
              And when you arrest them and take them to the border and release them is the result really much different?

              Unless we will actually jail people (which is going to cost lots of $) for illegal entry it's not going to make a difference.
              Just do what Eisenhower did, put them on a train and ship them deep into the southern Mexican jungle. Sure they might be able to try it again, but it will be awhile.
              Last edited by Dingo990; 04-19-2011, 05:44 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                For what it's worth, while I was at the Academy (I came home after 3 weeks), I learned that the next 2 classes (at least) were going to Arizona. All of the class I was in was headed there as well, specifically Tuscan Sector.
                There are basically two kinds of people in this world. Those that believe in the moon landing and those that don't.
                http://unistat76.blogspot.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
                  And when you arrest them and take them to the border and release them is the result really much different?

                  Unless we will actually jail people (which is going to cost lots of $) for illegal entry it's not going to make a difference.
                  it should be law that if you are EVER caught here illegally, you can NEVER get a green card or become a citizen.
                  Just pay your dues, and be quiet :-)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well I think a person who's trying to invade our country should be shot on the spot. You don't know who they are or their intentions.
                    Been chatting to a girl online. She's funny, sexy and flirty. Now she tells me she is an undercover cop! How cool is that at her age!?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      While I loved being a an Agent I'm glad that I'm not anymore. The Gov't doesn't back the Agents in the field like they should. It's all a bunch of BS.
                      The only thing I hear when you say anything is "blah blah blah I'm a dirty whore".

                      Originally posted by Michigan
                      I don't want to sound gay...

                      But I'd do him.
                      Do you like airplanes and aviation??JOIN http://forums.officer.com/forums/group.php?groupid=20

                      My goal is to have the longest most annoying signature line ever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mr. Green View Post
                        While I loved being a an Agent I'm glad that I'm not anymore. The Gov't doesn't back the Agents in the field like they should. It's all a bunch of BS.
                        In Tucson sector management has the Agents back. It has been several years since I have seen an Agent get screwed over a use of force. There have been a bunch of shootings lately and the Agency has always had the Agents back. Funny thing, the most recent example of an agent getting screwed over what happened in the field was when Cochise County (with teh help of Sheriff Dever) prosecuted an Agent for murder over a good shoot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cyber_Saint View Post
                          Forward Deployed.
                          It was just a few months ago that the the same Sheriff Dever complained very vocally in the media that we were not forward deployed enough and that he was tired of seeing so many agents north of the actual border.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with you about Dever. Though, on the forward deployed issue, I am thinking more along the lines of what is going on in Casa Grande than Douglas.

                            I remember his previous rant about Agents not being allowed on the line at night. Can't speak for other agents, but I have never been told not to go to the line. I've been told to take a partner if I head to certain parts of the line, but never that I flat out wasn't allowed to go.
                            Last edited by Cyber_Saint; 04-20-2011, 05:06 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ten08
                              I live in Cochise County, have met Sheriff Dever and have never heard of this here. Babeau is the Sherrif of a County that does not border Mexico. I hope this won't be like when Dever made a statement that the farmer killed near Douglas was killed by a militia and then had to try to walk it back
                              To be fair though, Sheriff Babeau's county sees far more border related crime than any other county in Arizona. The TO res is out of control and everything that makes it through there spills out into Pinal County.

                              I would actually argue that Babeau has more of a reason to be creating a controversy regarding Border Patrol activities than Dever does, but I won't state my reasons for that on an open forum.
                              Last edited by Cyber_Saint; 04-20-2011, 05:06 AM.

                              Comment

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