Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Border Patrol corruption bad, and getting worse

On the take?

TUCSON -- Not surprisingly, more and more corrupt US Border Patrol and Department of Homeland Security officers are directly aiding illegal smuggling.

'Increased corruption is linked, in part, to tougher enforcement, driving smugglers to recruit federal employees as accomplices,' from today's NY Times.

Border agent corruption is something many in the southwest have known for years.

The feds' unwise rush to hire thousands more warm bodies ASAP to join the Border Patrol and the growing 'security-industrial complex' will just make the corruption worse, DHS admits.

Just another disturbing example of many about how US 'get tough' border enforcement and militarization policies are failing.


Anonymous said...

The push to hire more agents is recent. What is the length of time the corrupt agents have been in the CBP? It's wrong to smear the newer guys coming in. At least yet.

Daniel R. Patterson said...

Anon. -- There are significant problems with the 'newer guys' according to DHS and NYT:

'Some of the recent cases involve border guards who had worked for their agencies for a short time, including the arrest this month of a recruit at the Border Patrol academy in New Mexico on gun smuggling charges.

'“It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said James Wong, an internal affairs agent with Customs and Border Protection. “It’s very difficult for us to get out and vet each and every one of the applicants as well as we should.”

'James Tomsheck, the assistant commissioner for internal affairs at Customs and Border Protection, said the agency was “deeply concerned” that smugglers were sending operatives to take jobs with the Border Patrol and at ports.

'The officer, Luis Alarid, 31, had worked at the crossing less than a year, and the loads included a vehicle driven by Mr. Alarid’s uncle, the authorities said.... Investigators found about $175,000 in cash in his house, according to court records.'

Anonymous said...

The Border Patrol generally has had lax hiring requirements, relying on the rigors of its training academy to screen out undesirable officers. The reasons a large number of trainees in each academy flunk out are often less because of their integrity than inability to learn Spanish quickly enough. The 1982 movie "The Border" with Jack Nicholson is surprisingly accurate over 25 years later.