May 13, 2005

Border Patrol ordered not to arrest illegal aliens in Arizona

This is not at all a surprise to me, but it is sickening nonetheless. Washington Times has learned that agents along the Arizona border were ordered to make the minimum number of arrests possible in order to diminish the positive effects the Minutemen have had.

U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned. More than a dozen agents, all of whom asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said orders relayed by Border Patrol supervisors at the Naco, Ariz., station made it clear that arrests were "not to go up" along the 23-mile section of border that the volunteers monitored to protest illegal immigration. [...] Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar at the agency's Washington headquarters called the accusations "outright wrong," saying that supervisors at the Naco station had not blocked agents from making arrests and that the station's 350 agents were being "supported in carrying out" their duties.

[...]
But Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, yesterday said "credible sources" within the Border Patrol also had told him of the decision by Naco supervisors to keep new arrests to a minimum, saying he was angry but not surprised.
"It's like telling a cop to stand by and watch burglars loot a store but don't arrest any of them," he said. "This is another example of decisions being made at the highest levels of the Border Patrol that are hurting morale and helping to rot the agency from within.
"I worry about our efforts in Congress to increase the number of agents," he said. "Based on these kinds of orders, we could spend the equivalent of the national debt and never have secure borders."
Mr. Tancredo, chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, blamed the Bush administration for setting an immigration enforcement tone that suggests to those enforcing the law that he is not serious about secure borders.

Not serious about it? Funny, I've sort of gotten that impression myself...hmmm...

Several field agents credited the volunteers with cutting the flow of illegal aliens in the targeted Naco area, saying the number of apprehended illegals dropped from an average of 500 a day to less than 15 a day.

[...]
Area residents, in a half-page ad in the Sunday edition of the Sierra Vista Herald, told the volunteers: "Thanks for doing what our government won't -- close the border to illegal aliens. It was the quietest month we've had in many years ... You made us feel safe because the border was closed."

Cross-posted at
Descartes' Bar and Grill

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