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BP Agents Told to Stop Making Illegal Immigrant Arrests

BP Agents Told to Stop Making Illegal Immigrant Arrests

A United States border patrol agent catches an illegal immigrant crossing from Mexico to the U.S. in San Ysidro, California, April 13, 2011. [AP]

Associated Press

April 27, 2011

COCHISE COUNTY, AZ – An Arizona sheriff says U.S. Border Patrol officials have repeatedly told him they have been ordered to reduce — at times even stop — arrests of illegal immigrants caught trying to cross the U.S. border.

Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever stated that a supervisor with the U.S. Border Patrol told him as recently as this month that the federal agency’s office on Arizona’s southern border was under orders to keep apprehension numbers down during specific reporting time periods.

“The senior supervisor agent is telling me about how their mission is now to scare people back,” Dever said in an intervie. “He said, ‘I had to go back to my guys and tell them not to catch anybody, that their job is to chase people away. … They were not to catch anyone, arrest anyone. Their job was to set up posture, to intimidate people, to get them to go back.”

Dever said his recent conversation with the Border Patrol supervisor was the latest in a series of communications on the subject that he has had with various federal agents over the last two years. Dever said he plans to relay the substance of these conversations when he testifies under oath next month before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

“I will raise my hand to tell the truth and swear to God, and nothing is more serious or important than that,” he said. “I’m going to tell them that, here’s what I hear and see every day: I had conversation with agent A, B, C, D and this is what they told me.”

Dever’s charges were vigorously denied by a commander with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“The claim that Border Patrol supervisors have been instructed to underreport or manipulate our statistics is unequivocally false,” Jeffery Self, commander of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command in Arizona, said in a written statement.

“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," he said. "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.”

In recent days, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said the U.S.-Mexican border is more secure than ever, and Homeland Security officials have used recent statistics to support those claims.

“There is a perception that the border is worse now than it ever has been,” Napolitano said at the El Paso border crossing last week. “That is wrong. The border is better now than it ever has been.”

Dever doesn’t agree.

“Janet Napolitano says the border is more secure than it’s ever been. I’ve been here for 60 years, and I’m telling you that’s not true,” he said.

The sheriff of Santa Cruz County, which borders Dever’s Cochise County to the west, said, “This is news to me,” when asked about reports that border agents were being told to turn illegal immigrants back to Mexico rather than arrest them.

“It comes as a complete surprise that that would be something that’s going around,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said. “I meet with Dever all the time and I have great respect for him, so I expect he’d come forward and say what he knows and give the source.

“Not knowing who the source is, how reliable that source is, I really don’t have much of a position,” Estrada said. “I’ve been around a real long time and haven’t heard anything like this. By the same token, you learn new things every day.”

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  • Image009_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I believe professional tac's shouldn't be let out into the public. The sheriff may have let this one out the bag.
    Not good because it goes without sayn that people take advantage of that and use it as heads up....

  • Srt_picture_max50


    about 4 years ago


    This is true! I have a good friend who is a high ranking Border Patrol Agent and he said that it has gotten so bad in Arizona, that he is ashamed of the agency he once loved. He is trying to transfer to another agency under DHS and get out of Border Enforcement. He said that in all of his 20 something years, he has never seen such total disregard for our border security under the current administration. He finds it hard to movtivate his agents to feel like they are making a difference when he has to encourage them to not do their job!

  • 3099553-3-freedom-isnt-free_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Janet from another planet lies! The American taxpayers of all religions, race, color, and political affiliation want our borders secure, and an end to foreign nationals abusing our constitution with anchor babies. President Obama’s constant dribble on amnesty to reward lawbreakers gives him ZERO chance of re-election.

  • Academyrun_014_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I am from Nevada and not a day goes by where I don't run accross someone in this country illegally. I can not imagine what those border towns are like. I would have to imagine that the information from Sheriff Dever is much more accurate than the politician in Washington. He has boots on the ground and sees it everyday.

  • 014_max50


    about 4 years ago


    My Son is down there working to keep the border safe and has to sit on his hands more often than not... It's crap when they say it's safer then ever... Oh yea-they are in DC saying that...

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    The end result is to kill each one of them and leave them in the middle of the street like they do in Mexico. That way you can scare the ones still alive back across the border.
    No security walls and only 15 cents per bullet.

  • 100_0214_max600_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Makes sense to me. Less arrests means lower stats- thus there must be less people crossing the border?!?! Good for him- tell the truth.

  • Skull_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I believe it.

  • Plmb2s3sk_max600_max50


    about 4 years ago


    just what we need....

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    The only part about it I don't like is if they are doing it to fudge the numbers. Otherwise, I don't see what is so wrong with the idea. I'm sure it would cut down on the expense of housing the illegals and then having to ship them back.

  • Wings_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Platoo...inappropriate comment for, I can't believe you are in law enforcement. This is no doubt a frustrating issue. It has been a slippery slope situation for years and now all their talking, posturing and shell gaming is costing us billions of dollars. It is eroding the actual safety, welfare and happiness of those near the border. Everywhere else it is causing strife because of our lack of ability to pin down the problem and the disagreements that this sparks about what the solution is. Whatever the solution is, WE ALL KNOW that there is a problem, especially those of us in the bordering states.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    The entire Obama administration needs to be removed, they are the biggest threat America faces.. .

  • Mandy_and_me_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Nepatilano needs to be fired or resign

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    Oh yeah, lets just open our doors to every illegal Immigrant who wants to come into our country. In fact we should make a big dinner and have them all come to the party, but before the party starts we need to spike the food so none survive to tread on thee.

  • Troy-polamalu_max50


    about 4 years ago


    So frustrating........

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