While “Americans have been demanding stronger border security,” the Obama administration’s DHS budget recommendations call for a reduction of 300 agents in FY 2017 according to the National Border patrol Council.
“This defies logic,” said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council in a statement released on thursday. “Only at DHS can it make sense to reduce Border Patrol agents when our nation is facing threats from foreign and domestic terrorists, our communities are battling a heroin epidemic, and drug cartels are getting more violent as they battle to get their dangerous drugs and contraband into our country.”
“The Obama administration, sadly, has made every attempt to dismantle, demoralize and disrupt the Border Patrol and our mission to enforce our nation’s immigration laws,” Judd added. “Instead of supporting tougher enforcement to deter future waves of illegal entrants, the administration created phantom amnesty programs like DACA and DAPA, along with ‘Catch and Release.’ These programs have only resulted in more people crossing into our nation illegally.”
Judd continued, “Now is not the time to weaken America’s first line of defense. Now is the time to invest in the men and women who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe. We need stronger political support, investments in equipment and training, and leaders who understand the challenges of securing our borders.”
Judd also addressed the fact that CBP is currently operating at 1,500 agents below the level mandated by Congress. In addition, the agency must begin planning for the retirement of a large percentage of agents as they approach mandatory retirement at age 57.
Judd argued that “CBP should address the top-heavy supervisor-to-officer ratio before it considers cutting the number of agents in the field. CBP has roughly one supervisor per 4 agents, he said, as opposed to the 1:9 ratio seen at most major police agencies.” He concluded, “We need less people behind a desk and more agents behind the wheel of the vehicle helping to secure our borders and keep our communities safe.”