Employers have a responsibility to provide their employees with the safest working conditions possible. It reduces their company’s attrition rate and helps protect them from liability should a workplace accident occur. But this is in the civilian world where logic takes precedence over rules and regulations that require mountains of red tape to change or adjust. U.S. border patrol agents work for the federal government, and at a time when illegal migration is experiencing its largest uptick in a decade, their working conditions have deteriorated with no relief in sight.
After Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas paid a visit to the border and received a less than hospitable reception from the agents he ultimately oversees, he’s more or less been forced into doing his job. Mayorkas, after observing what the agents were dealing with, came up with a list of 19 ways to make their lives better.
In addition, Mayorkas vowed to step up the prosecutions of anyone who assaults an agent. At a recent meeting in Laredo, Texas, Chris Mangus, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, said the number of assaults against agents has dramatically increased.
“That’s something that agents in the field want to hear because assaults are on the uptick,” Mangus said. “We are not just seeing folks who are fleeing to the U.S. to get away from conditions. We are seeing smugglers, members of cartels, and drug organizations that are actively engaged in doing harm.”
Joe Biden has been harshly criticized, even by his own party, for his lackadaisical approach to the southern border crises. He’s attempted to reverse many of the bold but necessary policies instituted by Donald Trump and his stance on immigration is as of yet, weak and undefined.
Just this past year, agents at the southern border encountered 1.7 million immigrants from every corner of the globe. Many of them were not given a chance to seek asylum due to the pandemic and were immediately turned away to either camp out in one of the growing tent cities along the border or return from whence they came.
But as they keep coming, Biden decided it would be better to allow families with small children to cross into the U.S. as they seek asylum, which can take years. He also decided to house them as families and not separate them, and this has caused lots of frustrations in the ranks.
At the meeting in Loredo, Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz made it clear that morale was at an “all-time low.” Agents feel like chauffeurs as they cart families around from one facility to another, and outside of this, they’re doing nothing more than waving people in, some of whom have conveniently formed make-believe families.
Mayorkas explained to the agents how he understood that catering to families and children “is not what they signed up to do.” He also made reference to recognizing how they’re being overwhelmed with new waves of migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. One of the agents was so disgruntled that he turned his back on Mayorkas as he spoke.
The agents who aren’t busy playing nursemaid are out chasing the bad guys who generally outnumber them, and depending on their purpose for being in the U.S., are sometimes heavily armed.
While Mayorkas and his staff weigh their options and pass ideas around the White House for consideration, the border problems continue to escalate as more and more agents say the heck with it and turn in their badges. If this continues at its current pace, you might want to stay clear of the southern border. It’s going to be an out-of-control stampede.