Border Patrol to Trump: Drain the swamp!

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Top Border Patrol and ICE agents are calling for the Trump administration to remove certain Obama-era policies, thereby giving them more resources to secure the border and detain illegal aliens.

Brandon Judd, a Border Patrol agent and president of the National Border Patrol Council, said until President Trump undoes current “bureaucratic bungling” within the Homeland Security department, agents will not be fully able to carry out their duties.

“We talk about securing the border … and the border? — we can absolutely secure it. But, it cannot be secure if our operations are not sound,” Judd explained.

“What’s very concerning to Border Patrol agents is, to this point, we still have the same people who gave us all of the failed operations, who were the authors of the catch-and-release program. They’re still in charge — even under this current administration. That’s head-scratching, especially since the president said we’re going to drain the swamp.”

One example of the bureaucratic bungling agents would like to see undone is control of the Border Patrol’s helicopters. Over a decade ago, the Homeland Security department was created and turned over the Patrol’s helicopters to the Office of Air and Marine.

According to Judd, when the Border Patrol controlled its own helicopters, agents received crucial nighttime air support. Now, the department is reluctant to send helicopters on nighttime missions, leaving agents to face illegal aliens and dangerous drug smugglers without air cover.

“Right now, the Office of Air and Marine, they fly very little at night,” Judd told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in March. “In fact, in [the Rio Grande Valley sector], we had to use Coast Guard to fly sorties in certain areas. And, when their apprehensions became so great, it’s my understanding the officer at Air and Marine asked them not to fly anymore at night in RGV because it was making them look bad.”

Mr. Judd said this is just one example of what he called “kingdom-building” in a bureaucracy creating hurdles that could impede President Trump’s immigration policies.

This applies to interior enforcement, as well. Although the president’s early immigration policies have helped boost morale for agents, those like Chris Crane, the head of the union for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, said the agencies’ leadership needs attention.

Crane said ICE is strongly affected by a “good ol’ boy network,” where a large number of managers get in the way of agents trying to do their job.

Bureaucratic bungling is an issue for both Democrats and Republicans on the Homeland Security committee, who are aiming to find bipartisan areas to clean up the immigration agencies within the Homeland Security Department and free agents to enforce laws.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said both parties want to know the names of bureaucrats who are blocking proper enforcement, also stating that ICE and Border Patrol unions who endorsed Mr. Trump may stand a better chance of moving the president to take further action.

H/T: The Washington Times

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