Border Patrol agents ordered not to apprehend illegal immigrants

Border Patrol agents in San Diego thought the new directive that was posted on bulletin boards in their offices was simply a joke.  Surely the memo signed by someone pretending to be William T. Veal, the director of the Border Patrol in San Diego, was a prank on the same order as sending a boot (or a newly trained) Marine from office to office in search of grid squares. 

The internal memo said that agents could not stop suspected illegal immigrants on city streets, in residential neighborhoods or near places of employment – which pretty much describes every place in the United States.  There was a chuckle and the men on duty that day went out to do their job only to find out that the memo was not a fake.

On August 2nd a family of five illegal aliens was on their way to the Mexican consulate in San Diego to pick up their illegal immigrant identification cards so that they could begin to take advantage of the many benefits that living in California as an illegal immigrant has to offer.  The cards are, in fact, key for many of them because new rules in California allow the Mexican consulate card to be used as proper identification for a myriad of transactions – not the least of which is to show identity to airlines and banks.  About a block from the consulate a Border Patrol agent who was doing the job he swore to do picked up the group and that afternoon they were returned to Mexico.

Hours after the illegals were returned to Mexico the Mexican consulate lodged a formal complaint with the Border Patrol.  The deputy counsel general of Mexico in San Diego told the Union Tribune, “When raids are done in the streets, people are suddenly separated from their families, from their property.  They're suddenly placed on the streets of border cities like Tijuana, where they have no family and nowhere to go." 

Well maybe they should have thought about that before they broke the laws of the United States of America.

In a time when border security is at the forefront of the war against terrorism it is unconscionable that border agents would have their hands tied by bureaucrats who care more about making sure that one party or another receives the most Latino votes in political elections than in the security of the United States.  The Veal memo actually said that the perception of doing sweeps for illegal immigrants was more important than the benefits of securing our border, "We have a continuing obligation to prevent any public perception that the Border Patrol may be conducting 'neighborhood sweeps.' “ 

Shouldn’t we be advocating neighborhood sweeps, bar and club sweeps, discount store sweeps, and everything else sweeps to make sure that people who broke into this country are removed before they do us all harm?  The notion that Border Patrol agents cannot operate in the city because illegal immigrants might be scared of being caught is precisely the reason that the agents should be there.  One of our main goals should be to put the fear of God in people who break into the United States – they should continually be looking over their shoulders to see if a brave man in a green uniform is behind them. 

That desire for fear is countered by state politics in California that encourages illegal immigrants to make it here to begin with, but the recall election might send a message to Sacramento that the policies of the past are detrimental to their political health.  Despite the flawed California magnet polices; however, the Border Patrol should act independent of them and pursue illegals wherever they might be – including on the front steps of the enabling Mexican consulate.

Border Patrol agents have long been the target for unhappy illegals, but never before did the Border Patrol Agency itself cause agents to be so frustrated.  Shawn Moran, the communications director of Local 1613 of the National Border Patrol Council said, "Guys feel like they're being ordered not to do the job they swore to do,” he added, “this is the lowest I've ever seen our morale.”  Great – the people who work tirelessly day and night to help to control the influx of illegals into the United States are being told not to do their job - maybe petty politics will drive them all into retirement and the politicians can have the wide open borders they desire. 

What a good idea.  Why don’t we just open the border and say forget about it all together?  The whole thing is just a joke now since the Mexican consulate need only lodge a complaint and the Border Patrol agent in charge of San Diego issues edicts that don’t allow his own agents to do their job.

One day someone is going to come across the border and make it into the United States with the sole purpose of doing us harm.  I suggest terrorists start recruiting Mexicans into their organizations – they have a better chance of getting in than ever before since the only place they have to fear agents is right on the border and at some mass transit stops along the way.

The Bush administration has a mess on its hands and before they end up with blood on them as well they ought to reconsider not allowing brave men and women who want nothing more than to secure our borders to do just that.