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Helping the Border Patrol
Secure the Border

August 17, 2015

Earlier this month members of the law enforcement community and Citizens Police Academies from across the state gathered in El Paso for the annual Texas CPAAA, (Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association) conference.  Bill, a local member of the CPAAA, attended this conference and came in contact with members of the Border Patrol – at the conference and while enroute.  

With all the recent discussions on securing the border, we thought it would be enlightening to share some of the obstacles Border Patrol agents face and solutions they said would help them.

  • It takes as much as 7-8 hours to do the paperwork needed to process each person apprehended.  Look for a way to cut this time so Border Patrol agents can get back in the field and do their job.
  • Having immigration judges located at the border could help speed up the processing of those detained. 
  • There’re just not enough “boots on the ground.”  It would help to allow local law enforcement jurisdictions to enforce U.S. immigration laws.  This shouldn’t be forced on local jurisdictions, and those participating would need to be trained, but allowing local law enforcement officers to backstop the Border Patrol would be welcomed.
  • The Border Patrol gets intelligence from drones.  The problem is that this information often gets to them too late.  They need this intelligence in “real time.”
  • It is imperative that those who enter the country illegally are not given “head of the line” privileges.  If they’re added to the line it should be behind those who follow the legal route.
  • Currently, if a detainee is assigned a court date but has relatives in another city, he or she is granted free access to travel throughout our country while awaiting the hearing date.   Many of those who have court dates never reappear and fade into the woodwork.  We suggest considering a policy that if the illegal immigrant is going to live with a person in Santa Barbara, California (pick a city) but is apprehended in Cleveland, Ohio (a place far away from the place he or she has said they would be) that this should be a basis for immediate deportation.
  • Reinstate Border Patrol offices in the interior of the country.  One of the problems has been that those who have entered our country illegally gravitate to the interior parts of the nation since there is no Border Patrol presence and local law enforcement agencies are currently barred from enforcing U.S. immigration laws.  Reinstating some of these offices would help with overall enforcement.
  • Sanctuary cities should not be allowed.  Our view:  This could be accomplished by cutting off all federal and state funding for such cities, causing them to choose between abiding by the law or not getting funding.

The Border Patrol is working hard to keep us safe, but they cannot do it alone.  We need to encourage state and federal legislators to get them the tools they need and support them in securing the border. 

Bill, John and Mark

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