April 1, 2011
BISBEE, Ariz. – US Border Patrol officials were ordered to reduce — and at times even stop — arrests of illegal immigrants caught trying to cross the US border, an Arizona sheriff claimed in a report published Friday by FOXNews.com
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said that a supervisor with the US Border Patrol told him the federal agency’s office on Arizona’s southern border was under orders to keep apprehension numbers down during specific reporting time periods.
“The senior supervisor agent is telling me about how their mission is now to scare people back,” Dever told FOXNews.com. “He said, ‘I had to go back to my guys and tell them not to catch anybody, that their job is to chase people awayâ€¦ They were not to catch anyone, arrest anyone.’ Their job was to set up posture, to intimidate people, to get them to go back.”
Dever said his recent conversation with the Border Patrol supervisor was the latest in a series of communications on the subject that he has had with various federal agents over the last two years. Dever said he plans to relay the substance of these conversations when he testifies under oath next month before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.