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The CBP’s morale is at an ebb unseen in decades thanks to President Biden’s border policies and statements by members of his administration and allies accusing agents of “racism,” Chris Cabrera, a spokesman for the CBP’s union, the National Border Patrol Council, has revealed.
“Morale is in the toilet, I mean, I’ve been here 20 going on 21 years. I’ve never seen it this bad,” Cabrera told Fox News.
“When you have all we have going on now with the administration just flat out calling our guys racists with the stuff that happened out in Eagle Pass or Del Rio, when you’re allowing people to come over and in a sense just flaunt the rules right in your face, we’re not doing what we’re hired to do,” the spokesman added.
Last year, media images of CBP agents in Del Rio chasing after migrants on horseback sparked a public outcry, with the White House responding by banning the patrols, and the president’s congressional allies suggesting the incident was “worse than [what] we witnessed in slavery.”
Cabrera suggested that Mr. Biden’s immigration policies – which he blamed for the dramatic spike in illegal crossing attempts experienced over the past year-and-a-half, were preventing Border Patrol from doing their job – catching criminals.
“Any time you have a new administration that comes in, I mean, it’s their ballgame. They get to make the rules. But our thought is, if you’re gonna take something out of play, take a rule or policy out of play, you have to replace it with something,” the spokesman stressed.
CBP officials and agents congressional Republicans, and other critics have accused the president of causing the current crisis at the southern border by revoking a series of executive orders signed by his predecessor, Donald Trump. During his first days in office, Biden scrapped Trump’s signature ‘border wall’ and the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program, which offered would-be migrants incentives to remain in Mexico while they waited for asylum applications to be processed. The president also promised to “restore and expand” the US asylum system, and hinted that Washington might provide a “path to citizenship” for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the US.
Last month, the Department of Homeland Security, the federal department to which the CBP is subordinated, announced plans to scrap Title 42 – a Trump-era immigration directive which allowed border officials to expel more than 80 percent of immigrants caught trying to enter the US illegally under the pretext of Covid-related medical concerns. A federal judge blocked the measure’s repeal, with the White House vowing to appeal the ruling, leaving its future uncertain.
CBP reported nearly 240,000 migrant encounters along the southern border in the month of May, up from 180,000+ during the same month in 2021, just 23,000 in 2020 and 144,000 in 2019.
Total encounters for fiscal year 2022 surpassed one million in April, with figures on their way to topping the 1.72 million enforcement encounters reported in fiscal year 2021, which ran from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.
President Biden pitched a new immigration-related agreement during the Summit of the Americas earlier this month, calling the issue a “challenge” which must be solved collectively by the nations of the Western Hemisphere. The proposed pact, dubbed the ‘Los Angeles Declaration’, seeks to create incentives for other countries to absorb more asylum seekers, and for the boosting of cooperation between the US and other countries in regional law enforcement, information sharing, visa regimes and temporary job opportunities for migrants.
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