Border patrol agents say GOP’s border security bill is weak ‘window dressing’

Two major border enforcement unions attacked the GOP Border Security bill currently winding its way through Congress.

House leaders hoped to move H.R. 399, the Secure Our Borders First Act to the House floor by Wednesday but opposition from the National Border Patrol Council has disrupted the timetable:

“This legislation speaks about metrics but frankly does not provide either the strategy or the resources necessary to achieve them,” said Shawn Moran, spokesman for the union. “We need real solutions on the border, where the trends are moving in the wrong direction, with increased apprehensions, more aggressive action from smugglers and drug cartels and continued threats from terrorists.”


The Border Patrol union says the bill needs to be more specific in calling for an additional 5,000 agents on the southwest border — there are about 20,000 now — updating their training to a 20-week course and acquiring more M4 rifles and other gear so they can operate out in the field.

The Border Patrol union’s complaints make it difficult to round up the full support of the Republican caucus needed to push this bill through the House. Some border security activists were already spooked by opposition from another organization representing immigration officers that arose last week:

[…] [T]he labor union for immigration officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, one of the other immigration agencies, said the bill needs to make it tougher to claim asylum and needs to end the “catch-and-release” type of policies that allowed most of the illegal immigrants in last summer’s Central American wave to be released into the U.S., where many have since disappeared into the shadows.