Biden's Border Crisis Is Causing Border Patrol Agents to Forego Mandatory Training

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Posted: Mar 24, 2022 9:30 AM
Biden's Border Crisis Is Causing Border Patrol Agents to Forego Mandatory Training

Source: AP Photo/Eric Gay

Border Patrol sources in the Yuma Sector revealed to Townhall that border agents have been unable to conduct mandated weapons and use of force trainings because most of their days are spent processing a sustained surge of illegal immigrants that continue to cross into the region amid the ongoing border crisis.

The sources told Townhall there is concern among the agents they may be railroaded if they use force or deadly force without being up to date on their required training. Assaults against Border Patrol agents across the country are up 30 percent so far this fiscal year compared to fiscal year 2021, according to data from Border Report.

In a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) "Use of Force - Administrative Guidelines and Procedures Handbook" that was released in January 2021, CBP officers and agents are required to go through use of force training once per quarter and weapons training at least once per year. One source told Townhall that, to their knowledge, full sets of trainings have not been conducted in the Yuma Sector for more than one year. Waivers for training are granted if an agent has a "temporary physical condition" or "due to circumstances beyond the officer’s/agent’s control" but "the time period for a general waiver begins from the day it is granted and may not exceed 270 days."

"With the increase in daily apprehensions across the southern border, it increases the probability of encountering a scenario in which the use of force may be necessary. Similar to the horse patrol fake 'whipping' scenario, we know that neither the Chief of [Border Patrol] nor the [Homeland Security] Secretary have our backs or our best interest in mind," one Border Patrol source said to Townhall. "They would throw us under the bus to save face any chance they can."

"Nobody has faith with management whether it be the local or national level. Combine that with not being given our mandatory training and it’s easy to see how agents could be reluctant to use force which could ultimately end with an agent getting hurt or losing their life," the source added.

"Anytime there is a policy violation, the violator is held responsible and punishment is given to the violator. Border Patrol management seems to be violating their own rules guidelines and policies," said another Border Patrol source. 

The second Border Patrol source said local management has been giving "blanket" waivers for hundreds of agents who have not qualified on firearms or haven't completed use of force training. The source also noted the practice of blanket waivers has been happening since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued during the surge of illegal entries and apprehensions.

"This worries many agents because if we are investigated, they will throw us under the bus like they did to the horse patrol agents in Del Rio," they said. 

The Del Rio horse patrol incident the sources referred to is the investigation that is still ongoing after agents were falsely accused of whipping people illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in the Del Rio Sector amid a giant surge that resulted in thousands of people camping underneath an international bridge. Criticism over the false accusations came from top leadership within DHS, the White House, and the mainstream media. President Joe Biden declared the agents involved "will pay." But, despite Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas promising the investigation would not take months, the findings of the investigation have yet to be released more than six months later.

"This is a direct result of the decisions these [sector] chiefs are forced to make when they are faced with an open border — and the Biden administration has shown no effort to secure it," said former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott.

"Anytime there’s a major surge or crisis, chiefs have to make decisions minute by minute on where to allocate their personnel.” Often, training goes on the back burner, Scott explained.

"CBP is required to make critical decisions when situations arise which impact operations. Reducing, modifying, or eliminating training occurs as necessary, and every effort is made to prioritize any lapse in training as soon as practical. In Yuma Sector, agents are completing Firearms training. Use of Force training will resume next quarter," CBP said in a statement.

To date in fiscal year 2022, the Yuma Sector has encountered more than 118,000 people illegally crossing the southern border into the United States. The overwhelming majority of them, 106,595, are not from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador, according to CBP data.