New Report Details Dozens of Corrupt #Border_Patrol_Agents—Just As Trump Wants to Hire More
New records obtained by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) reveal that their concerns may not have been misplaced. Since 2016, there have been 40 cases of corruption-related charges against CBP employees, including 13 since Trump took office. Overall, 80 Border Patrol agents and 127 CBP officers have been arrested or charged with corruption-related crimes since 2004. Records show that between February 2017 and mid-March 2018, CBP employees racked up charges including embezzlement, human smuggling, theft, bribery, breaking and entering, money laundering, providing false statements, and using firearms during drug-related crimes.
In early 2016, the Department of Homeland Security declared that corrupt border agents “pose a national security threat” and found that the CBP had a “broken disciplinary process.” James Tomsheck, the former head of Internal Affairs at CBP, has repeatedly warned about corruption at the agency. He maintains that its background investigations of new employees are sorely lacking, that it sweeps corruption allegations under the rug, and that it largely resists efforts to clean house. In an interview with Mother Jones last year, Tomsheck claimed that the head of the Border Patrol agents’ union had “opposed every integrity proposal” he had made during his eight years at CBP. (The National Border Patrol Council did not respond to requests for comment.)
Some of the crimes committed by border agents on the job have been extreme. While on patrol in March 2014, Border Patrol agent Esteban Manzanares kidnapped, assaulted, and raped two Honduran girls and their mother. He committed suicide when FBI agents surrounded his home. In late 2016, the discovery of a headless body a few hundred feet from the shore of South Padre Island in Texas led investigators first to an assassin for the Gulf Cartel and eventually to a Border Patrol agent who had run guns and drugs across the border.
The 210 corruption cases documented by POGO are just those that have come to light and in which legal action was taken. In 2014, the American Immigration Council published data on 809 complaints of alleged abuse by Border Patrol agents from 2009 to 2012. In 97 percent of the cases, Border Patrol took no action on the complaints. The same year, Tomsheck told Reveal that at least a quarter of violent incidents involving Border Patrol agents were “highly suspect,” adding that “in nearly every instance, there was an effort by Border Patrol leadership to make a case to justify the shooting versus doing a genuine, appropriate review of the information and the facts at hand.” In 2016, Reveal identified 140 CBP officials who had been arrested or convicted for acts of corruption including weapons charges, drug smuggling, and human trafficking.
#murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #corruption #USA #Etats-Unis #gardes-frontière