The WaPo is reporting that Attacks on US Border Patrol Agents is rising. Mexicans trying to cross the border and those who are members of drug cartels have been stepping up violence against Border Agents.
"They've got weapons, high-tech radios, computers, cell phones, Global Positioning Systems, spotters and can react faster than we are able to," said Shawn P. Moran, a 10-year U.S. Border Patrol veteran who serves as vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613 in San Diego.
"And they have no hesitancy to attack the agents on the line, with anything from assault rifles and improvised Molotov cocktails to rocks, concrete slabs and bottles," he said. "There are so many agent 'rockings' that few are even reported anymore. If we wrote them all up, that's all we would be doing."
Attacks on Border Agents has almost doubled - from 118 in '04 to 163 in the first 8 month of 2005. And just like other law enforcement agencies - especially Chicago's Police department - our agents at the border are hobbled by administrative rules and regulations.
From the article:
"But union officials and agents said that they are often frustrated by internal policies that keep them from taking aggressive action against illegal immigrants.
McCubbin said that because of personnel shortages, the border patrol has shifted from active patrols to a policy of “high visibility” in which agents are basically static or in “watch mode” until an actual incursion is noted and they have to respond.
“We’re pretty much a reactive operation,” McCubbin said, “and I believe that’s why we’re in this position, we’re like sitting ducks in a way.”
Some agents complained that they are rarely allowed to pursue illegal immigrants, regardless of the situation.
“If anyone runs from us, we don’t chase them,” said one California-based border patrol agent who requested anonymity. “We could have information that there is a nuke in the back of a van but we don’t have authority to chase them,” the agent said. “We’ve had radiation pagers go off and we’re still not allowed [by our supervisors] to give chase,” he said. “They are scared to death something will go wrong and there will be a huge liability.”
Oh, but I forgot. Presidente Bush said that they're "just here to work." Hhhmmmmmm......If you believe that then I've got some beachfront property near Las Mochas to sell you.