Border agents overwhelmed by crush of migrants teetering on ‘morale collapse’

Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection agents who have been inundated by hundreds of thousands of migrants streaming illegally into the United States following immigration policy changes by President Joe Biden are frustrated, angry, and suffering a “morale collapse,” according to multiple reports.

On Sunday, the Washington Examiner reported that on any recently given day along a 245-mile stretch of U.S.-Mexico border near Del Rio, Texas, just a dozen Border Patrol agents are all that stand in the way of illegal crossers and cartel drug smugglers because most other agents are busy processing and shuttling legions of migrants day-in and day-out.

After months of the frenetic pace, it is taking its toll on agents: They are tired, angry, and beyond frustrated at being unable to fulfill their primary national security duty.

“Morale is in the toilet,” Jon Anfinsen, a spokesman for the Border Patrol’s union, told the Examiner.

(Credit: Fox News)

“Morale is low because agents aren’t allowed to do their job — if our job is to be out patrolling the border in between the ports of entry and actively searching for people who have crossed illegally, but we’re not allowed to go do that job, it basically creates this defeated feeling in everyone,” he added.

“Morale is tanking fast,” a former senior CBP official added. “This can be seen in the simple statements made by agents, but even more importantly, it can be seen in increasing processing times. Agents are just flat tired, and we are seeing and hearing it.”

While the current migrant crisis is not the first one most agents have faced, Anfinsen said this one is taking a particularly bigger toll because agents are “burned out and there’s really no end in sight.”

The Examiner noted that 60 percent of illegal border crossings are occurring in Texas and neighboring New Mexico. And they’re getting across easily because there are too few agents actually patrolling the border.

“Agents are primarily indoors, processing, and we’re dealing with the people who are flagging us down — the ones who are walking up to us and turning themselves in,” said Anfinsen, the president of the National Border Patrol Council’s Del Rio chapter. “Meanwhile, the immigrants who don’t want anything to do with us, they’re running away, although sometimes they’re walking because they have no need to run because we’re not there.”

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) told “Fox & Friends” Monday that while he’s grateful for the additional law enforcement resources being provided by and to his state, “this is really a federal responsibility.”

He went on to note that with a wide-open border and the Taliban now back in control of Afghanistan, Americans should be increasingly concerned about a renewed terrorism threat.

“Without operational control of the border,” the country is “at risk,” Burgess continued.

Meanwhile, along the border in Texas, “there are no agents available” oftentimes to interdict illegal crossers, according to a federal agent who works for the CBP’s Air and Marine Operations wing in the Lone Star State.

Another Border Patrol agent who normally patrols on horseback told the Examiner it has been some time since his unit was actually out on patrol because they’ve been pulled in to process multitudes of migrants.

“Everyone shows up to work sort of downtrodden, almost dead inside, for lack of a better term,” Anfinsen added. “They’re not allowed to [do] the job, and they know that people are getting away every single day, every hour.”

Jon Dougherty

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