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Illegal U.S. border crossings have doubled since amnesty talks

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 1st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Border Patrol agents have reported seeing illegal border crossings double in the past few weeks. They warn that the cutting of agent work hours will only result in less border security and not more. Illegal crossings have increased as immigration reformers are reported to announce a deal later this week, claiming border security will come before a path to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "We've seen the number of illegal aliens double, maybe even triple since amnesty talk started happening," one agent says, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "A lot of these people, although not the majority, are criminals or aggravated felons. This is a direct danger to our communities."

From February 5 through March 1, 2013, 504 illegal aliens were spotted exploiting the Tucson/Nogales area, 189 were caught on cameras. Of those 504, only 174 were apprehended and 32 of the 189 on camera were carrying large drug load packs for Mexican cartels. Some were armed with AK-47 style weapons.

Fox News reported last week that sections of the border will soon become unpatrolled as hours for on-the-ground agents are cut. There have been reports that Border Patrol agents working the border have been fully funded, yet internal political battles within CBP may be causing funds to be funneled to managers, rather than those getting their boots dirty on patrols.

"Customs and Border Protection has been given enough money to fully staff the border but has chosen to use the money elsewhere, we believe it is to fund the salaries of Supervisory CBP Officers. The money they are diverting was to go to AUO (Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime) which is actually straight pay and is used to pay Border Patrol Agents for anything past eight hours. Being that we have to maintain staffing 24/7 this is a huge part of border security," Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council Shawn Moran says.

"The criminals and drugs don't stop coming so we have to make sure we have people out there. Cutting AUO will be a 30 percent pay cut for our agents but more importantly a minimum 20 percent loss of staffing out in the field," Moran adds.

"It is internal politics within CBP and also with immigration reform. There are still battles between legacy Customs, INS, and Border Patrol managers as to the direction CBP takes and how the funds are being used. Meanwhile both parties claim no immigration reform until the border is secured, well this surely will not secure the border."

As sequestration goes into full effect April 7 and a deal in Washington on immigration reform gets locked in, illegal crossings are expected to get worse.

"We have seen increased crossings and smuggling since word of staffing cuts began circulating. The illegals have even told us that is why they tried crossing. The border is safer but by no means secure," Moran says.

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