Border Patrol Ordered to Cease Arrests to Avoid Making Minutemen Look Good

Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the area patrolled by the Minutemen volunteers, lest the vigilante efforts would be seen as successful.

Border Patrol told to stand down in Arizona (Washington Times)

U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned.

More than a dozen agents, all of whom asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said orders relayed by Border Patrol supervisors at the Naco, Ariz., station made it clear that arrests were “not to go up” along the 23-mile section of border that the volunteers monitored to protest illegal immigration. “It was clear to everyone here what was being said and why,” said one veteran agent. “The apprehensions were not to increase after the Minuteman volunteers left. It was as simple as that.” Another agent said the Naco supervisors “were clear in their intention” to keep new arrests to an “absolute minimum” to offset the effect of the Minuteman vigil, adding that patrols along the border have been severely limited.

Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar at the agency’s Washington headquarters called the accusations “outright wrong,” saying that supervisors at the Naco station had not blocked agents from making arrests and that the station’s 350 agents were being “supported in carrying out” their duties.


But Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, yesterday said “credible sources” within the Border Patrol also had told him of the decision by Naco supervisors to keep new arrests to a minimum, saying he was angry but not surprised.

Outrageous, if true. I’m not a fan of amateurs taking the duties of law enforcement personnel onto themselves and can understand the Administration’s wanting to avoid incentivizing vigilante behavior by responding to it in a favorable way. Going so far as to order agents not to do their jobs, though, would be unconscionable. Indeed, unless the agents were simply diverted to another sector to increase arrests there, this would be criminal malfeasance of the executive’s duty to enforce the laws passed by Congress.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. carpeicthus says:

    Is there anything in the story other than guessing?

  2. David Harris says:

    From all I read about the Minutemen project, it was less vigilante and more “heightened awareness.” They weren’t doing the job of the border patrols, but rather keeping a close eye and calling into the border patrol to get them to do their job better.

  3. LJD says:

    If they really want to make the Minute Men look bad, they could actually assist the illegals in making it across the border….

  4. praktike says:

    what does Reverence Moon have to say about all this?

  5. McGehee says:

    what does Reverence Moon have to say about all this?

    That there is one of those comments that leaves you scratching your head and wondering, “WTF?”

  6. McGehee:

    I think it is directed at the fact that Moon owns WaTi.

  7. McGehee says:

    Ah. That would explain all the Rev. Moon-authored content in that paper.

    [/sarcasm directed at Prakitike]

  8. McGehee says:

    Then again, there are some on whom sarcasm is wasted…

  9. Mia Colucci says:

    The MINITEMAN PROJECT is doing the job these worthless border paotrol agents cant do and thats halt the illeal aleins and if VELENCIE FOX dont like it a say SCREW HIM

    What an amusing remark. In that whole paraghraph you proved that you not only don’t know how to spell the President’s name but also that you have no clue towards ANYTHING about the Mexican President or its border.

    In fact, it probably never crossed your empty head as of the reason WHY illegal aliens decide migrate into what was originally their land.

    It was Mexican land to begin with. Hating someone for going into what was rightfully their people’s land is laughable.

    Also, it is rude to ASSUME that every illegal to cross the border is Mexican. Has it ever occured to anyone that there are people from central and south america crossing that very same border as well? Last time I checked, generalizing people by their skin color was called RACISM.

    Secondly, the Minute Men aren’t trying to HELP the US or its Government. It is hilariously obvious to the average human mind that these “MINUTE MEN” are only using that silly excuse to justify their hunting sport used to satisfy their unhumane racism and hate towards Mexico and their people.

    Clearly, it’s a sport to them, or else they would be using it as a profession rather than just something on their to-do list. So it is appearantly a sick hobby.

    Minute Men are only a different kind of Nazi group, except not as secretive about it. Still, they use the excuse of improving the government’s job and are equally disgusting to anybody of Hispanic origin. Illigal or not.

    It’s a shame there are so many volunteers for getting rid of people who don’t have any fault at all except for dreaming, and not as many volunteers helping schools and hospitals.

  10. Paul F. Sinn says:

    Another fine example of the hypocrisy of this administration. You get to take you shoes off at the airport, have your bags opened…meanwhile its a free for all for illegals at the border. Pathetic! People at the top need to be held accountable. The very top.

  11. Ron Counts MMP says:

    First to thunderbird:
    It is not the agents themselves. They are good men and women doing a difficult job. We wave to them, they back to us. We call them, they respond. Rather it is the supervisor’s and above who have given orders to keep the count low. The agent in the field is on the side of MMP personel.

    Second to Mia Colucci:
    Gangs such as MS-13, drug traffic people, and any other people whom wish this country wrong. Can have free access to any border N,S,E,W. It is not a sport to secure our border, it is a duty. It is not a racism issue, we welcome all people. Only asking that ALL follow one rule.
    “Observe and report, no direct contact!!”
    I have worked with just about every race, and color of my country men and women on the line. Young and old alike.

    Not every person whom cross our border, W,E,S,N are looking to harm us. But you can be assured, There are those who do wish all of us harm. Some wish to profit from the drug trade. Others to trade people into forced slavery. To think otherwise is foolish.

    So join a MMP group. Comeing to a border or city near you, very soon…

  12. Jo macDougal says:

    I voted for a bleeding hart liberal in 04! Since Bush gave his surrender speech (“vigilantes” – – my as-!) terrorists got new life; attacks are up and thousands killed. What is the dif between Bush “let’s give up” and JFK “wrong war”?

  13. Rod Stanton says:

    Another liberal Bush lied to me and I fell for his liberal lies. Now in office Bush wants to surrender to the terrorists. Like sharks seeing blood they have gone wild since his “vigilante” smear.

  14. Frankly I cannot understand their position. They obviously cannot do their job, and they do not want the Minutemen pointing out that what is needed is manpower. Do they want us to thionk they are incompetent?