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.