Border Patrol Uniforms Made in Mexico

Washington Times — Patrol uniforms ‘made in Mexico’

New Border Patrol uniforms, ordered in the wake of the agency’s transfer last year to the Department of Homeland Security, arrived this month and some agents are not very happy: The new uniforms were “Made in Mexico.”

“I’m embarrassed, not only as a Border Patrol agent but as an American citizen, that our government has decided to outsource the production of these uniforms with no regard for the safety of the process or the security of our country,” said Joseph N. Dassaro, president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) Local 1613 in San Diego. “What system is in place to ensure that these uniforms are not stolen en masse or sold outright in Mexico to be used by terrorists, alien smugglers or drug dealers who could cross unimpeded into the United States?” asked Mr. Dassaro, a veteran agent.

More than $30 million in new uniforms have been ordered for the Border Patrol by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a new agency within Homeland Security that now oversees the border force. Homeland Security was created in March 2003 after the September 11 terrorist attacks on America. “It’s certainly not uncommon for cargo to be hijacked in Mexico, particularly in the many staging areas along the border, and the potential theft of these uniforms by the truckloads could become a major problem,” Mr. Dassaro said.

Patricia Todaro, CBP’s director of logistics, said the agency purchases new uniforms, along with jackets, shoes, hats and other equipment, from those suppliers from whom the government can obtain the best possible value for the taxpayer’s dollar.

This is rather amusing. Certainly, clothing items aren’t exactly difficult to replicate, so it would be easy enough for those seeking to cross the border to have authentic-looking Border Patrol uniforms regardless. This does seem like a boneheaded move, though. One presumes at least the badges and credentials are made in the USA.

FILED UNDER: Latin America, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor 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.