Obama administration to close nine border patrol stations in four states
Examiner: The Obama administration is set to close nine Border Patrol stations in four states, Fox News reported Tuesday. The move has caused alarm from law enforcement officers, members of Congress and Border Patrol agents.
Critics say the closures will hurt efforts to intercept drug and human traffickers in well-traveled corridors north of the border with Mexico.
Six of the stations are in Texas, with one each in Montana, Idaho and California. The Texas stations are located in Lubbock, Amarillo, Dallas, San Angelo, Abilene and San Antonio. The other three are in Billings, Idaho Falls and Riverside, California.
While the stations are not close to the border, they still see plenty of action. According to Fox, the Amarillo station is “right in the middle of the I-40 corridor,” while the Riverside station is outside Los Angeles.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency says the move is designed to get agents closer to the border where they are needed, but Fox says that “at least one Border Patrol supervisor in Texas” wants local law enforcement officials to make their concerns known.
“It could impact us tremendously since we’ve only got two agents up here now for 26 counties,” Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said. The Amarillo station is located in Potter County and Sheriff Thomas says the area is a major “corridor” for illegal immigrants. “I can’t hold a carload of people out there on I-40 for eight hours while somebody comes from El Paso,” he told Fox News. “I mean, that’s just crazy.”
Border Patrol’s resident agent in charge in Amarillo expressed similar worries, in a recent memo to local law enforcement alerting them to the planned closure. The official, Robert Green, warned that the “entire complement” of two agents would be reassigned from Amarillo to somewhere closer to the border. He said “there is no active plan” right now for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to fill the void on assisting local officials with stops.
Lawmakers, after hearing from local law enforcement authorities, have asked the Agency to reconsider the plan.
Critics also say the move is part of the Obama administration’s soft stand on immigration enforcement. “It’s part of the systematic dismantling of both border and interior enforcement,” said Bob Dane, communications director with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Recently, the administration announced that it would stop deporting certain young illegal immigrants, and suspended existing agreements with Arizona over enforcement of federal immigration laws after the Supreme Court upheld a key provision in that state’s new immigration law.
In February, the administration named the first official taxpayer-funded public advocate for illegal immigrants, a position GOP lawmakers called “an official mouthpiece for illegal immigrants being deported.”
“The Department of Homeland Security hasn’t demonstrated that sending additional resources to the border will be a more efficient use of resources than maintaining a presence further north,” said Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX). “I’d like to see numbers that reassure me that this strategy change won’t ultimately result in fewer arrests.”
According to CNN, the closures will save the government $1.3 million a year.
Maybe Skippy plans to use that savings to foot another expensive, tax-payer funded vacation for Moochelle.