Morale among the nation’s frontline border security agency has collapsed amid President Joe Biden’s immigration policies that critics have blamed for the current crush of hundreds of thousands of migrants crossing illegally into the U.S. since he took office in January.
In a report published Sunday, the Washington Examiner noted that on a recent day, just a dozen Border Patrol agents were on duty along a 245-mile stretch of the U.S. border with Mexico surrounding Del Rio, Texas, “the lowest-ever number of agents on duty in the area, even as more migrants illegally cross here now than ever before.”
The outlet went on to note that due to the recent surges of hundreds of thousands of migrants, agents have come under extreme pressure which is taking its toll and keeping them from performing their national security mission.
According to agents who spoke to the outlet, the lack of personnel and the inability to deal with the crush of migrants as they were trained to do has been physically draining, leaving them struggling to see beyond the current crisis.
“Morale is in the toilet,” Jon Anfinsen, a spokesman for the Border Patrol’s union, told the outlet.
“Morale is low because agents aren’t allowed to do their job — if our job is to be out patrolling the border in between the ports of entry and actively searching for people who have crossed illegally, but we’re not allowed to go do that job, it basically creates this defeated feeling in everyone,” Anfinsen continued.
“Morale is tanking fast. This can be seen in the simple statements made by agents, but even more importantly, it can be seen in increasing processing times,” a former senior official at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol, in an email
“Agents are just flat tired, and we are seeing and hearing it.”
While the current migrant crisis isn’t the first one seen by agents, they are nevertheless “burned out and there’s really no end in sight,” Anfinsen said.
“Agents are primarily indoors, processing, and we’re dealing with the people who are flagging us down — the ones who are walking up to us and turning themselves in,” said Anfinsen, the president of the National Border Patrol Council’s Del Rio chapter.
“Meanwhile, the immigrants who don’t want anything to do with us, they’re running away, although sometimes they’re walking because they have no need to run because we’re not there,” he continued.
“Everyone shows up to work sort of downtrodden, almost dead inside, for lack of a better term,” Anfinsen added. “They’re not allowed to [do] the job, and they know that people are getting away every single day, every hour.”
One agent who works for CBP’s Air and Marine Operations arm in Texas said it’s not hard to spot illegal aliens crossing into the U.S. but added there aren’t agents to intercept them.
A fourth person who is purportedly a top CBP official told the Examiner he was “blown away” by what agents have been forced to handle.
“This is not being treated like a medical emergency,” a former agent told the Examiner in a phone call. “These guys feel abandoned by CBP and DHS and the administration. Nobody’s coming to rescue them.”