Borders

Border Patrol Admits Internal Affairs System "Broken" as Corruption and Misconduct Cases Pile Up

|

Border patrol agents with horses
CBP

The federal agency Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the largest law enforcement agency in the United States, announced it would change the way it deals with internal corruption and misconduct problems, allowing internal affairs officers to open criminal investigations, according to CBS News, which reports that as of last April there were 476 open internal investigations at CBP.

Between 2005 and 2013 an average of 272 border patrol agents a year were arrested on charges like domestic abuse and drunk driving.  CBP agents have shot at least 10 unarmed people in the last five years, none followed up by disciplinary action, while two are under investigation by the Department of Justice. The CBP commissioner said internal cases against officers were going into a "broken" system.

Will the ability of internal affairs officers to start criminal investigations make a difference? One former internal affairs agent told CBS News that "if you knew the right person, they would take care of you," and an "expert panel" to assist CBP will include the current New York City police commissioner, Bill Bratton.

The CBP blames the growth of drug cartels on leaving agents "vulnerable" to bribes and blackmail. 

NEXT: College Students Increasingly Illegally Downloading Textbooks for Free

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Maybe if corruption and misconduct cases are piling up, the problem isn’t Internal Affairs?

  2. an “expert panel” to assist CBP will include the current New York City police commissioner, Bill Bratton.

    Let the chokings commence!

  3. The cancer of corruption always attends the totalitarian in equal measure.

  4. This only proves that our border with Mexico needs to be sealed/militarized. It is an international border, and the United States of America is being invaded by drug cartels and the related criminal activity that comes with those organizations. In fact, they control Mexico.

    The border with Mexico should have been militarized at least 20 to 30 years ago. Militarized means that the Armed Forces of The United States should be deployed to the border. Militarized means an Iron Curtain between the United States and Mexico. Of course the Ports of Entry would still be open to receive LEGAL immigrants.

    Anyone who has used their imaginations knows that “militarized” in this case means things like electrified barbed wire, control towers with machine guns and powerful searchlights, minefields and so on. The Rio Grande could be controlled by The U.S. Coast Guard.

    Such a proposal is of course totally repugnant to junkies who need a fix, corrupt politicians taking bribes, gun nuts who want to buy illegal weapons, and all the other criminal activities, including people smuggling.
    The idea of an American style “Iron Curtain” is repulsive for those who believe such a barrier represents loss of whatever freedoms they are supposed to have, and whatnot.

    Militarization of our border is possible, and a stepped up program could begin NOW with the deployment of large contingents of our Armed Forces, followed by infrastructure.

    1. Needz moar “ISIS sneaking in from Mexico!!11!!!!!”

    2. cool story, bro

      1. I take it you think my comments are just some “story” I dreamed up, and that there is no threat to the U.S. from the drug cartels of Mexico?

        1. Of course not, we all know the US government is sending guns to the cartels, that alone makes them a threat.

    3. The solution to unintended consequences is as always more violence.

      Communists, fascists, really what’s the difference?

    4. How does it prove any of that? You’ve made an unsupported assertion and followed it up with non sequitur after non sequitur. You may have missed your meds this morning, tulpa.

    5. Yup, corruption in the border patrol agency proves that more men and money need to be put into the border patrol agency.

  5. “Between 2005 and 2013 an average of 272 border patrol agents a year were arrested on charges like domestic abuse and drunk driving.”

    Out of 21,000 border patrol agents, that’s 1.3%.

    Using this guy’s data on the NFL…

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/dat…..l-players/

    The NFL’s rate of DUIs is one-half of one percent (.5%), and the rate of domestic violence is about one quarter of one percent (.25%) meaning a comparison to NFL players reflects badly on the Border Patrol.

    The rate of DUIs and domestic abuse in the border patrol (1.3%) is almost twice that of NFL players (.75%).

    Incidentally, again using the data from the same site, it appears that NFL DUIs are about half the national average, and their domestic abuse rate is about one-quarter of the national average.

    Meanwhile, Border Patrol DUI and domestic abuse rates seem to be just below the national average…making this look like a non-story to my eye.

    1. Has all the moral opprobrium thrown at NFL players in the media somehow made it okay to start calling everybody else out for the same behavior, too–regardless of whether they’re better or worse than average?

      Wow, Border Patrol agents are just like the rest of us? Who knew?! If that isn’t a call to action, I don’t know what is!

      Meanwhile, all the racist Soccer Moms, crime fighters, and newsroom writers who are after the NFL for not doing more about domestic violence should be ashamed of themselves. …but they’re not. They’re just using their own racist assumption to come after the rest of us, too.

      Who’s next on their hit list? Is it gun owners?

      1. Gun owners have been at the top of the list for long time.

      2. It’s ok to tell half truths when it advances pot, Mexicans, or ass sex. For a magazine called…

        1. I wasn’t talking about Krayewski.

          I think there are people out there who use NFL players as a proxy for bashing black people and supposed “thug culture” to appeal to Soccer Moms, et. al., who really don’t care if the war on drugs or NFL conduct policies are deeply racist.

          Krayewski isn’t one of those people.

          No one on staff at Reason is one of those people.

          1. No, he isn’t, but the figures on domestic violence in the border patrol without any comparable data is sloppy reporting. Other than that, pretty good article. Although I would like to know if corruption investigations are being hampered by unions.

            1. Yeah, I think you need that comparable.

              And everybody’s using the NFL as a baseline right now–without even knowing, apparently, whether things in the NFL are better or worse than average.

              It’s a tough thing.

              Until I went and looked for the numbers myself, I thought the NFL was out of control, too!

              1. Using the NFL as a baseline is idiotic. The age group of NFL players is incomparable to the age group of the population at large, the age group of Border Patrol agents, etc.

                1. Yeah, and I’m not sure it’s a conscious statistical effort on anybody’s part.

                  They’re just hearing it being hyped in the news, so they think it’s a big problem–and the fact that so many of them are so young, black, and rich probably feeds into those perceptions. I think it becomes a way for suburbanites to hate on blacks without being too obvious about it.

                  It’s sort of like the church burning epidemic. Remember when the headlines were full of reports that churches were being burned down in the south at an alarming rate–so there must be some racists running around burning black churches down?

                  Turned out that churches burn down a lot more often than people realize. There’s nobody in them six days a week, sometimes people forget and leave things on…

                  Turned out there were no more black churches burning down than there always was. It was just hype!

                  It wasn’t a conscious thing. Nobody doctored the statistics to create the hype. It was just hearing it in the media for a dozen different sources tended to reinforce itself–both in the minds of journalists and in the general public.

                  But it was a non-issue.

                  1. What’s that book called again?

                    “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”!

                    Now I remember.

      3. “Wow, Border Patrol agents are just like the rest of us? ”

        No actually, they aren’t “just like the rest of us” and if you can’t understand why and how, you’re exactly as stupid as your longwinded off topic stupidity about the NFL makes you appear.

        You post the worst shit. Really, you’re easily one of the worst posters on the board just for sheer volume of garbage you litter everywhere.

        Get a fucking editor, troll.

        1. Has anybody ever told you you act a lot like Tulpa?

          Border Patrol agents are just like the rest of us–in terms of their DUI rates and domestic abuse statistics.

          You’re the only one who needed that explained to you.

          Tulpa would have needed that explained, too.

    2. “Meanwhile, Border Patrol DUI and domestic abuse rates seem to be just below the national average…making this look like a non-story to my eye.’

      These are only the cases where an arrest was made. How many times have cops “looked the other way” because Border Patrol are also cops?

      1. Yeah, I don’t know how many times cops look the other way based on the perpetrator being a local football hero, either.

        I just know that given the statistics we have, it looks like Border Patrol agents are just like the rest of us.

        …and why wouldn’t they be? Why assume that just because someone is a border patrol agent, that they’re more likely to drive drunk or beat their wives and girlfriends?

        From an unbiased perspective, shouldn’t we start from the assumption that they’re just like the rest of us?

        There are lots of good reasons to hate on the Border Patrol. There are lots of good reasons to hate on our current immigration efforts and policies and how well we’re policing our borders…

        The statistics are telling us we should stick with them–and maybe forget about the DUI and domestic violence rates for now.

        1. How about the fact that bullies tend to gravitate towards jobs where you get to carry guns and push people around? I don’t know anybody who thinks it’s cool to shoot 10 year old kids because they threw some rocks, either. Have you seen any search resisting tapes from the inland “border” checkpoints? That’s not how normal people treat others.

  6. “… border patrol agents a year were arrested on charges like domestic abuse and drunk driving. ”

    Sounds like a good career path for ex-football players.

    (too soon?)

    1. See my comment above.

      The next best profession to being an NFL player, in terms of a low domestic violence rate, may be being a Catholic priest.

  7. The r?ponse to my comments was predictable. The usual people who think there is no threat whatsoever coming from Mexico and points south, presented the usual one liner literary burps.

    And one of my favorite responses is where I am told I need to take my medications. In a way, this type of response is almost hilarious. The premise of the poster who uses the “take your meds” approach, is that anyone who believes that there might be some bad things happening in “Amexica” is delusional.

    So far, not one of the responses to my original post explains why the U.S. does NOT need a militarized. This is typical of people who don’t like someone’s opinion, but can’t seem to muster the prose to refute it.

    Maybe these people need to read “Whatever It Takes” by J.D. Hayworth. There are other books on the threats coming from our border with Mexico. However, Hayworth is one of these rare politicians who has identified the problem with ample evidence, and makes concrete proposals on how to correct the situation.

    1. So far, not one of the responses to my original post explains why the U.S. does NOT need a militarized.

      Okay, fine we need a militarized. But I think we already got one. It’s very nice.

    2. One of the better arguments for open borders came from Cavanaugh, who thought there really was a threat from south of the border–but that all the immigrants were making it harder to identify and address those threats.

      Create a reliable way to track Mexican nationals with felony convictions. Make sure the people coming across the border don’t have any communicable diseases. If you let the people looking for work through, then they aren’t coming across through the desert.

      They’re walking across a border crossing, where you can walk them through metal detectors, etc.

      That leaves only the bad guys out there in the desert sneaking back and forth across the border. It deprives them of having hundreds of thousands of immigrants, who are not terrorists, to hide behind.

      If terrorists are a threat on our southern border, it’s because finding them is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

      …but it’s a haystack of our own making. If you want to fight terrorism, why don’t we get rid of the haystack?

      1. My position on immigration could best be described as high walls and wide gates. But I agree, it would be much easier to find the legitimate threats if we took away their ability to hide among people looking for work.

      2. Pretty much. Border controllers of this sort are the same as drug warriors. They think the solution to a black market problem is to clamp down harder on the black market.

    3. You think you have one premise, that the border needs to be controlled. In fact, you have another premise, that the border can be controlled with the right amount of money and manpower.

      Just because you didn’t state the second premise doesn’t mean it can’t be attacked.

    4. Okay. Give me your meds.

  8. Correction in my first sentence should read response.

    1. no one cares

  9. Third paragraph, first sentence should end – militarized border.

    1. we still don’t care

      1. Who’s “we”?

        Who do you think you speak for, Tulpa?

        1. It’s Tulpas all the way down.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.