2005 May 13 Friday
Bush Administration Sinks To New Low On Border Control Politics

Jerry Seper reports yet another reason why the Bush Administration is worthy of contempt.

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."

I have a suggestion for the Border Patrol agents: Wear hidden microphones and even hidden video cameras and record your bosses giving you such politically calculated orders. Then send the recordings to some TV cable networks. I'm sure Lou Dobbs would love to get this sort of material on CNN and Bill O'Reilly would use it on Fox. The technology exists for doing that sort of thing.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 May 13 11:47 AM  Immigration Politics

crush41 said at May 13, 2005 12:41 PM:

The Washington Times is proving what most people already know--this flood of illegal immigration is not tough to stop.

If someone had the courage to do what you suggested it would be a bombshell. It would be nearly impossible for the administration to skirt the issue after something so direct, even with most of the press content not to bring it up in press conferences. Most of the Border Agents seem to only speak on condition of anonymity and that makes it easy for the BP officials to discredit it. An actual order caught on audio wouldn't be so easy to dismiss.

Kurt said at May 13, 2005 3:08 PM:

Fox news ran a story about this today on Studio B (Sheppard Smith) where BP officials ware denying that such an order had been given.

GUYK said at May 14, 2005 6:54 AM:

I am a cynic. I have some problems believing this Times article is factual. Having been a member of the Armed Forces for over twenty years and served under PC commanders and political motivated commanders I have no doubt that such an order could have been issued. However, there is always some disgruntled lower echlon member who will blow the whistle and name names including his/her own. According to this article at least twelve agents verified the order was given but would not let the reporter use their names? Possible but not likely. Not in any government organization I have ever been associated with! It appears more likely that some reporter is stirring the defecation pot.

Daveg said at May 14, 2005 7:16 AM:

Seems that the fear of retribution would be very real, no? You think the reporter is just making this stuff up, with all the potential consequences that would result if he was exposed?

Seems pretty unlikely.

Ruggendorfer said at May 14, 2005 9:05 AM:

Some people here are not very smart if they translate this:

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.

To mean this:

The Bush administration, with orders directly from the White House, has ordered the Border Patrol to stand down along the 23-mile section of border that the volunteers monitored to protest illegal immigration. This is how some people are reading the story.

It is probable that such an order originated somewhere along the line above these particular protesting agents. But where? That's the question. Washington is a long way from the Arizona border, in many ways.

Randall Parker said at May 14, 2005 9:30 AM:


Suppression of dissent in the border patrol has been happening for many years. These guys are not as willing to name their own names as people are in the military.


Bush wants weak border enforcement. If he wanted tough border enforcement then US Border Patrol Tuscon AZ Sector Michael Nicely would not be telling border patrol agents to back off on apprehensions.

Congressman Tancredo, citing an email he received from what he calls "a very credible source within the U.S. Border Patrol," said that Chief Nicely, who, once again, is the Tucson Sector Chief, issued a directive insisting that "apprehensions even are below that that were in progress during the minutemen presence on the border, for the purpose of trying to say, or to prove their point that the Minutemen’s (sic) did nothing, didn’t help, really had no effect on apprehensions."

The Congressman goes on to call this "another example of the degree to which the Administration…will go in order to not confront the issue of illegal immigration into this country and essentially not be made fools of."

Bush might not have needed to give that order. He set the tone and maintains it. His servants try to satisfy his desires.

Ruggendorfer said at May 14, 2005 5:33 PM:

You know, Randall, you sound very silly blaming local stupidity of a federal bureaucracy on an elected president, who has very little direct effect on the local bureau chiefs--and they know it. Every bureaucrat is his own pocket emperor, with strong protection against interference from superiors. You may have no experience working in the federal bureaucracy, yes I would believe that you do not.

Randall Parker said at May 14, 2005 6:12 PM:


You know, you sound pretty naive thinking that all parts of the local bureaucracy have equal freedom to do what they want. Immigration policy is an incredibly hot topic in the White House. When the Temecula area immigration agents started doing round-ups of illegals the message came down from the White House to Asa Hutchinson to the Temecula agents to stop enforcing immigration law and the local agents dutifully had to comply. We are seeing the same thing now in Tucson.

Ruggendorfer said at May 14, 2005 6:57 PM:

Randall you are throwing a lot of allegations around without much substance to back it up. This is going on your permanent record, son.

The federal government is way too big for Washington to control. We elect our representatives but they're not the ones who actually run things. There's a big gulf between political appointees and career civil service. The local chiefs bide their time knowing the political appointees and elected officials are already on their way out.

Randall Parker said at May 15, 2005 6:19 AM:


Yes, unproven allegations. And those guys who broke into the Watergate were just a bunch of third rate common robbers. Nothing to see here, move along folks.

Did the Temecula immigration agents stop rounding up illegals because they are free from higher up interference and just decided they didn't want to work for some reason? You would have me believe the White House doesn't have either the ability or the will to sabotage immigration law enforcement. But the numbers and various incidents say otherise.

Ruggendorfer said at May 15, 2005 8:24 AM:

And on that whatever it was, this thread deserves a rest. Bulldog, relax masseter, calm.

John S Bolton said at May 18, 2005 2:29 PM:

Functionaries can't just make up their own foreign policy; and especially not when the highest levels of the administration are trying to prove their anticaucasianism

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