Shutdown Sends Border Patrol Trainees Home, May Cause Staffing Difficulties
SAN ANTONIO - The training of new Border Patrol agents is at a standstill due to the federal government shutdown.
As a stalemated Congress delays voting on funding the government, many of the offices as the Border Patrol Training Facility in Artesia, N.M., are closed due to furloughs. The training of new Border Patrol agents has ceased. About 350 trainees have been sent home and will not return until the shutdown is over.
Shawn Moran is the vice president of The National Border Patrol Council, an agents' union. Hey says the Border Patrol is already a step behind smuggling organizations.
"In the past year they've transferred most of their new business, so to speak, to the Rio Grande Valley, so we have to transfer our people there to try and counter them," Moran said. "When we have a shutdown like this we're just not able to train the people and deploy them to different stations."
Moran said the lack of new trainees could make the Border Patrol less effective and inefficient when trying to staff high activity areas like the Rio Grande Valley and Tucson, Ariz.