Reply to Tuesday's post, presumably from a serving BP agent:
"The problem is that we (yes, we) don't have enough manpower in the field. We have so many people assigned to details (other assignments) and processing, that there are not enough agents working the field. There are stations and areas (we call them zones) which are totally open. On some shifts, there may be only 2 or 3 agents patrolling up to 12 to 20 miles of border. More agents are inside buildings processing or taking care of the family units and unaccompanied minors. Whenever family units show up, that takes the manpower away from patrolling other areas, which the smugglers use to cross the traffic that they really want to get away. You could have a station with over 400 or more assigned agents only assigning 15 agents to patrol their area of the border. The worst feeling in the world is hearing the radio call out a smuggling vehicle loading up aliens, and there being no agents available to intercept that vehicle. So those aliens are just called gottaways.
Not all areas require relief, that is, you dont have to wait for the next shift to arrive before you leave. Some areas do require you to wait for your relief to arrive before you leave.
The problems arise when you have a smuggling case or an alien gets hurt. The agent assigned to work those duties (work the case or go to the hospital to babysit the alien) always gets taken from the field, not from the processing duties. What could solve this? Fire most of the management. Change the culture. Make the all areas wait until relief shows up. I'd actually be ok with that if there were enough agents assigned to ensure relief for every agent in the field.You're welcome.
As for the numbers being wrong, everyone knows that. BP numbers show a very large percentage of apprehensions, but there are not enough agents out there to count the "gottaways". That has been reported to OIG and other agencies who monitor CBP, but nothing ever happens. There are a lot of people getting away, along with a lot of narcotics, and who knows what else. So, in the end, you are correct in being upset and thinking that the system sucks. If you want to fix the problem, fire most upper management, and bring in new blood. As for the sleepers, that is not acceptable. But most of the new guys who come in are taking this as a job, not as a calling. So, we need a total culture reset. Nice article."
My response was too long for a reply in Comments, so you get this post instead:
You can explain all you want; last I looked, the length and boundaries of the border with Mexico was a known quantity since the finalization of the Gadsden Purchase of 1854, which is why there are actual physical monuments along it every mile from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific, while the Border Patrol has doubled and then tripled in size in just the last decade or two, so it's not like suddenly someone in DC woke up and said "Holy shit, there's 2000 miles of border to watch, we need more agents!"
You, as an agency, aren't "patrolling" it now, you weren't then, and the reason is that no matter if you were budgeted for 2,000,000 agents instead of the current 45,000, management would still put 1,999,000 of them on desk duty, roadblocks, babysitting, or some other horseshit make-work or dog-and-pony show, and claim it was an effort to "focus resources where they were needed", instead of y'know, actually sending most of you out to do your goddam jobs.
Resources will be misallocated by deliberate mismanagement to eliminate doing 90% of the job, forever, both because they can, and because by doing otherwise the problem would end, then shrink to a miniscule fraction of what it is now, funding would stabilize, and cartel bribes would decrease prodigiously. And we can't be breaking anyone's rice bowl.
I feel for you, being apparently one of the approximately 33% of agents who probably still gives a shit, most days. Whenever I met a guy with sweatstains in his cowboy hat he didn't get from sitting in an air-conditioned office all day, I knew I found a good one, far better than the average, but they were only a fraction of the whole bunch, even on the best days.
But another third are just there for the paycheck.
And the third after that are either totally corrupt bought-and-paid-for cartel tools, incredibly mind-numbingly incompetent, or in most cases, both, to the extreme.
The latter third are generally earmarked for supervisory slots in all bureaucracies.
The manpower available right now could shut the whole thing down 24/7/365, if those in charge of the agency, or their federal overlords, wanted it so, but it hasn't happened, so the inescapable conclusion is that simply TPTB don't want that to happen, ever.
I helped shut down 6 miles of border, drum-tight, with just 3-4 guys, for several years, and all that required was an agent or two in a dog-catcher van to come out occasionally and pick up the trash. Not leaving a post until you're replaced has been the standard of performance since Caesar's legions from 200 B.C., so not doing it everywhere and claiming it's too hard in 2018 is simply b.s. If the penalty for leaving a post unsecured was death, as it was for Roman legionaries, we'd have the tightest border in history, in about 2 seconds. Also 40M fewer illegals here, no anchor babies, Dreamers, schemers, and assorted miscreants, a metric fuckton less illegal drugs, and about 25% less crime, but who wants that, right?
It's only too hard when TPTB screw that pooch good and hard, which as you note, it the root of the problem. Firings and prosecutions are the way to handle that, but it would require anyone in charge giving a damn. That they're doing it wrong the exact same way, 20 years later, shows the vast majority are far beyond giving a f**k, and most want anything but functional security on the border.
The simple word for that is "treason".
Those people in charge of perpetrating it better get on their knees and pray folks don't start posseing up on that, and looking for ropes and tall objects to tie them off.
Me, I wouldn't bet on the perpetual forbearance of the average citizen.
You get the hiring leftovers, because everyone knows you're essentially the TSA: just for show, not for actually doing anything.
And when that penetrates to the national consciousness, border security is going to gravitate inexorably towards a .30-caliber between the eyes at range, and the only problem at that point will be the buzzards getting too fat to fly away afterwards, until Pedro figures out fixing Mexico, or just dealing with his own disasterpiece theater there, is a better solution than risking a headshot that ends his dreams forever.
But it's going to get to that, as sure as God made little green apples.
We've tried it the other way, and eventually, reasonable folks will stop screwing around or tolerating half-assed measures, and they'll simply move to the utilitarian approach.
Gottaways will become DRTs.
One bullet, one illegal prevented.
The toleration for watching the sixty-year sh*tshow on the southern border is nearing its breaking point.
So we either build that great big beautiful wall, or you guys out on post, asleep or awake, are going to be hiding on your floorboards while everyday folks implement Plan B at about 3000fps.
It's just not funny any more.