Morale among Border Patrol agents has plummeted to an all-time low as they struggle to process unprecedented volumes of illegal immigrants, while knowing they’re unable to secure the border against cartel activity. Many blame their own leadership for enabling it.
“Day after day, they just look like they want to eat their gun,” an agent told The Epoch Times, referring to some local agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, who he says are bearing the brunt of it. “They just look like hell. It’s hard to put it—you just start seeing the life leaving people’s faces.”
The agent, Jose (not his real name), spoke to The Epoch Times on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.
U.S. authorities have apprehended more than 1.5 million illegal immigrants since January, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.
“It’s a very, very hopeless feeling for the Border Patrol,” Jose said. “Of course, we’re all still doing our jobs as best we can. Nobody is giving up, but it’s definitely more of a hopeless feeling just in general.”
During August, the average daily number of illegal immigrants in Border Patrol custody along the southwest border was just shy of 10,000, according to CBP. Agents are spending most of their time processing illegal immigrants rather than being on the front line along the border.
“None of us signed up to be secretaries for these family units coming in,” Jose said.
Border Patrol agents have been especially overwhelmed in the two busiest sectors—the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio in Texas.
In one week in September, border agents scrambled to deal with an influx of nearly 15,000 mostly Haitian illegal aliens in Del Rio alone. The effort left highway checkpoints closed and hundreds of miles of the U.S.–Mexico border unpatrolled.
“If we went back to actually doing our jobs, it would be amazing,” Jose said. “But right now, the common thought on this is that we’re just aiding and abetting illegal aliens—furthering their illegal activity. Many border agents are spending the majority of their time taking care of the humanitarian needs of illegal aliens rather than out on the border stopping criminal activity.
“And that’s not what any of us signed up for.”