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Tag: agents

Secret Service Unable to Make Reforms, Hire New Agents Because of Budget Impasse

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Congressional dispute over Homeland Security’s budget means the Secret Service cannot hire new agents or reform the beleaguered agency until the impasse is over, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, Reuters reports.

Johnson expressed deep concerns about the impasse, saying a lot is at stake – the security of borders, airports and coastal waters.

The agency’s spending authority ends Feb. 27, and Republicans are showing no signs of backing down until they block President Obama’s executive orders that would protect about 5 million undocumented immigrants already in the U.S.

“This means we cannot invest in the things the independent panel recommended to improve the Secret Service; we cannot hire new Secret Service agents for the coming presidential election cycle,” Johnson said of the budget uncertainty.

Other Stories of Interest

Boston Globe Editorial: Border Patrol Needs to Be Reigned In to Keep Its Focus

By Editorial Board 
Boston Globe

Most Americans have a pretty firm idea of where the borders of the United States lie. But most are unaware that the federal government has an entirely different — and alarmingly far-reaching — definition of the nation’s boundaries when it comes to immigration enforcement. In fact, Customs and Border Protection agents have the authority to stop and conduct searches on vehicles within 100 air miles from any external boundary of the United States, including the coast.

For a while now, this 100-mile rule has been the focus of the American Civil Liberties Union — for good reason. Consider this: Nearly two out of three Americans (or close to 200 million people) live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders, according to the US Census. The ACLU claims border patrol agents routinely violate the rights of innocent people, sometimes acting like this 100-mile zone is Constitution-free. This practice is problematic on many levels, and should be discontinued.

Primarily, “pushing the border in” for 100 miles inland creates a waste of resources: The government agency in charge of enforcing immigration in the country’s interior is Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE. Empowering border agents to operate in the 100-mile zone diverts them from doing their job at the US-Mexico and US-Canada borders.

Even more alarming are the potential consequences of this 100-mile zone rule in light of the newly released policy guidelines regarding the use of profiling by federal law enforcement agents. The Department of Justice announced that, while profiling on the basis of race was already illegal for most federal agents when deciding whether to investigate someone, they will no longer be allowed to consider religion, national origin, gender and gender identity, or sexual orientation. The rule doesn’t cover local or state police departments, and it alsoexempts border agents. This generous exclusion — which Attorney General Eric Holder was opposed to, but was overruled by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security — means that border officials will still be allowed to use profiling when conduct screening and inspection activities near the border.

To read more click here.

Border Patrol’s Recruitment of Women Gets 5,500 Female Applicants for Jobs

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A recruitment effort to hire more women into Border Patrol is paying off as CBP announced recently that it received applications from 5,500 female applicants, Federal News Radio 1500 AM.

The agency’s ranks of 21,000 agents only include about 5% women.

CBP wants more female agents, partly because more women are crossing the border.

“As a police chief for a long time, I know that women in law enforcement bring a huge amount of positive to any law enforcement agency, and increasing those numbers for the border patrol will do exactly the same thing,” CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske said.

“The real goal, of course, is that we needed to increase the numbers at all the levels, all the ranks, and throughout the border patrol of women, because of all of the skills that they bring to the job,” he said.

Number of Weapons Seized at Airports This Year Increased 20% Over Last Year

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The number of weapons seized at airports this year have increased 20% over last year, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

TSA agents have confiscated 2,164 guns as of Christmas, which marks the seventh consecutive year of increases in the number of weapons seized.

So what’s the deal? Haven’t people been warned enough since Sept. 11, 2001, that they won’t be able to board a plane with a weapon?

It appears not, TSA officials said.

The agency launched a public-relations campaign last month to remind people during the holidays to leave their weapons at home.

Other Stories of Interest


Border Patrol Offers Jobs for Women Only to Help Correct Gender Imbalance

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A job posting for new Border Patrol agents didn’t mince words: “Male applicants won’t be considered.”

Customs and Border Protection is trying to correct a significant gender imbalance in the agency by recruiting only women, Fronteras reports.

“Customs and Border Protection has a critical need for female Border Patrol Agents for the screening of female detainees who enter the United States,” reads the job post.

The full-time jobs start with salaries ranging between $39,000 to $44,400 and offer plenty off opportunities for promotions.

Border Patrol hires a small portion of women than most federal law enforcement agencies.

Spokeswoman Agent Shevannah Wray said there’s a greater need for female agents because apprehensions of women are up 173% since 2011.

FBI Sends Nearly 100 Additonal Agents to Ferguson Ahead of Grand Jury Decision

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nearly 100 additional FBI agents are in Ferguson as authorities brace for the reaction to a Ferguson grand jury that will decide soon whether Officer Darren Wilson will be charged with shooting an unarmed black teen, ABC News reports.

Federal law enforcement officials have already warned of a potentially violent reaction.

The agents will help other law enforcement.

A grand jury decision could come today.

The fatal shooting has prompted protests and occasional bursts of violence and destruction.

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Killed, Another Injured in 2-Car Crash in Texas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent was killed and another injured in a two-car accident Thursday morning near Laredo, Texas.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that the agents were driving near the Cotulla station at 1:40 a.m. when a car traveling the wrong way crashed into them.

The collision killed a six-year veteran of the agency. Another agent was taken to the hospital by helicopter, and his condition was unknown at the time.

Border Patrol didn’t release the identities of the agents.

Whistleblower Protections to Be Expanded for FBI Agents, Employees Who Report Internal Misconduct

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department outlined new changes that will make it easier for agents and employees of the FBI to blow the whistle on misconduct within the bureau, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The idea is to ensure complaints are handled swiftly and fairly.

President Obama directed the rule change in 2012 following complaints that whistleblower aren’t properly protected.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, a long-time critic of how the FBI handles internal complaints, said he pleased with the changes.

“Nobody’s got on rose-colored glasses that the culture for whistleblowers at the FBI will change anytime soon, but many of the items outlined in the FBI’s analysis are promising,’’ he said in a statement. “In an agency with so much focus on the chain of command, it makes no sense for the FBI to be the only agency in the federal government not to protect disclosures of waste, fraud, and abuse to immediate supervisors.”

The FBI didn’t comment immediately on the changes.