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Politico published an in-depth article of the long history of corruption at Customs & Border Patrol

Teh_Lurv

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,307
Politico published an article today which details the troubled history of the US Customs & Border Patrol. The article explains and documents that the current CBP crisis is the culmination of mismanagement and corruption going back to the agency's creation 16 years ago.

The article is a long read and pretty packed with details of agency scandals and mismanagement leading up to and into the Trump administration. I strongly recommend everyone take the time to read the whole article, but for those who aren't able to, I've quoted the two paragraphs that provide the best summation:

The problems underlying CPB’s almost theatrical failures trace back to its creation amid the post-9/11 reorganization of the Department of Homeland Security and have been exacerbated by a long-standing failure of leadership that goes up to both Congress and the White House and has lasted through three administrations. Both the modern Border Patrol and its parent CBP have been plagued by poor leadership and management at all levels, and by recruiting challenges that have left them with a subpar, overstressed workforce and a long-running toxic culture. Most deeply, however, they are plagued today by a huge and unresolved mismatch between the agency’s founding identity and its current mission.
Most Border Patrol agents serving today signed up for a tough job in a quasi-military agency protecting the country against terrorists and drug dealers. They’ve found themselves instead serving as a more mundane humanitarian agency—the nation’s front-line greeter for families of migrants all too happy to surrender themselves after crossing the border. CPB doesn’t have the culture to meet this challenge, nor does it have the manpower or support from the rest of government. The latest bad headlines have come even as the promises made by candidate Donald Trump to invest in the Border Patrol have not been fulfilled; far from an increase of thousands of agents, the agency is actually now smaller than it was under President Barack Obama. As one former Border Patrol union official told me, “Trump is not delivering.”
 

stealthyfrog

Avenger
Jan 6, 2019
6,882
Corruption among CBP’s ranks got so bad that in Obama’s first year, CBP and DHS leadership ordered the agency to change its definition of “corruption” to downplay the number of total incidents; sexually assaulting detainees was no longer considered “corruption” worthy of reporting to Congress.
What the fuck
 

Absent

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,247
Thanks for posting.
CBP recruited that new army by lowering its hiring standards—already the lowest among top federal law enforcement agencies—and shoveling agents through the academy and into the field before even completing background checks. “We weren’t prepared,” one former training officer told me. Agents called it “No Trainee Left Behind.” Management structures and processes failed, oversight lessened and by the end of the Bush administration, more than half of the Border Patrol had been in the field for less than two years. Already at that point, agent misconduct and criminality were on the rise—the lax hiring standards and background checks had populated the new border army with the wrong sort of person. “We made some mistakes,” Bush’s CBP Commissioner Ralph Basham told me in 2014. “We found out later that we did, in fact, hire cartel members.”

Corruption among CBP’s ranks got so bad that in Obama’s first year, CBP and DHS leadership ordered the agency to change its definition of “corruption” to downplay the number of total incidents; sexually assaulting detainees was no longer considered “corruption” worthy of reporting to Congress.
The situation continued to deteriorate as the Obama administration went on. A CATO Institute study found that from 2006 to 2016, CBP and the Border Patrol’s misconduct and disciplinary infractions outstripped all other federal law enforcement. Border Patrol agents were six times as likely as FBI agents to be fired for disciplinary infractions or poor performance and “12.9 times as likely as Secret Service agents.” Moreover, CATO found “it is virtually impossible to assess the extent of corruption or misconduct in U.S. Customs and Border Protection … because most publicly available information is incomplete or inconsistent.” As I totaled up in 2014, there were 2,170 misconduct arrests of CBP officers and agents—ranging from corruption to domestic violence from 2005 through 2012—meaning that one CBP officer or agent was arrested every single day for seven years.
Addressing that epidemic of misconduct—and worse—proved all but bureaucratically impossible. CBP’s crime and corruption epidemic collided with the institutional trade-offs made to create DHS; obscure government job descriptions and law enforcement responsibilities, negotiated in the abstract when DHS was being created, meant that Congress didn’t grant CBP the ability or authority to investigate its own employees. Whereas any even moderately sized local police department has an internal affairs department, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency had to refer all misconduct allegations to either the DHS inspector general, the FBI or ICE—all of which soon found themselves overwhelmed by the flood of CBP problems.

Ronald Hosko, a former FBI assistant director who headed the bureau’s criminal division, told me that at one CBP meeting he attended in 2012, top agency officials estimated that perhaps as much as 20 percent of CBP’s agent and officer corps needed to be removed from the force. In response, the FBI declared border corruption—e.g., investigating another federal law enforcement agency—as its top priority in combating public corruption.
There were more than a hundred shootings, leaving dozens dead, and CBP’s standard operation procedure—unlike nearly every other law enforcement agency in the country—was to keep silent about any officer-involved shootings unless specifically asked about them by the media.

Many of those shootings fell far outside the norms of modern policing; an internal report by the Police Executive Research Forum concluded, “Too many cases do not appear to meet the test of objective reasonableness with regard to the use of deadly force.” CBP fought releasing the report, refusing to even provide it to Congress, and it was only made public later by the Los Angeles Times. Even after the report, the Border Patrol refused to change its rules of engagement.
Similarly, standard hiring practices for other federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, like candidate polygraphs, were implemented only after the surge. The polygraph exams immediately began to raise questions about the quality of CBP’s hiring; some 65 percent of applicants failed, and more than 200 candidates, who would have been hired in the pre-exam hiring surge, admitted to criminal conduct ranging from drug smuggling to kidnapping and ransoming hostages in the Ivory Coast. One candidate even admitted to wanting to assassinate Obama.
Fuck.
 

Absent

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,247
Sorry for quoting so much, but goddamn.
In 2014, the ACLU filed a complaint with DHS on behalf of 116 childrenwho reported abuse in CBP custody; DHS closed the investigation after just four months, with no outcome. Last year, the ACLU and University of Chicago followed up with a report called “Neglect and Abuse of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.” One child reported being told by a CBP officer, “I am going to take you back to the river so that you can die.” Others reported physical and sexual abuse at the hands of CBP employees.
CBP’s culture can be so toxic that its own agents and officers speak out, which is what happened in 2017 when employees reported CBP officers at the Newark Airport had set up a “rape table” at the Newark airport where officers would sexually assault other officers. In an incident reported last week by CNN, one Border Patrol agent documented an incident where agents attempted to humiliate a Honduran migrant by forcing him to hold a sign that read, in Spanish, “I like men.” The senior agent on site took no action, so the whistleblower agent reported it to more senior officials.
Today, the Border Patrol has made zero progress toward hiring the 5,000 new agents promised by Trump. One bungled hiring experiment over the last year cost the government $2 million per recruit and yielded only 33 new agents before it was canceled in April. Because of those recruiting and retention challenges, the Border Patrol is actually smaller than it was under Obama, and its pilot ranks specifically are so depleted that it was unable to meet four out of every five requests for helicopter assistance during the Trump presidency. At lower-ranks recruiting and retention remains a critical problem; CBP recently began offering retention bonuses to stem its attrition rates. Workforce morale too is suffering in the Trump era—and it’s never been strong at DHS and CBP, which routinely comes out at the bottom of government workforce surveys.
 

MadLaughter

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,443
Similarly, standard hiring practices for other federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, like candidate polygraphs, were implemented only after the surge. The polygraph exams immediately began to raise questions about the quality of CBP’s hiring; some 65 percent of applicants failed, and more than 200 candidates, who would have been hired in the pre-exam hiring surge, admitted to criminal conduct ranging from drug smuggling to kidnapping and ransoming hostages in the Ivory Coast. One candidate even admitted to wanting to assassinate Obama.
Jesus Christ almighty.
 
OP
OP
Teh_Lurv

Teh_Lurv

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,307
Sorry for quoting so much, but goddamn.
Yeah, I know, that article has a lot to unpack. Part of the reason why I recommended people take the time to read the article is, as bad as these quoted examples are, you really feel the full impact when you read them in full succession in that article. It drives the point home that the issues in the CBP go beyond the Trump administration right down into it's core from it's inception.
 

Doran

Member
Jun 9, 2018
400
Yikes. Well when you hire people post 9/11 who want t shoot terrorists and don't background for people who are trying to smuggle drugs its no wonder they can't handle a humanitarian crisis and take advantage of people. Need to start hiring nurses and social workers and background checking security employees better.
 

Dyle

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
9,178
Wisconsin
It really is incredible how much of a failure DHS has been in every single way, you couldn't have designed it to fail more if you tried
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,765
It really is incredible how much of a failure DHS has been in every single way, you couldn't have designed it to fail more if you tried
Pretty much.

These agencies born out an opportunity to further the security state were destined to fail.
Post 9/11 fears paved the way for this giant security apparatus which largely funnels money to large corporations.
 

Ithil

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,466
This is why blind "you have to respect THE BOYS IN BLUE" type bullshit is dangerous. You put a border patrol or police uniform on a violent stupid bigot, it doesn't make them worthy of respect, it just gives them a licence to act out their psychopathic fantasies and go on a power trip. It's been very obvious for a very long time border patrol has had the biggest ratios of these meatheads being let into its ranks.
 

SpitztheGreat

Member
May 16, 2019
1,300
This is an absolutely staggering report and needs to get widely circulated. Politico has done a damn good job on this one.

Edit- the corruption is so systemic that I think the only way to fix it is to tear it down and start fresh.
 
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blackw0lf48

Member
Jan 2, 2019
336
Blockbuster of an article. Trying to think of a more attention grabbing subject for the thread to really get people's attention