If the Biden administration carries out threats to fire unvaccinated Border Patrol officers by Nov. 22, the service could lose up to 11,532 agents – leaving a mere 8,013 on duty.
Between the president’s vax mandate and normal rates of attrition, the Border Patrol stands to lose a whopping 59 percent of its personnel amidst an ongoing border crisis, according to an internal government report.
Noting that the southern border is “already dangerously understaffed,” a group of Republican congressmen warns that the administration is setting up the Border Patrol for massive failure. In a Nov. 1 letter to President Joe Biden, the lawmakers wrote:
“With a record number of illegal border crossings this year and no end in sight, terminating Border Patrol agents for their choice not to vaccinate against COVID-19 — when many agents have a more effective natural immunity — is not only irresponsible, but is a dereliction of your duty as Commander-in-Chief.”
In a separate letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Texas Republican whose district spans 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, stated: “With morale at an all-time low, [the vaccine mandate]will serve as a last straw for agents who can easily leave the agency for other law enforcement organizations at the state or local level, or retire.”
The Washington Post reports that 20 percent of Border Patrol agents have not complied with the vaccine mandate. The agency “appears to have one of the highest refusal rates among the federal workforce,” the Post said, but added that “the share of employees getting shots or fulfilling notification requirements has risen rapidly over the past several days.”
Going forward, Gonzales pointed out, “It takes more than 400 days for applicants to go through the hiring process. New recruits then have over 20 weeks of training at the Border Patrol Academy. It would be impractical to rely on additional recruiting for anticipated shortages.”
Whatever one thinks about the vaccine, there’s no justification for a paradoxical policy that punishes Border Patrol officers while continuing to allow unscreened and unvaccinated migrants into the country. It is illogical to make Border Patrol officers expendable during a border crisis.
“For two years Border Patrol agents have had to go on the line risking their lives to apprehend illegal aliens,” says Mark Morgan, former acting commissioner of Customs and Border Patrol. “Now according to ‘the science’ [these officers]have to get vaccinated or lose their job, but the very illegal aliens they’re apprehending don’t have to get vaccinated. That’s nonsensical.”#