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Under Biden Administration, Border Patrol Officers Pressured To Allow Border Crossing Without Vetting

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A recent report published by the Department of Homeland Security said that under the Biden administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection management pressured officers to allow vehicles to cross from Mexico without proper inspection.

The June 7 report, authored by Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari, said that supervisors at multiple land ports of entry pushed Border Patrol officers to only question the drivers of vehicles entering the United States and not passengers. Officers were instructed not to use “Simplified Arrival,” a biometric tool used by the DHS to “identify criminal warrants, national security concerns, or border crossing history, before admitting [individuals] into the country.” The report further noted that “DHS will remain at risk of admitting dangerous persons into the country who may pose threats to public safety and national security.”

The report sought to determine the effectiveness of DHS procedures to screen and vet asylum seekers and noncitizens seeking admission into the United States following the challenges encountered while screening and vetting refugees, specifically those from Afghanistan.

Other significant findings in the report included twenty-nine supervisors “consistently” instructing subordinate officers to question only persons driving vehicles, not passengers, in crossing vehicles. Over 150 officers admitted to querying only drivers, with 104 doing so “monthly or more often.” Additionally, two officers stated that “to speed traffic flow, travelers either without identification or with expired documents were admitted into the country.”

With the rise of border crossings all along the southern border, agents have often said they’re overwhelmed. Policy for the CBP states that “its land POE processing policy permits exceptions when local port management does not consider complete inspections to be operationally feasible.” In essence, the agency considers factors such as staffing, cross-border events, and traffic volume as reasons not to enforce strict identification review. Port management directed “primary inspection lanes to query only drivers to expedite processing.”

The same report said this practice “leaves officers unaware of potentially derogatory information about persons in a vehicle.” Officers were pressured to release vehicles against their judgment even if they believed all persons should be queried before allowing them to enter the United States.

Nearly 900,000 people enter the nation through POEs every day. The report said that without “querying all noncitizens entering the country … CBP is at risk of allowing criminals, suspected terrorists, or other nefarious actors to enter the United States.”


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