US Border Patrol agents served in Iraq
by Craig Masters
According to the web site CBP.gov, the US Border Patrol agents received about $331million in overtime in 2011. That amount is more than double the 2006 level of roughly $156million. The total overtime for border agents grew to $1.4 billion in the past six years while the number of arrests of illegal border crossers has fallen to the lowest level in nearly 40 years, according to the figures published on the web site.
But while the overtime pay has doubled, so has the number of agents, so the net result is that the average overall overtime earned by agents only increased about $1,400 from $16,400 in 2006 to $17,900 in 2011. Or so it would seem if all the pay is equally divided among all agents. But, the “2011 Fiscal Year in Review” document itemizes enough to reveal that 200 headquarters personnel averaged $24,000 per year in overtime, nearly 70% more than most field agents.
With twice as many agents patrolling the borders, it might be reasonable to expect at least a modest increase in illegal entry arrests. But according to the report released by Commissioner Alan Bersin, the number of arrests is at a 40-year low! Crediting the arrests equally to all agents (after all it is a team effort) the average has fallen from 111 in 2006 to only 18 in 2011. That’s 18 arrests per year per agent. The average cost for each of those arrests is almost unbelievable. Let’s just say American taxpayers could save money simply giving out enough money at the border to pay the immigrants enough to return home and fuel their local economy.
And fueling the economy may well be a critical function of the expanded border patrol workforce. “In 2011, CBP made important contributions to our nation’s homeland security and economic vitality,” said CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin.
Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, has said that her department is constantly looking for ways to trim its multi-billion budget. “Every element of the federal government has an obligation to find ways to do what we do more efficiently and in a more cost effective manner,” said Napolitano in her ‘state of the department’ speech January 31. “We’ve been looking for these ways for three years. It’s everything … it’s cutting down expenses related to procurement, it’s doing certain things with IT which are cutting the costs of that, it’s eliminating you know, subscriptions to unnecessary periodicals. We are finding that we can get leaner and meaner. And we will continue to do that.”
“Eliminating you know, subscriptions to unnecessary periodicals.” Given the amount of overtime pay Bersin justifies as necessary to keep us safe, when do these people have time to read all those subscriptions that Napolitano has noticed is running up the department’s budget?
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Posted by Craig Masters in General News category