Illegal Immigrant Journalist Arrested and Released by DHS

On July 15, 2014, prior to his attempt to pass through a security checkpoint at McAllen Miller International Airport in McAllen, Texas, a journalist, (who happens to be an illegal immigrant), tweeted that he didn’t know what was going to happen once he approached the checkpoint, which he could clearly see was manned by uniformed Border Patrol agents. He was unaware of whether he’d be arrested, or whether he’d be allowed to proceed. Fortunately, our agents did their jobs and arrested him for being in the country illegally. Of course, all of this was recorded via video and photographs, which leads us to believe that this was a planned and staged event. Unfortunately, someone within DHS gave the order to release him with a Notice to Appear before an Immigration Judge (at a later date of course). Had the agents not done what they’re trained and expected to do, this would have been a PR nightmare for an agency that is already under public scrutiny for the ongoing saga with the influx of unaccompanied children in South Texas. Not to mention, the agents involved would have certainly been subjected to some sort of administrative action for their failure to apprehend him, and they would have been “thrown under the bus” by the agency. While the agents did their jobs, the agency didn’t. By continuing to release illegal immigrants, the agency and the administration are sending a clear message to those who wish to enter illegally; that message being that there is a very high likelihood they will be released shortly after arrest. There is currently no deterrent to getting arrested by the Border Patrol when actions like this continue to take place. There is a discernible difference between arresting and housing an illegal immigrant family unit, or an unaccompanied minor versus arresting and housing an illegal immigrant adult traveling alone. There are no legitimate logistical concerns to housing and deporting an adult male. While ICE is to be commended (sarcasm) for falling on the sword for the Border Patrol by ordering his release, we can’t help to wonder how much further this sinks the morale of the men and women who are doing their jobs with little to no support from those in a position to make a positive change. Until there is a change in enforcement, detention and removal efforts, our agents will continue to do the best that they possibly can with little support.