Former Border Patrol Agent To
Current Agents: Refuse Orders To Separate Children
“There’s no excuse for these agents to not literally lay down their guns and badges and say that this is unlawful,” she said.
By Sebastian Murdock, HuffPost US 19 June 2018
A former Border Patrol officer said there is no excuse for current officers not to lay down their weapons and refuse to detain children separated from their parents.
Jenn Budd, 47, was with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection from 1995 to 2001 as a senior patrol officer. Based in Campo, California, Budd was tasked with patrolling the border and assisting in the deportation of immigrants. She ultimately left because of what she described as a culture of sexual harassment against women but said she took gratification in the job itself.
“I’ve had a lot of negative things to say about the Border Patrol, but I also recognize that we have to protect our borders and I had some pride in that,” Budd told HuffPost.
But what she’s seeing now has sickened her, she said. In a facility in Texas, nearly 1,500 children are being held captive with no access to their parents. White House officials continue to lie about the reason for the detainments, saying they are just following a law ― except no law ordering immigrant families to be separated exists. And in her defense of the treatment, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that “it is very biblical to enforce the law.”
On Monday, ProPublica published audio of detained children crying and begging for their parents. In it, an agent can be heard saying, “Well, we have an orchestra here” over the sounds of sobbing.
“I honestly was just so ashamed that I ever belonged to this organization,” Budd said about hearing the audio. “It’s unlawful to take children away from their parents like this. It’s unheard of.”
At a press briefing Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsenargued that some children are separated when they are not able to provide proof that the adults they are with are, in fact, their parents. She said if they can’t provide proof of the relationship, it could be a case of human trafficking. Budd said that’s a lie.
“They’re not crossing over with birth certificates and even if they did, immigration officials might not believe those documents, they’ll say they’re fake,” she said. “It’s very rare that anybody ever crosses the border with somebody else’s child. Kids are usually with an aunt or relative or something like that. [The administration] is misleading people and flat-out lying.”
What’s more, Budd said, the federal
organization doesn’t have the resources or the training to deal with
something of this magnitude.