Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

Border Corruption

Jul 25 2006

Mr. Speaker, there is more news from the second front. This is the border, and the news is not good. It is disturbing.

There is word tonight that some men and women charged with protecting our borders could be making their yearly salary in just a matter of days by taking bribes. That is right, bribes.

Border Patrol agents, our the first line of defense in the fight to secure America's borders, may have dirty money on their mind instead of illegals, all the while they are compromising national security for a fist full of dollars.

This month, two Border Patrol supervisors pleaded guilty after accepting $200,000 in bribes and working with the illegals to come into the United States. These supervisors were working on a test program set up between the Border Patrol and the Mexican Government where human smugglers, coyotes as we call them, were arrested in the United States and were supposed to be deported back to Mexico for prosecution. This is the same program that these officials have been raving about. They even came to Washington and testified before Congress that 82 suspected smugglers were returned back to Mexico last year.

But what is worse is these supervisors used a government vehicle to bring two smugglers across the border. One bought his way out of jail for a $10,000 bribe while another shelled out $6,000 in bribes so he wouldn't be shipped back to Mexico. Then these two agents, new best friends of these two individuals, dropped them off at a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Their case isn't the only one that is under investigation. In fact, it is far from it. Other Border Patrol agents charged with upholding our laws and our sovereign borders are facing Federal charges and investigations. Border Patrol agent Oscar Ortiz was in fact not even a United States citizen, an illegal himself, and he used a false birth certificate to, get this, Mr. Speaker, become a U.S. border agent and work on our border. His lies were only discovered as he conspired to smuggle in over 100 different people into the United States.

Another example: two Border Patrol agents, brothers, have vanished into the darkness of Mexico because they were being investigated for smuggling drugs and illegal immigrants into the United States. Once they figured out that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was out to capture them, they took off and disappeared, as I said, into Mexico.

Two other agents were indicted for taking bribes and allowing illegals to cross our border for a few dollars.

Experts say targeting border agents is an easy task. You see, here is what happens. On the other side of the river, they watch our border agents with binoculars. They say coyotes look for weak inspectors and then they test them to see whether or not they are lawful.

The way they do it is they send someone across the border, someone like a woman, who will flirt with the agent until he lets her in and the people that are with her in. Once this occurs, then these individuals are approached by these coyotes to see if they will let more people in, all in the name of money.

Mr. Speaker, our national leaders are divided over what to do with immigration, what to do with the people that are here illegally; but the country cannot be divided over corruption on the border by border agents. Americans

[Page: H5818] GPO's PDF

aren't okay with people buying and flirting their way into the United States. They demand safe and secure borders and honest and upstanding Border Patrol agents.

Make no doubt about it, most of our Border Patrol agents are honest hardworking men and women. But we must make an example of anyone who breaks the immigration laws, no matter which side of the border they live on. From time to time, we point out even on this House floor corruption of some Mexican Government officials that work along the southern border when they are helping drug smugglers and coyotes all in the name o