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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned.
This is the sort of news-grabbing lede that just leaves you speechless. So let's dig in a little and see if there's any "there" there.
Another agent said the Naco supervisors "were clear in their intention" to keep new arrests to an "absolute minimum" to offset the effect of the Minuteman vigil, adding that patrols along the border have been severely limited.
Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar at the agency's Washington headquarters called the accusations "outright wrong," saying that supervisors at the Naco station had not blocked agents from making arrests and that the station's 350 agents were being "supported in carrying out" their duties.
And what would an immigration discussion be without the input of Tom Tancredo?
Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, yesterday said "credible sources" within the Border Patrol also had told him of the decision by Naco supervisors to keep new arrests to a minimum, saying he was angry but not surprised.
"It's like telling a cop to stand by and watch burglars loot a store but don't arrest any of them," he said. "This is another example of decisions being made at the highest levels of the Border Patrol that are hurting morale and helping to rot the agency from within.
Look, I honestly think that the Border Patrol agents are tasked with an impossible job, and that their supervisors are tasked with an even harder job because they have to deal with the political fallout of anything that happens. And, absent a clear and distinctly articulated policy from the policy makers that run things, everything they do will be subject to some sort of fallout.
That said, if there is a concerted effort to avoid legitimizing the Minutemen by downplaying their effectiveness, it is both pathetic and potentially disastrous.
By the way, is there any evidence the Minutemen may have made a difference?
Several field agents credited the volunteers with cutting the flow of illegal aliens in the targeted Naco area, saying the number of apprehended illegals dropped from an average of 500 a day to less than 15 a day. . .
Area residents, in a half-page ad in the Sunday edition of the Sierra Vista Herald, told the volunteers: "Thanks for doing what our government won't -- close the border to illegal aliens. It was the quietest month we've had in many years ... You made us feel safe because the border was closed."
Huh. 500 . . .15 . . .500 . . .15. Maybe it worked--but just a little bit.