Budget Cuts Cost Border Patrol Gas Money

From http://www.valleycentral.com by Nadia Galindo, June 7, 2013

Thursday afternoon Weslaco Police were chasing a reckless driver.

The incident started in Donna when two men allegedly threw a rock at a woman.

According to police the men fled the scene and later drove through Weslaco attempting to take the woman to the hospital.

The chase ended and the people inside bailed.

With two people in custody and two on the loose police called the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Air and Marine for a helicopter for backup.

But instead of responding, officers were told the helicopter had no gas.

“Fuel is being reduced as far as agents on the ground on vehicles that we are sending out to the field we are not sending as many vehicles to the field,” union representative Chris Cabrera, National Border Patrol Council, said.

Cabrera told Action 4 budget cuts caused by sequestration have trickled down to the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol which is known as one of the busiest areas on the border.

“We’re not given the resources to properly secure the border and that’s a problem,” Cabrera said.

The cuts are impacting local law enforcement.

“These guys bend over backwards to help us and we appreciate it however they should be concentrating on their communities and we should be concentrating on the border,” Cabrera said.

Border Patrol could not comment on the Weslaco incident because the helicopter requested is part of different department known as Air and Marine.

They did release this statement:

“The effects of sequestration continue to have serious impacts on CBP’s operations including nearly $600 million in cuts. We continue to encourage all parties to work together on a solution that can replace sequestration entirely and avoid the damaging impacts to CBP and critical services across the country.  The Chief Patrol Agent of the sector has a responsibility to operate within a prescribed budget.  The $600 million cut to CBP does impact the local operating budget and therefore the sector must take cost saving actions while still maintaining the integrity of border security operations.”

Cabrera said the cuts are threatening the safety of our border and need to stop.

“Anybody that comes down here and walks in our shoes for more than 10 minutes knows that it’s not secure down here,” Cabrera said.


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