By early next year, the Border Patrol’s busiest sector on the Southwest border was supposed to receive about 350 freshly trained agents from its academy in New Mexico. But that training center and three others like it that train tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officers each year from 91 different federal agencies have been shut down by the budget fight in Washington.
Trainees at the Border Patrol’s academy in Artesia, N.M., have been sent home. That means the Rio Grande Valley sector, which saw a 58 percent increase in arrests in the fiscal year that ended last month, will have to wait longer for reinforcements. How much longer depends on the duration of the budget dispute.
“The guys in Rio Grande, they need the help, but unfortunately right now there will be no one to send, and the classes that were being trained will now be delayed,” said Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, a labor union.