Most people are under the impression that the US Border Patrol operates along the southern border of the United States and for the most part they are correct in that assumption. But over the last ten years, there has been an increase in the number of Border Patrol agents who have been making arrests deep within the Texas heartland.
A prominent local newspaper in Austin, Texas began investigating the Border Patrol’s “interior enforcement operations” several years ago. It is one of the Patrol’s lesser known tactics for executing its ultimate goal of protecting America’s borders.
According to the results of the investigation, Border Patrol agents in Texas arrested over 40,000 individuals at the nine Border Patrol stations which are farthest in from the Mexican border – some of being as much as 350 miles inland – between 2005 and 2013. That equates to an average of over 10 arrests per day. Many of the arrests occurred at least 100 miles from the border.
There has been some controversy over these kinds of arrests that take place so far from the border because some feel that agents are engaged in racial profiling in order to make such arrests. But representatives from the agency say that their criteria for stopping motorists that have led to the arrests of illegal immigrants are very specific and do not include racial profiling.
They agency says that many of the arrests are made as the result of motorists being stopped for ordinary traffic violations that end up leading to an arrest for being in the country illegally.
Despite the controversy that has arisen due to the arrests being made so far from the border, many state and federal legislators say that agents are doing the job that is being asked of them and that “armchair critics have no empirical justification for criticizing the individuals who protect our borders.”