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Working conditions for border patrol getting more attention

As Border Patrol continues to be strained by the crisis at the United States’ border with Mexico, their working conditions are finally getting increased attention from the Biden administration.

The increased attention followed tense meetings between senior officials and the rank and file as the agency has continued to deal with one of the largest spikes in migration along the border.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the Department of Homeland Security secretary who oversees the Border Patrol, gave 19 ways that working conditions may be addressed following reports by agents.

Mayorkas also promised in a memo to push for more prosecutions of those accused of assaulting Customs and Border Protection personnel as they carry out their duties. This was an issue raised at a recent meeting in Laredo, Texas, as well as many other places according to Chris Magnus, the new commissioner of CBP.

“That’s something that agents in the field want to hear because assaults are on the uptick,” said Magnus to The Associated Press. “We are not just seeing folks who are fleeing to the U.S. to get away from conditions. We are seeing smugglers, members of cartels, and drug organizations that are actively engaged in doing harm.”

Efforts to better the working conditions for agents come as President Joe Biden has consistently been criticized over his handling of immigration.

As he has reversed hardcore policies of former President Donald Trump, he has faced backlash for the current situation at the border, which could spell disaster for Democrats as the midterm elections approach.

CBP has encountered migrants from all over the globe around 1.7 million times along the border just in the last year. The total, which is one of the highest in decades, represents an inflated number due to repeated apprehensions of people who were turned back, without being allowed the chance to seek asylum, due to public health orders issued at the onset of the pandemic.

Advocates for immigration have condemned the Biden administration for not getting rid of the public health order, while other critics, like many Border Patrol agents, note that Biden’s policy of allowing children and families to remain in the country and pursue asylum has resulted in irregular migration.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: HERALD SUN

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