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Update on Laredo Border Chief

Posted by Joshua Price on August 28, 2007

There is an updated story today in The Washington Times about Carlos X. Carrillo, the Border Patrol chief for Laredo, Texas.

Chief Carrillo has apologized for his unbelievable comments at a recent town hall meeting in Laredo where he said:

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Border Patrol’s job is not to stop illegal immigrants. The Border Patrol’s job is not to stop narcotics…The Border Patrol’s mission is not to stop criminals.

The Border Patrol’s mission is to stop terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the country.”

In response, Chief Carrillo is quoted in The Washington Times today as saying:

“It’s painfully obvious to me that I could have done a better job of articulating my talking points.”

He goes on to say:

“As long as the resources are made available to the people who can make it happen, we will certainly do everything we can to ensure that a zero tolerance policy is brought forward. But to initiate a program like this, without the funding, would not be wise.

Apparently the Del Rio sector is trying to implement a zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration where they try to “incarcerate all illegal aliens caught in high traffic areas” according to the article.

Carrillo’s comments rightfully outraged many, including Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) who is a Republican presidential candidate. He initially called for Carrillo’s resignation, but said yesterday that “this is bigger than Mr. Carrillo. It goes all the way to Chief David Aguilar and the whole management culture at DHS. I think this guy is speaking for his superiors.”

He also went on to say that he is “concerned about the Border Patrol men and women who are finding it harder every day to do their jobs and I’m concerned with those whose close ties to Mexico run too deep.”

I believe Rep. Tancredo is right. The problem goes deeper than just current employees of the department and the laws that govern the process. Reforming the immigration system is not the answer; a fundamental overhaul is. It will need to start by enforcing and enhancing laws that are already on the books; adopting a zero tolerance policy across-the-board; an organization cultural shift in every department associated with the immigration system; and finally, a real commitment to linking homeland security with border security.

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