Can you imagine being a law enforcement officer on the Mexican border and being told not to arrest an illegal immigrant crossing the border?  It’s stunning.  But that’s exactly what’s going on according to an Arizona sheriff and confirmed by hundreds of calls and emails.

“Upper management has advised supervisors to have agents ‘turn back South’ (TBS) the illegal aliens they detect attempting to unlawfully enter the country … at times you even hear supervisors order the agents over the radio to ‘TBS’ the aliens instead of catching them,” one San Diego border agent wrote in an email to Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever.

“This only causes more problems as the aliens, as you know, don’t just go back to Mexico and give up. They keep trying, sometimes without 10 minutes in-between attempts, to cross illegally,” continued the email, which was among a number of communications to Dever according to FoxNews.com. “This makes the job for agents more dangerous. Not only are the aliens more defiant, they also begin to feel like they can get away with breaking our federal laws.”

What makes the situation worse is the grossly dishonest comments of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano citing a reduction in border apprehensions as evidence of a more secure border.  It’s akin to watching as a bank is robbed, taking no action and claiming that bank robberies are down.  Hell, we’ll give you a few murders too just to show how much safer the streets are.  No wonder no one trusts their government.

If the blatant dishonesty of the Homeland Secretary wasn’t enough, Border Patrol chief Michael Fisher sent a letter to Sheriff Dever in which he denied the accusations and invited the sheriff on a ride-along with federal agents at border.  Fisher stated in his letter that, “That assertion is completely, 100 percent false.  That it comes from a fellow law enforcement official makes it especially offensive.”  So Mr. Fisher is claiming that the reports of over 100 of his subordinates is an out-and-out lie.  Who do you believe?

Accounts from law enforcement officials all over the country continue to pour in testifying to validity of what’s been reported by Border Patrol officers.  A retired Border Patrol office reported that apprehension numbers were regularly manipulated to achieve various budget, equipment or manpower goals.

Jeffery Self, commander of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command stated to Fox News earlier this month, “As the commander for border enforcement operations in Arizona, I can confirm that the claim that Border Patrol supervisors have been instructed to underreport or manipulate our statistics is unequivocally false. I took an oath that I take very seriously and I find it insulting that anyone, especially a fellow law enforcement officer, would imply that we would put the protection of the American public and security of our nation’s borders in danger just for a numbers game. Our mission does not waiver based on political climate and it never will. To suggest that we are ambiguous in enforcing our laws belittles the work of more than 6,000 CBP employees in Arizona who dedicate their lives to protect our borders every day.”  Notice that he doesn’t mention turning illegals back rather than arresting them, only that they don’t over or underreport numbers.

Bolstering Sheriff Dever’s statements, as well as the hundreds of reports of other Border Control agents, the Tucson branch of the National Border Patrol Council union has also come out in support of Dever, and posted this message on their website after the FoxNews.com report.  “Sheriff Dever is right. We have seen so many slick shenanigans pulled in regards to ‘got-aways’ and entry numbers that at times it seems David Copperfield is running the Border Patrol. Creating the illusion that all is well and you can start having family picnics in the areas where we work has been going on far too long. Has there been improvement in some areas? Absolutely. Is the border anywhere near ‘under control’? Absolutely not. Do some in management play games with numbers and cater to the wishes of politicians like Janet Napolitano and David Aguilar? Resoundingly, yes. Time for the foolish political games to stop.”

In another response on the union website another response stated, “Just remember, for years now we have been told from the highest ranking managers in our agency that ‘every apprehension is a FAILURE’ (Johnny Williams – former INS Western Region Director), and that we ‘are NOT immigration officers’ (current CBP Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar to Border Patrol agents when he was the Chief of the Border Patrol)…. We have been told that – Apprehensions = failure, we are not ‘immigration’ officers, we should not ‘lower’ ourselves to the status of an immigration officer, and our primary job is not apprehending illegal aliens. Couple all this with Secretary Napolitano’s recent public announcement about what she expects our apprehension numbers to be this fiscal year, and it’s not hard to figure this thing out.”

While all this is going down, President Obama is running around the country trying to gin up Hispanic votes by promoting immigration reform.  It’s a given that reform of our immigration policies is warranted, however it’s nearly universally agreed that securing the border is the first step to considering dealing with those already here.  If the administration is going to play games with the porousness of the U.S. border there will never be support from the public to review immigration policies.

We pay our elected officials to protect us, and a secure border is a key element.  But if they lie to us, or play games to try and demonstrate how much they’ve improved the situation, then there is nothing they say that we can believe.  Time to go back to Arizona Ms. Napolitano.