By Jesse Newman, Marketing —
How much do you trust the security of our nation’s borders? According to a recent investigative report done by the Texas Observer, perhaps too much. With national security receiving so much political attention thanks to the upcoming election, it’s alarming to see how weak and easily corruptible the nation’s largest law enforcement agency has proven to be. One organization that is especially susceptible to corruption is the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
While each politician has his or her own proposed solution, one thing is certain—Mexican cartels are targeting US border officials as part of their business model. There have been numerous occasions when agents belonging to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) committed serious misconduct without punishment. We’re not talking about minor infractions like napping on the job. This investigation indicated that agents had purchased weapons for criminal groups, received bribes, and knowingly allowed human and drug traffickers to cross into the United States.
In any large organization you would expect some of this behavior to take place. But the consistent complacency with this type of behavior is inexcusable. The FBI, along with other law enforcement agencies, have offered to help investigate these cases but the CBP has repeatedly turned them away. Why? Most likely the CBP wants to keep as much attention away from the border as possible. By controlling the number of agent arrests and keeping these crimes out of the news, it is avoiding potential political liabilities. Due to this silencing motive the DHS has, the extent of corruption remains unknown.
Who are the ones susceptible to corruption?
Although some criminal organizations have their members join government agencies in an effort to gain information and leverage, it’s usually the long-time employees who are abusing their power and assisting criminals. With time, some agents get comfortable in their positions, get closer to retirement, and feel they haven’t been compensated sufficiently—they simply have more opportunities to develop relationships with these criminal organizations. It might start with a small bribe for a small favor and can grow into something serious.
Ways to Combat Corruption
While there are many reasons why this misconduct is taking place along the border and within government organizations, the internal and external motives combine to create a serious opportunity for crime. A lack of accountability amplifies the problem. Something needs to be done to change the hiring process and continued management of agents in the CBP. Implementing more rigorous screening processes during the hiring phase is one way agencies can control who gets hired. More importantly, though, is the need to continually screen employees throughout their employment. It allows the agencies to verify that no abuse of power is occurring. What other ways can we combat corruption
Photo courtesy of Dickelbers via Wikimedia Commons.