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Shutdown Sends Border Patrol Trainees Home And May Cause Staffing Difficulties

David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio
TPR News
U.S. Border Patrol vehicles near the border fence.

Due to the federal government shutdown, the training of new border patrol agents is at a standstill and many of the offices, such as the Border Patrol Training Facility in Artesia, New Mexico, are closed due to furloughs.

About 350 trainees have been sent home and will not return until the shutdown is over.

Shawn Moran is the vice president of the National Border Patrol Council and said the border patrol is already a step behind smuggling organizations.

“In the past year they’ve transferred most of their new business, so to speak, to the Rio Grand Valley, so we have to transfer our people there to try and counter them," Moran said. "When we have a shutdown like this we’re just not able to train the people and deploy them to different stations.”

Moran said the lack of new trainees could make the border patrol less effective and inefficient when trying to staff high activity areas like the Rio Grand Valley and Tucson, Arizona.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules