Of course, I don't know any of these contacts' names, so I can't put them on the record. And I'm even loath to reveal my friend's name, since I haven't asked permission. So, unusually for VDARE.com, this claim of low morale has to remain on a "trust me" basis.
Fortunately, though, I can quote, for confirmation, Kermit Liebel, who's treasurer of the Fraternal Order of Retired Border Patrol Officers —not to be confused with the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers—and who now lives in Montana. Mr. Liebel retired from the Immigration and Naturalization Service [INS] in 1994, following seven years' service in its Border Patrol division and 23 years in Investigations, including time spent in California, metropolitan Chicago, Montana, and Alaska. Of course, he's free to speak now, and he keeps close track of what's happening in his old shops.
(The INS, along with the Coast Guard and several other federal agencies, became part of the Department of Homeland Security in 2002.)
Regarding the conditions in ICE and the Border Patrol, Mr. Liebel told me by phone (Monday, November 14, 2016) that "Morale is extremely low. The turnover rate is very high, despite the jobs being well-paid."
But because of a notable event on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, things are looking up! Kendall Taggart had a post at BuzzFeed News on November 11, headlined Deportation Officers Celebrate Trump's Victory. Subhead: “A collective sigh of relief was breathed Wednesday morning."
That's how it felt to me, too.
The article quotes (anonymously) a Border Patrol officer giving some specifics of the existing, low-morale regime:
[A] deportation officer working on the southern border said he hopes Trump will end the “catch-and-release” approach. Right now “I feel like I’m not even working for immigration, I feel like I’m working for a travel agency,” he said. “Welcome to America, here’s your bus ticket, now go on your way.”Of course, much of the hysteria in the press these last (and seemingly endless) 16 months has been about the promised "Wall" for the southern border. But people who actually understand the subject recognize that The Wall isn't the only—nor even the most important—component of what's needed to end illegal immigration. Reporter Taggart also quotes someone (presumably from ICE) on the point:
“I signed up thinking I was going to enforce immigration laws,” he continued. “Hopefully he is going to fix that.”
Some officers hoped Trump would increase enforcement in the nation’s interior, not just on the borders, and crack down on the asylum and refugee process. “I think our system is being gamed,” said one deportation officer in the Oregon area.Her article also includes another officer's excellent summing-up on the significance of illegal immigration:
It makes no sense to describe only some undocumented immigrants as criminals, said the Texas deportation officer, since everyone who crosses the border without permission is violating the law. “Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime,” he said. “What about all the others lowering the quality of life for communities they live in, devaluing housing, lowering education?”Yep, illegal immigration that involves border-crashing ("entry without inspection") is a crime. And its victims among the population of us native-born Americans are legion.