Arizona Sheriff Cites Flood of Border Agents Confirming Feds’ No-Apprehension Policy

Jana Winter, Fox News, April 19, 2011

An Arizona sheriff says he has been flooded with calls and emails of support from local and federal agents who back his claims that the U.S. Border Patrol has effectively ordered them to stop apprehending illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border.

“Upper management has advised supervisors to have agents ‘turn back South’ (TBS) the illegal aliens (aka bodies) 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 reviewed by “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.”

{snip} first reported this month that Dever said several Border Patrol officials, including at least one senior supervisor, told him they had been directed to keep the number of border apprehensions down by chasing illegal immigrants back toward Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has recently cited a reduction in border apprehensions as evidence of an increasingly secure border.

Three days after’s initial report, Border Patrol chief Michael Fisher sent a letter to Dever in which he denied the accusations and invited the sheriff on a ride-along with federal agents at border.

“That assertion is completely, 100 percent false,” Fisher wrote in the letter. “That it comes from a fellow law enforcement official makes it especially offensive.”

But accounts from law enforcement officials around the country continue to pour in supporting Dever and the conversations he says he had with Border Patrol officers, including at least one supervisor, about keeping arrest numbers down.


In response to request for comment on the new allegations, Homeland Security offered the same statement from Jeffery Self, commander of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command, that was provided to 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.”

Local 2544, 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 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.”


A second Arizona sheriff, Paul Babeu of Pinal County, also testified at a Senate Homeland Security Committee last week in support of Dever’s charges. Dever was slated to appear at the hearing, but said he could no longer attend when the date of his appearance was changed.

Asked specifically about Dever’s assertion that agents were told to turn back illegals to reduce apprehensions, Babeu told the committee he’d specifically asked his top lieutenant, Matt Thomas, about the claims.

“He said, ‘Sheriff, I have heard that myself directly from border agents in the Tucson sector,'” Babeu testitified.


T.J. Bonner, retired president of the National Border Patrol Council, said in an interview with that he’s familiar with “TBS-ing” and shares Babeu’s concerns about criminals and terrorists crossing the border.

“TBS has been going on for a number of years. You’ll never find orders in writing, and some agents have even been disciplined for TBS-ing people. That’s a practice that dates back to quite some time, to try and discourage is part of their ‘strategy of deterrence.'”


“Agents don’t just do this on their own. The orders must come from on high. They don’t just wake up one day and say I’m going to risk my job, my livelihood,” said Bonner, who retired last year after 32 years with Border Patrol. “I’m not sure if it’s Napolitano or folks in Customs and Border Protection, but somebody wants to silence critics in Arizona to claim success in Arizona.”



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7 Responses to “Arizona Sheriff Cites Flood of Border Agents Confirming Feds’ No-Apprehension Policy” Subscribe

  1. Isn't it obvious? April 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    We’re molested and irradiated in airports because we’re so concerned about “Homeland Security.” If that’s true, why don’t we have US troops on the border, defending against the non-White invasion?

    Answer: govt is in bed with elites who WANT an invasion of non-Whites. Yes, they want to race-replace White Americans because they’d rather have obedient, low IQ, non-White wage slave peasantry. They’re easier to corral!

    Elites and govt are willing to commit WHITE GENOCIDE so they can make a few more bucks by skimping on labor costs. They cover up this nonsense by calling anyone who points it out a “racist.”

    Anti-racism (diversity, tolerance, multiculturalism) is just a code word for anti-White! Isn’t this obvious!

    Call your Congressman and demand that they enforce the US border and deport the illegal aliens!

  2. Anonymous April 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    If their comms aren’t secure (they usually aren’t, vehicle to ground) it should be a simple matter to intercept and tape.

    If they are secure, you need an operator at a hub-node to do the right thing and _make a tape_, over a repeater speaker.

    The louder we yell, the more likely it is that someone, somewhere, will be stuck without a chair when the music finally stops (the news finally breaks on the ‘shenanigans’).

    The key thing to keep thinking is: “Do I want a twenty foot wide ditch or a forty?” 100 earthmovers, doing ten miles per vehicle, per year, could get us that ditch for a couple hundred million over a couple of years. All 2,000 miles worth.

    This is not an impossible problem.

  3. Anonymous April 19, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    “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 ….[BLAH BLAH BLAH].”


    Could anyone with ears, eyes and an IQ north of 85 believe him?

    My God. What a corrupt time we live in.

  4. Vlad The Emailer April 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    Of course this policy comes straight from Obama, and is simply part of his overall plan to destroy traditional America. Every single one of his policies has been injurious to the country in one way or another. And I’m sure he is delighted to see how gasoline prices are furthur harming our already staggering economy. I dislike Obama intensely, but I sure give him credit for getting away with anything he wants to. Obama knows no matter what he does the Democrats will defend him and the Republicans will do little, being afraid to be called racists.

    May God help our country because no one in Washington will.

  5. Anonymous April 20, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    Is this a Bush or Bama policy? Who came first the chicken or the egg?

  6. Anonymous April 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    They need illegals to fill the welfare ranks.. This is sooo true! They (for illegals only) don’t have to have “documentation” to get welfare. The government a long time ago decided that illegals “are just like us”. I will bet it is more like 100% of them. I know it for a fact. They also get 60% or more of SECTION 8 housing, yet our elderly and disabled have a hard time and long lines to even get on the “list”. And people still think that voting for the repubs or libs will solve our problems that THEY created in the first place? The government is FILLED with our enemies and it is very apparent. Voting will do no good whatsoever, we just get another traitor.

  7. Anonymous April 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    Does Turn Back South (TBS)exist?

    “That assertion is completely, 100 percent false,” [Chief of the Border Patrol]Fisher wrote …… “That it comes from a fellow law enforcement official makes it especially offensive.”

    It’s a shame that Fisher placed himself in the category of a real law enforcement officer, the Sheriff. Border Patrol officers are in no way comparable to real cops or deputies. Some states don’t even recognize them as police officers. I believe Texas is one that doesn’t.

    I googled Chief Michael J. Fisher and was directed to the CBP website which provides his bio. There is nothing he has done that is related to police work, nor does it mention any military service.

    Fisher appears to have served a few months on the southwest border arresting illegals. Then he joined Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC). This is the known escape route for agents who hate to do the dirty work of arresting illegal Mexicans. BORSTAR is another.

    In the higher levels of Border Patrol, it is known that a BORTAC mafia exists. That is, they protect and help their own in relation to choice assignments, promotions and CYA.

    BORTAC is virtually useless and is really a paramilitary unit for the phony tough who don’t want to engage in real warfare,or do the messy job of an ordinary agent. Rarely has BORTAC ever been used effectively in a SWAT emergency. It was reported that the Border agent killed recently in Arizona was part of BORTAC. Lot of good this unit did, the agent got ambushed by illegals.

    After BORTAC, Fisher went to Detroit sector. Another dodge. No actual border enforcement there. Yet another dodge was that he served in Border Protection’s Office of Anti-Terrorism in DC.

    Also mentioned was his foreign service. What is a Border Patrol officer doing in a another country? or was he referring to South Texas, Arizona and California?

    Fisher is unqualified to lead the Border Patrol. He is the typical office suck-up who got all the right tickets punched. In fact he was so busy getting tickets punched he couldn’t find time to do his primary job.

    The bio mentioned that Fisher studied in the CAPSTONE program where high level security thoughts are dropped and studied by the students called fellows. Too bad Fisher didn’t hang around a few ranchers and learn about building effective fences, or participate in a ride-a-long program with a county deputy. Had he done so he may have learned something worthwhile.

    Does TBS, turn back south exist? I have no doubt. Senior management such as Fisher and the DHS Secretary have positioned themselves for plausible deniability so they can testify without perjury. As if that mattered anyway.

    I suspect that most agents are OK with TBS. This way they don’t have to arrest, interview, complete paperwork and etc. Makes the job a lot easier.