The agency charged with protecting the United States border may lose up to 12,000 agents because they haven’t been vaccinated. The deadline for the 20,000 CBP agents to state their vaccination status or claim an exemption was on November 8.
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The mandate is just one challenge being faced by the border patrol. But if the president decides to begin enforcing the mandate, there are going to be a lot of holes to fill for CBP in a system that already leaks like a sieve.
Record numbers of illegals are attempting to cross the border, with tens of thousands more looking for asylum. Throw in drug runners, human traffickers, and the occasional terrorist and the border patrol definitely needs all hands on deck.
About 18 percent of the CBP workforce were not inoculated by Nov. 8, meaning about 12,000 employees risk losing their jobs if they do not receive a religious or medical exemption by Nov. 22, according to internal documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. The Office of Personnel Management said federal agencies may impose disciplinary action, such as suspension or termination, against unvaccinated employees after Nov. 9.
The vaccination push comes as CBP faces strained resources in managing the immigration crisis on the southern border. As a record number of illegal immigrants attempt to cross into the United States, agents on the ground say they lack the manpower to patrol designated areas. Meanwhile, agents who process migrants with asylum claims are working in facilities frequently beyond maximum capacity.
It should be noted that the more time the agents spend processing and releasing illegal aliens and asylum seekers, the less time they have to actually patrol and protect the border.
Regardless, losing agents because they aren’t vaccinated would throw the agency into chaos.
CBP leadership is aware of the potential backlash from Border Patrol agents over the vaccination mandate, with analysts at the agency playing out scenarios in case of mass non-compliance. The results are mixed. In some instances, internal documents show, the agency believes it can hire enough new employees to replace old ones, but it does not specify the time period in which it could accomplish this. In others, analysts warn that CBP lacks the hiring capabilities.
“We can’t lose anybody and expect to secure the border. So we do believe this vaccine mandate—while we will encourage people to get vaccinated, we fully support the individual’s right to choose what they put in their body, especially as the ‘science’ changes so often,” Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a Border Patrol union, told the Free Beacon. “So we support the agent’s right to choose on the vaccine and what goes into their body, but at the same time, I think the administration is doing this wrong, because we just can’t afford to lose anybody.”
In cities across the country, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and hospital workers are being bullied and threatened with termination if they don’t get the jab. Some have already lost their jobs
And yet, the pandemic continues with or without the vaccinations. Mr. Judd has the right idea. This should be a matter of personal choice. And restoring that choice to border patrol agents may be necessary to maintain what little control we have over our borders.
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