Dicks Office wants to meet with Cantwell and Murray Staff and the WA Border Patrol
8-15-2011. Larry Killion Tea Party Patriots Citizen Journalist.
George Behan, spokesman for Rep. Norm Dicks, 70, D-WA, said we want to review the staffing and mission of the Border Patrol in Clallam and Jefferson counties. Behan expects representatives of one or both senators to attend. This is a change of course for Dicks, the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee on Defense and a congressman that has been deeply involved in strong homeland security issues.
In a government accountability discussion in Washington, D.C., on July 29, called “Making Whistle Blowing Work,” Border Patrol Agent Christian Sanchez of Port Angeles said, “The Port Angeles station is a black hole staffed by more than 40 agents with no purpose and no mission.”
Behan wants to know how many agents staff the Port Angeles station and what is the arrest data but the information may not be made public. U.S. Customs and Border Protection have refused a Freedom of Information Act request for current agent staffing and arrest data from the Peninsula Daily News, citing national security concerns.
The Port Angeles Border Patrol station is to relocate from downtown Port Angeles to a new, $5.7 million headquarters with room for up to 50 agents by April 14. In 2006 the agency staff was only four. The last time Dicks’ staff met with Border Patrol supervisors for the North Olympic Peninsula was in 2008.
Community sentiment on Border Patrol activities has turned negative among some residents. The main job of Border Patrol agents is to guard against terrorism but they are active throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties and often assist law enforcement on traffic stops with backup and translation help. Port Angeles Border Patrol station supervisor Jose Romero told the Forks City Council, “It’s not just about finding terrorists. We also deal with narcotics. That’s part of our authority. It’s any type of contraband.” Agents also have stopped drivers and boarded public buses on the North Olympic Peninsula to ask for identification in searches for illegal immigrants. Many of the constituents in the 6th Congressional District are growing more discontent with the local “busy work” of what they see as an over inflated governmental agency.
Contact Norm Dicks for more information.