Posted: Jan 23, 2012 5:32 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2012 5:36 PM
A former Border Patrol agent says he's seeing some changes that remind him of the past. Policy revisions when it comes to sending illegal immigrants back to Mexico will be put into effect soon.
The new policy changes should eliminate what many have called a revolving door policy. Officers send illegal immigrants across the border only to see them back on American soil once again. New policy aims at changing this.
New Border Patrol policies rank illegal immigrants caught in the United States from first-time offender to those with a criminal record. It also imposes serious consequences, such as sending them to the interior of Mexico.
Kent Lundgren, a former Border Patrol officer who still communicates with officers on the ground, says this new policy, if executed correctly, should make that a thing of the past.
"It's interesting to see the wheel being reinvented because what the Border Patrol is going to do now is come back and start again doing what we did right on through the 1960s and into the 1970s," says Lundgren.
Lundgren says people were bused or flown to the interior of Mexico. Some were also put on a ship out of Brownsville to southern coastal Mexico. He says it was effective.
"We very seldom saw them again at the same place, at least not very soon," says Lundgren.
Former Border Patrol officers say they remember similar policies to the new ones. They say they believe it was economic pressure that caused those policies to be eliminated. It's a price Lundgren says we're paying now. The new policy won't be cheap.
"The expense will not be insignificant. If, however, we are to have a secure border, we're going to have to be willing to spend the money to do it. Otherwise, let's not bother," says Lundgren.
Lundgren says you have to compare the cost of the new policy to the cost of catching and processing the same person over and over again. Not only has Lundgren seen these methods in the past, they are being used in Tucson.
"It has had a very good effect in Tucson. Nothing is going to be completely effective by itself, but as a matrix of policies, this is an important thread in the fabric of what should be a good border security policy," says Lundgren.
Lundgren says it's high time Border Patrol made a move like this one.
"It's years late in coming. We could have avoided this entire situation from 30 years ago if we had simply sought to secure the border at that time," says Lundgren.
He says he hopes the policy will be as effective as it was when he was on the border.