Archive for August, 2013
Monday, August 26th, 2013
We still have quite a few members that haven’t updated their addresses on the AFGE website. If you request a replacement membership card from AFGE and you don’t update your home address the card will be sent to the Union office in Tucson by default. We have no way to forward the card. We usually will not know which station you work from and we have no way of acquiring your home address outside the AFGE database. The Agency does not give us home addresses of employees.
Please log in to the afge.org website and update your home address. Membership numbers can be supplied by us if you don’t have them. Don’t miss out on the discounts and rebates that your membership provides. Taking advantage of these can more than pay for your dues.
Updating your address is easy and will only take a couple of minutes.
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
There is a new kingdom being built within DHS. It’s the Polygraph Kingdom. Polygraph examiners have basically been anointed judge, jury and executioner. The problem? Polygraphs are absolute junk science. They are not reliable. Many dishonest people can easily beat them, and many others that would make great agents are screwed out of a career by false positives. So we are more likely to end up with a polished career criminal in our ranks and less likely to end up with a good person who a polygraph examiner decides he or she doesn’t like. Polygraph examiners need trophies on their mantles, just like IA and OIG. The easiest targets are honest people with a conscience. Most criminals have no honesty and even less conscience.
We have always advised our members to decline an invitation to do a polygraph exam (this doesn’t apply to new applicants, they have no choice). Polygraph exams can’t help you, they can only hurt you. The agency will not dismiss anything because you pass a polygraph, but they will use a negative result to hammer you. As with drugs, the easiest thing to do is “just say no” to polygraph exams. The old and tired IA/OIG line “If you don’t have anything to hide you would (fill in the blank)” is a sure sign that they are desperate to trick you into something. We have seen too many good agents targeted by IA and OIG over the years because of personal bias and grudges. Who is keeping an eye on the IA and OIG agents?
Now, let’s be clear. We don’t want any criminals, gangbangers, smugglers, cartel members or other similar undesirables in our ranks. But if you think any of them are honest and will admit to something because of a polygrapher’s trick you need your head examined. Their backgrounds have to be THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATED. That means knocking on doors, talking to people and scouring records. So what has happened to thorough background INVESTIGATIONS? The FBI used to conduct background investigations on prospective agents. Now, they are contracted out to private companies who are making millions.
It is worth noting that the federal government denies most private employers the right to do polygraph exams on employees. Why? If it’s good enough for the government, shouldn’t it be good enough for private employers? And during the passage of the bill that made all these polygraph exams mandatory for new hires, we would love to see how many politicians have a stake in the polygraph industry.
We currently have a few agents being dragged into this polygraph mess.
Read more here:
Saturday, August 17th, 2013
DHS spent $15 million on some houses in Ajo ($600,000 per unit). Most agents don’t want to live in Ajo. The houses are small and we are told by Ajo agents that most of them are empty, but hey, they are “environmentally friendly”.
The Local 2544 president at the time these were being planned was informed about the houses being built and he suggested that they not waste money on houses in Ajo. Rather, he suggested everyone would be far better served (including the taxpayers) if DHS instead bought some 12-passenger vans to transport agents to and from Phoenix, Maricopa, Tucson and the other cities where most Ajo agents live. It would have been much cheaper and better for the environment (much less fuel being used and less vehicle traffic). But, as is so often the case, the Agency really didn’t want to hear what we had to say. They almost always do what they want and tell us about it so they can say they “consulted” with the union. Much as they are doing now on the pay issue mess that David Aguilar made for us with his budgeting skills before he left. So they built the “green” houses anyway at a cost that is 6 times more than other houses in Ajo. And most agents have no interest in living there. The rent is no bargain, you live on government property, which has its own risks, and once you leave the “green” community you are still….in Ajo. For most agents and their families Ajo just doesn’t offer the schools, amenities, job opportunities and other things they are looking for.
As with the Death Star at Sector and many other hugely expensive buildings and furnishings that cannot be defended (should a manager’s desk really cost $5,000 or $6,000?), this is just another example of an out-of-control agency with their priorities in all the wrong places. For decades now nearly every other law-enforcement agency in the country has been light-years ahead of the Border Patrol with technology and equipment. For example, we were among the last to leave 6-shot revolvers and transition to semi-auto handguns, we still don’t have computers in vehicles to run plates and records checks that other local agencies have had for many years now, and our two-way radio communications have been so abysmal that agents have often been forced to use personal cell phones to call things in from the field for many years.
Nearly 90 years of tradition, largely unimpeded by progress. Read more by clicking the link below.
Friday, August 16th, 2013
David “HONOR LAST” Aguilar
Mike “Invisible Man” Fisher
Another Napolitano underling is being considered for a high-ranking position within DHS. It is at times almost unbelievable how few qualifications one needs to be appointed or considered for a position that puts you in charge of thousands of law enforcement agents.
And the real kiss of death for this guy should be the glowing recommendation from David Aguilar. Aguilar ran Tucson Sector into the ground, then of course was rewarded for doing that by being appointed Chief of the Border Patrol, and after his best attempts at trashing the entire organization he was rewarded twice more with Deputy CBP Commissioner and Acting CBP Commissioner posts. But the real laugher here is that he puffs his chest out and declares himself a “35-year cop”. Apparently, arresting three illegal aliens while you are a trainee is enough to make an entire career as a “cop”. Janet Napolitano may as well call herself a “20-year SWAT team member”.
Cronyism is still alive and well in DHS. How many disasters must we watch take place? Pay cuts, equipment shortages and an overall lack of direction and leadership continue unabated. This isn’t a new phenomenon for us. Long ago an INS Commissioner was appointed who promptly declared that we should begin deporting Puerto Ricans. His lack of understanding about the laws we enforced was embarrassing, even by INS standards.
So here we go again. Rudderless leadership and just one more person in the never-ending carousel of “leaders” looking to make big bucks, get the resume bulked up, and then bailing out when they have soaked up all the money, butt-kissing and false accolades they can possibly stand in one lifetime. When is the last time any of us saw top BP leadership out defending us and decrying all the salary cuts and equipment shortages?
DHS is the new INS, only bigger. Meanwhile, enjoy the continued assaults on your pay and benefits. None of the top leaders in this Agency are going to go out on a limb to defend us. Why would they? None of them are facing pay cuts. We don’t even bother updating the pay issue here anymore because it changes almost daily. By the time we post something it has changed. Getting jerked around endlessly has become the norm.
Read more on the Napolitano crony who wants to be ICE Commissioner here.
Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
We are aware that there is a push in some circles to drop union membership during the out period. The last message originated at Sector. We are also aware that a few agents are trying to sell alternate legal plans. Be informed about what you are doing before making any decisions. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Just ask all the agents who left the Border Patrol for the Air Marshals and came back to the Patrol after deciding the Air Marshals wasn’t the great gig they thought it would be.
We are at a disadvantage in some areas and we realize that. We are obligated to pay per capita to parent organizations and we have to represent all bargaining unit agents in negotiations. However, we draw the line at expending funds or using our resources for non-members in any other representational or legal matter where we have the flexibility to prioritize our resources for dues-paying members. None of these alternate legal or representational plans can claim to be equal to ours, because they aren’t even close.
The information for FLEOA is the latest we have, but may be outdated. They refused to provide updated coverage information to us last week.
A chart of services and costs can be seen here RepComparo
Monday, August 12th, 2013
The word is out. Show up at the POE and say that you have a “credible fear” of persecution from the drug cartels in Mexico. You are then allowed to enter the country and you are released or put up in a hotel room. There is no way to disprove bogus initial claims of “credible fear” for asylum requests. You simply take their word for it unless they break to lying about it, and of course, as many decades of real-life experience tells us, they would never lie to us.
With another massive amnesty on the horizon the goal is just to get inside the country, and this is a much easier, safer and cheaper way to do it than paying thousands to a coyote and walking for miles. Once inside, as we all know, 9 out of 10 will never show up for their hearing. They will simply disappear and wait for the next amnesty program.
And the penalty for lying about bogus “credible fear” claims? Nothing. There is no penalty. All that would ever happen is that the claim would ultimately be denied. But when the ultimate goal is waiting on the politicians to pass more amnesty bills the illegal aliens don’t give one whit about the resolution of their asylum claim. They just want to get here and wait. They all know that once inside the country they can be arrested for multiple DUIs and assorted other criminal acts and never be deported. Because once here, they become “dreamers”, or “facts on the ground”, or “undocumented Americans”, or some other class of “victim”.
The quest for cheap labor and Democrat voters continues unabated…
Read more here.
Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
We don’t even know where to begin with this story. The so-called “Dream 9″ self-deported (not out of fear, but specifically to make a mockery of our laws), then came back, and now they allegedly fear “persecution” in Mexico and are requesting political asylum. Funny how they didn’t fear “persecution” in Mexico when they went there to thumb their noses at us and our laws. One of them was enrolled in school in Mexico. She apparently didn’t feel “persecuted” then. And as usual, the Obama Administration has folded. They like to pick and choose which “laws” they enforce. The truth of the matter is that these nine activists are more likely to have a parade in their honor than to face any type of persecution in Mexico. They will be hailed as heroes for thumbing their noses at the Americans and our immigration laws. Our immigration laws aren’t popular in Mexico. It’s a plain and longstanding fact. Persecution is when a Christian pastor is jailed in Iran and threatened with a death sentence merely for embracing Christianity. Attempting to portray these activists as victims of persecution makes a complete and total joke of the entire asylum process. Everyone who understands anything about the process knows it. Don’t hold your breath for details of these persecution claims though, the Administration has made clear that everything must be kept secret in these cases. All the better to fool the uninformed. You’ll hear plenty of “We simply can’t discuss these cases.” If some poor guy who made an internet video can be successfully portrayed as the responsible party for the Benghazi terror attack and thrown in jail for unrelated “parole” issues, then we can’t wait to see who may be held responsible and punished for the heinous arrests of nine illegal alien activists who must have been cowering in fear at the thought of all that persecution apparently awaiting them in Mexico.
It isn’t as if we needed any more examples of how worthless our immigration laws are. Illegal aliens invade the halls of Congress to protest and scream, yes, scream, at our legislators. They challenge the president of the United States, in person. They hold signs in support of the “Dream 9″ that say “Deport La Migra”. They could not be more condescending, disrespectful and arrogant. And to see our politicians fold like cheap suits, one after another, proves that the hyper-aggressive tactics of the illegal alien activists are working.
And if you think this circus is a bad joke, wait for the massive amnesty that’s coming down the pike. This is just nine illegal aliens. Millions upon millions more are waiting to get their piece of the free pie. Forgery, lies and gross incompetence are never on vivid display quite like they are during an amnesty free-for-all.
Read more about the so-called “Dream 9″ here.