Tags: Barack Obama | Homeland Security | Immigration | homeland | security | border patrol | stop

Judicial Watch: DHS Orders Border Patrol to Stop Drunk Driver Arrests

By    |   Friday, 13 February 2015 09:13 PM

An Obama administration order directs federal agents in one of the most crime-ridden stretches along the U.S. border with Mexico to stop arresting drunk drivers, Judicial Watch said on Friday.

But the Department of Homeland Security concedes in the memo that Border Patrol agent who does detain such drivers is "acting within the course and scope of his employment."

In the document, DHS ordered the 4,200 agents in the 262-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border along Tucson, Arizona, to "release" people who are under the influence and "allow them to go on their way."

The Washington-based Judicial Watch said that the memo was obtained this week through "law-enforcement contacts" — and that it was dated earlier this month.

The new policy has outraged agents, a Judicial Watch spokeswoman told Newsmax.

Known as "the Tucson Sector" of the U.S. border, it covers most of the Grand Canyon State, spanning from the New Mexico line west to Yuma County. Border Patrol agents work out of eight stations in the sector.

The Tucson Sector is one of the Homeland Security's busiest, in both arrests of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States and in drug seizures, according to the agency's most-recent annual report.

In fiscal 2014, Border Patrol agents arrested 87,915 people — a majority of whom were illegals coming from Mexico — and more than 19,000 arriving from other countries.

Some belonged to the ultra-violent international street gang MS-13, while many others were felons convicted of such serious crimes as homicide, rape and child molestation.

In addition, agents also seized 971,180 pounds of marijuana during the fiscal year, as well as large quantities of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines, according to the site.

"'Politics over public safety' is the Obama’s administration’s approach to immigration enforcement," said Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch's president. "This directive will result in death and injuries to American citizens and other innocents.

"Senators now deciding whether to fund the president’s lawlessness should know the deadly stakes of their votes," Fitton added. "Each and every U.S. Senator should be asked about this directive and why on Earth taxpayer funds should support this deadly lawlessness.

"In the meantime, families across America are now at risk on the roads, as President Obama and his appointees at the Department of Homeland Security have given illegal aliens a license to drive drunk."

Republicans and Democrats are at odds over how to proceed on a $39.7 billion bill to fund Homeland Security through the rest of the fiscal year. The bill would reverse the amnesty orders President Barack Obama announced in November.

The funding bill passed the GOP-controlled House last month, but it is stalled in the Senate. Obama's orders would grant deportation deferrals and work permits to as many as five million illegals.

According to Judicial Watch, the DHS memo does acknowledge that Border Patrol officers may not be comfortable following the directive, and poses this hypothetical question to address possible concerns: "If you allow this driver to continue down the road and they kill someone, aren’t you liable?"

The answer is no, the agency says: "There is no legal requirement for a Border Patrol agent to intervene in a state crime, including DUI," according to Judicial Watch.

"Therefore there is generally no liability that will attach to the agent or agency for failing to act in this situation," DHS says.

In another hypothetical, DHS says that Border Patrol agents are not required to detain drunk drivers for state or local authorities.

"There is no duty to detain the alcohol-impaired individual," according to the memo, "but if you do this option can raise potential liability for the agent and the agency."

The agency's policy is for Border Patrol agents to working with authorities who suspect people of violating state laws, including DUI.

Under that scenario, agents would be considered to be acting within the course and scope of their employment if they arrested a drunk driver at the request of local officers under Arizona law, the memo says.

But if a Border Patrol agent detained a drunk driver based on their own judgment, with no request from local authorities, "this option poses the greatest liability for both the agent and the agency," the document says.

After noting that private citizens in Arizona can arrest people for felony and misdemeanor offenses, including DUI, the Homeland Security document cautions Border Patrol agents to stay away from drunk drivers.

"Be advised, this option poses the greatest threat to an agent for a civil lawsuit," the memo warns.

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An Obama administration order directs federal agents in one of the most crime-ridden stretches along the U.S. border with Mexico to stop arresting drunk drivers, Judicial Watch said on Friday.
homeland, security, border patrol, stop, drunk, driver, arrests, judicial, watch, illegals, immigration
Friday, 13 February 2015 09:13 PM
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