To Whom it May Concern:
This is the first time I have been pushed to make contact with a Representative of Congress, regardless of the issues of the day. I have served faithfully and honorably to those appointed above me. But this issue hits home for me and my family as I am a career Border Patrol Agent with 18 years of civil service and 16 years of military service. I believe that I have EARNED AT LEAST A MOMENT of your time.
I and my fellow agents have been under attack for this whole administrations time and it seems that only a few of the ELECTED representatives have stood by us, the Guardians of this Great Countries Borders. We have taken salary hits that have caused us to go backwards in respect to the economy and inflation. Now we sit here waiting to see if we will be sold out again, but not just with a one or two percent loss of pay, but with a 30% pay cut.
You might not understand what this means, so let me explain it in simple terms that a reasonable person can understand. It means that agents will go from being able to provide a living wage for their families to causing them to file for chapter 7 or 13 just to prevent a total loss of what their families have. It means that if they have children in special needs schools or paying tuition for higher education, they will not be providing this for them any longer. It means that instead of being able to help out their neighbor in times of need, they will be holding on to what they have by a thread. It means that they will go from meeting their financial obligations to defaulting on them just to provide a meal for themselves and their family. It means that we will be going from being a productive part of society to a burden on society. By no means are we asking for more than what we have earned as our job is a bit more dangerous than that of the average American, I would even venture to say that it’s a bit more dangerous than that of a member of Congress.
I have been shot at, almost run down, exposed to hazardous waste (TJ River, arsenic slag, sewage treatment plants), arrested people who did not exactly want to be arrested, been injured conducting my duties and for this I have undergone knee and lower back surgery. Needless to say that once I retire I will always have a memory of my career since I will never fully recover from these injuries/operations.
I’m asking where you stand? Do you feel that a 30% pay cut is what is needed to help balance the deficit? Is the Border Patrol the only agency that is being sacrificed for this corrective action that we had nothing to do with? Our agency is taking the lion’s share of the cuts. How is that fair? Do you believe what the heads of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are telling you? WE are YOUR first line of defense!
If this cut back in hours/pay is not prevented, our economy and way of life will be affected negatively for generations to come. Border Security is not an issue that should be toyed with or tested.
A Concerned Citizen