U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is fighting a rash of suicides among its personnel as illegal immigration along the southern border spikes to record highs.
The CBP, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency at 60,000-strong, reports that at least four members have committed suicide within the past two weeks alone. This continues a trend that led to the agency hiring suicidologist Dr. Kent Corso last year to help tackle the crisis.
The hiring by CBP was the first of its kind for a federal agency.
National Border Patrol Council Vice President At-Large Sergio Moreno said Corso is leading an investigation into the surge.
NEW: @CBP has seen four suicides in the last 2 weeks@BPUnion’s Sergio Moreno, who is part of the CBP’s National Suicide Prevention Workforce, spoke w/ me about why morale is so low & how the agency’s support program is making matters worse @DailyCaller https://t.co/mC5s66YN9i
— Jennie Taer (@JennieSTaer) November 22, 2022
He and Corso recently visited the Rio Grande Valley region to talk with “distraught” agents about the tragedies. Moreno said that the strain of the job is coupled with a lack of leadership from Washington.
The present administration, he explained, does not allow the CBP “to do the full functions of the Border Patrol, the enforcement aspect.”
CBP has come under intense pressure by handling a record of over 2.3 million encounters with illegal migrants in the just-concluded 2022 fiscal year. That pace continued with over 230,000 at the beginning of the new fiscal year.
The Biden administration notoriously reversed several effective Trump-era border policies designed to thwart illegal immigration and keep migrants on the Mexican side of the border.
An agent who spoke with the Daily Caller anonymously expressed frustration in having to release migrants who have been “tracked and arrested.” The agent said this creates undue strain on the CBP, and that since Biden took office the agency has “lost our purpose.”
The agent further reported that CBP has seen a rise in domestic violence and alcohol abuse problems along with the increase in suicides. They added that no support program will cure the issue, but that “we need our purpose back.”