WASHINGTON, D.C. - The tense security situation along the border is taking center stage Thursday on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress are concerned about corruption within the ranks of Customs and Border Protection.
The commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told members of the U.S. Senate that the threat is real. He's worried about the drug cartels infiltrating CBP and going after the men and women charged with protecting our border.
Commissioner Alan Bersin testifed Thursday before members of a Senate subcommittee. The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general joined him. They told senators that the cartels are targeting CBP agents and officers.
The commissioner admits his employees on the front lines are very vulnerable to drug smugglers who want easy access to regions along the border.
“We recognize that there are bad apples in the barrel, and it is our job to minimize those. It is our job to prevent corruption, investigate it when it happens, prosecute it after investigating it,” says Bersin.
“Since October of 2004, 127 CBP personnel have been arrested, charged and convicted of corruption. This breach of trust is something that we do not stand for,” says Bersin.
Members of the Senate committee grilled Bersin about what's being done to confront the trouble. The feds have seen a spike in the number of investigations into trouble within CBP. A lot of the investigations are being handled under the Anti-Border Protection Act of 2010.