Small Government? Republicans Want To Spend Billions Almost Doubling Border Patrol Agents

border_patrol1While the debate over immigration reform continues, there are quite a few underlying aspects to the bill which aren’t getting a lot of attention.

One of which was brought up by Bill Maher during his HBO talk show where he stated that if the immigration bill passes in its current form, U.S. Border Patrol agents will outnumber FBI agents and you would be able to line them up along our southern border every 250 feet.

Which is of course outrageous.  Bill Maher made an outlandish comment when he perpetuated the lie that the Republican amendment to this bill would expand the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents to such a large number (it would add just over 19,000 more agents) that you could line them up every 250 feet along our southern border.

See the truth is—it’s more like every 275 feet.

While Democrats pushed for this bill to offer a logical path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who’ve already been living in this country, were in good standing and fulfilled the required steps to become citizens—Republicans have insisted any such bill must come with over the top measures which address border security.

Apparently Republicans not only want a wall that spans the entire Southern border of the United States (just shy of 2,000 miles), they also want to expand our U.S. Border Patrol to such an extent that we could line that wall every 275 feet with Border Patrol agents.  Which, in itself, would easily cost billions of dollars.

Now granted, this would never happen because all of these new agents wouldn’t be assigned to just the southern border, and would do other jobs besides ground field support, but it’s still ridiculous to think that Republicans want to almost double our current number of border patrol agents (21,394 in fiscal year 2012), when we’ve already doubled the number of agents over the past 8 years.  And the kicker—over that 8 year time frame where we doubled our number of border patrol agents, the number of people caught illegally trying to enter our country at the border dropped to a 40 year low.

The party of “small government” strikes again.

While Democrats are attempting to provide a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants who’ve lived here in good standing, some who were brought here as babies, never knew they were illegal and are now adults, Republicans are attempting to push through measures that would drastically grow government along our Southern borders.

And for an even more outlandish reality, according to Politifact:

The FBI has 13,766 special agents. This means that once the amendment’s plan is carried out, the Border Patrol will have more than two and a half times as many agents on the southwestern border alone as the FBI does to investigate crimes anywhere in the world.

Meaning, this Republican amendment would place more agents focused on a 2,000 mile stretch on the Southern border than the FBI has to investigate crimes globally.

If this doesn’t scream “pandering to our illogically fearful base,” nothing does.

This is yet another example among many where Republicans support big government, as long as that government leads to programs which pander to their right-wing constituents.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • nmykita

    Yup. That’s the party of “small government” and “fiscal responsibility” for you.

  • Assert Valid

    Is it not fair though to say that spending massive amounts of money to secure the borders makes much more sense than spending an even more obscene amount of money on wars , invasions and other misadventures? The arguement that less people are caught could mean that less people are trying to cross due to increased border patrols.

    • Gregory Walker

      Except that we know more and more Mexican immigrants are heading back to Mexico each year. It’s got nothing to do with Border Patrol; they starting leaving in droves as soon as the construction industry started shrinking.

  • handmadehand

    Many Republicans represent the prison and law enforcement industries. As usual, this is really about money.