‘Almost dead inside’: Physical exhaustion and tanking morale crippling Border Patrol agents

And the border crisis shows no signs of slowing up.

A Border Patrol vehicle stationed along the U.S.-Mexico border. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Twitter)

Border Patrol agents stationed on the U.S. border with Mexico are short-staffed and burned out, with no signs that the migrant crisis will ease up anytime soon.

The Washington Examiner published a report Sunday recounting the physical and mental toll afflicting many agents. They spoke to five agents and three former Biden administration officials.

“Morale is in the toilet,” said Jon Anfinsen, president of the Del Rio, Texas, chapter of the National Border Patrol Council. “Morale is low because agents aren’t allowed to do their job.”

A former official from U.S. Customs and Border Protection added in an email that “morale is tanking fast.”

“Agents are just flat tired, and we are seeing and hearing it,” he said.

The Examiner’s report states that only twelve Border Patrol agents are currently covering 245 miles surrounding Del Rio, a record low. Compounding the problem is the record number of migrants illegally crossing the border, with the surge increasing each month that President Joe Biden has been in office.

Border Patrol agents are frustrated because they can clearly see groups of people crossing the Rio Grande and coming into Texas, yet a lack of staff prevents them from taking the illegal migrants into custody and keeping a count of those who slip through, according to one agent.

Other agents said the horse patrol unit has hardly been doing actual patrol, many of them relegated to processing migrants and staffing overloaded detention facilities.

“Everyone shows up to work sort of downtrodden, almost dead inside, for lack of a better term,” Anfinsen noted.

According to the Examiner, the illegal migrant crisis appears to be hitting Texas particularly hard. The Lone Star State and the state of New Mexico account for six out of every 10 recorded illegal entries. But even in Arizona the Border Patrol is processing migrants “24/7,” according to an anonymous agent.

Two weeks ago it was reported that the Biden administration had increased deportations and prosecutions in an effort to stem the tide of illegal immigration, though it remains to be seen whether this will have a positive effect on the numbers going forward.

Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.