The Border Patrol is one of the country’s most powerful law enforcement agencies; it can stop travelers within 100 miles of the border without probable cause.
It’s also one of President Donald Trump’s favorites. He boasted on the campaign trail about his support from agents, and frequently tweets about its work. While he regularly trashes the FBI, his praise of the Border Patrol is unstinting.
Now, the Border Patrol could become even more potent. The Daily Beast can confirm that officials in the Border Patrol’s parent agency, Customs and Border Protection, are quietly advocating to join the country’s powerful collection of intelligence agencies. And some former CBP officials are warning that this combination of border agents and spies could present an
“Orwellian problem with law enforcement becoming both investigators and intelligence collectors.”
Sources familiar with the effort tell The Daily Beast that efforts within Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to join the Intelligence Community are significantly more advanced than those within ICE (The Daily Beast reported last week that ICE officials are also looking to enlist). A former senior DHS official said this effort is especially promising under the Trump administration.
“It has been revitalized,” he said.
Reached for comment by email, a spokesperson for CBP did not dispute this story and said the agency “uses intelligence and law enforcement information to carry out our border security, trade, and travel facilitation mission.” A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment.