While our Border Patrol Agents and Customs Officers continue to risk their lives on a daily basis along the Mexican border, something has long been wrong with CBP IA in Washington. While Congress has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into increasing the number of Agents and Officers to more than 45,000 professional men and women-and CBP IA boasts an annual budget of over $600 million a year-something has long been wrong with CBP IA in Washington.
If there are 45,000 Agents and Customs Officers, then there is naturally going to be a real need for CBP IA to identify and adjudicate the small minority of dishonest and corrupt men and women among them. The vast majority of Agents and Officers, however, continue to work their shifts to the best of their abilities and talents. We need a solid and dependable CBP IA.
But exactly what has CBP IA accomplished since Mr. James Tomsheck took over leadership as Assistant Commissioner in 2006?
It is far from a pretty picture. First, there is the case of Lieutenant Commander (retired) John Gregory Richardson. A hard-working CBP IA Senior Analyst who returned from deployment with his Naval unit from East Africa in 2011 with a documented physical disability, Richardson was never provided with the work accommodations he requested so that he could perform his job in a professional manner at CBP IA’s Integrity Programs Division. He was soon forced out of his position by Tomsheck with the help of the IPD Director, Janine Corrado, and Assistant Director, Jeffry Matta.
Then there is the “July Amnesty”, an attempt by Corrado and Matta to rectify 715 cases which included allegations against Agents and Officers. Corrado and Matta order IDP Security Analysts to close all these cases within one month, July, 2011. Some had been languishing in the IPD case data management system for years. Allegations are not convictions, but this sloppy data stewardship and case management at CBP IA cast an unnecessary shadow on all CBP employees striving for integrity and honesty during every shift. There should never have been a need for the “July Amnesty”.
Something has long been wrong with CBP IA in Washington.