Unsecured Border: Interview with a National Border Patrol Council Representative

By Jon Feere on July 3, 2014

Read and view our entire Unsecured Border Series

Along the Rio Grande near Mission, Texas, Albert Spratte, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307, speaks with the Center for Immigration Studies. Spratte points out a Mexican park across the river which he explains often is the launch point of jet skiers who work as human smugglers. It’s one of the most highly-trafficked areas for people crossing illegally into the United States. In the video, Spratte notes the times of day and types of people who attempt to cross illegally, as jet skiers travel up and down the river, as if on cue.

Spratte notes that although the phenomenon of unaccompanied minors is receiving a lot of press, Border Patrol agents still see a large number of family units including mothers and fathers coming across. These people tend to turn themselves in, but individuals who come on their own illegally tend to try to escape law enforcement.

Spratte explains, “The fact is, that these people know they’re going to be let go, the family units are going to get a piece of paper that gets them north. It’s a promise for them to appear in court.” Spratte notes that most never show up for their day in court, however, and the letter — instead of being a promise to appear in court — is really “a promise to disappear”. He explained, “As soon as they make it north of the checkpoints, they’re gone. And there’s no accountability, there’s no way to find them unless the nation really gets serious about enforcing those immigration laws. And, is that really going to happen?”

During the filming of the interview, Spratte was alerted to over 80 people apprehended near a dam along the river. It was in a section that the media and public is not allowed. Spratte estimated that the majority would receive papers allowing them to “disappear in the United States”.