They make up a majority of the Border Cops and their numnbers are increasing….
This might make most of us scratch our heads…
But is IS the reality of the agency that Donald Trump wants to increase in numbers….
When the Border Patrol was established in 1924, Latinos were a tiny minority. By 1989, they made up almost 36% of the agency. Now, Latinos make up a little more than 50% of the Border Patrol, according to 2016 data.
This year, 10 out of the 11 people taking part in the Border Patrol citizens’ academy were Latino.
Being a Border Patrol agent and Latino has always been potentially fraught, with immigrants from Latin America, especially Mexico, long the focus of often vitriolic debates over illegal immigration. But with Trump reserving his most heated rhetoric for immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America — and promising massive walls to keep them out — it has rarely seemed as delicate a tightrope.
Jonathan Pacheco, a nearly 10-year veteran, said being a Border Patrol agent and Latino has always guaranteed some complicated moments.
“I got it initially when I first came in, the ‘Don’t you feel bad, you’re catching your own people. They’re just coming over here to work,’” he said. “A lot of the people, and I try to use good verbiage because I know that anytime anyone hears anything about, ‘Well some of the people coming across have done illegal things,’ they always go back to what Trump said during his campaign.”
Pacheco, whose parents came from Mexico on legal visas before eventually becoming U.S. citizens, added: “I don’t want to say everything he said is true or not true. But at a Border Patrol level… a lot of these people who come here are usually apprehended for the second or third time. A lot of these guys already have previous records.”
Salvador Zamora, acting chief patrol agent for the El Centro sector, said it’s something Latino job candidates have to wrestle with.
“This is something I know burns inside a lot of the Hispanic candidates — is what do I say, what does this mean, to arrest somebody from my own, maybe my parents’ hometown,” Zamora said. “It’s real simple: It’s the law. It is right and wrong. It is not against any one race or any one ethnic group or any one particular group of people.”
With so many of the immigrants crossing the border illegally from Mexico and Latin America — and many border towns being majority Latino — recruiting people who are more likely to speak Spanish has always made sense, experts said.
“There have been Latino agents, namely Mexican Americans, since the very beginning of Border Patrol,”….