House Investigates Alleged CBP Retaliation Against Border Patrol Sector Chief

house investigates alleged cbp retaliation against border patrol sector chief
Getty Images/Breitbart Texas/U.S. Border Patrol

House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) and Chairman James Comer (R-KY) of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability are demanding answers from Customs and Border Protection officials regarding allegations of retaliation against a Border Patrol sector chief patrol agent. CBP officials reportedly relieved the chief of his command within hours of providing transcribed testimony before the committees.

In a letter on Friday, the two committee chairmen laid out their concerns and demanded details of the alleged actions taken against the El Centro Sector chief.

In a letter addressed to Troy A. Miller, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner, the chairmen outlined the allegations made by a whistleblower “with extensive experience in and knowledge of CBP personnel practices.” The whistleblower stated that Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino was relieved of his command over the El Centro Sector and reassigned to a vague, indefinite, and temporary headquarters assignment as punishment for the voluntary transcribed interview about the border situation he provided to both committees on July 12, 2023.

The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability invited Chief Bovino and three other chief patrol agents to testify about the border crisis at a hearing on January 19, 2023. Bovino was not permitted to testify at that hearing by CBP according to the letter.

The whistleblower alleges Bovino may have produced written testimony in preparation for the hearing that was dissatisfactory to CBP, the letter to Miller states. The testimony prompted a verbal reprimand by agency headquarters officials.

Chairman Comer subsequently invited Bovino and other chief patrol agents to provide transcribed testimony after the denial by CBP. Bovino appeared before the House Oversight Committee and House Homeland Security Committee on July 12 and provided committee members with transcribed testimony about conditions within the sector he oversees that resulted in the alleged retaliation by CBP officials.

In the letter, Chairmen Comer and Green state, “According to a whistleblower familiar with CBP law enforcement and personnel practices, within hours of that transcribed interview having concluded, a senior U.S. Border Patrol official informed Chief Bovino that he was relieved of command of the El Centro Sector effective immediately and would thereafter report to CBP headquarters in Washington, D.C. for a temporary duty assignment of indefinite nature and time. The whistleblower describes that temporary assignment as one of no certain mission, no articulable purpose, and without any timeline of completion. The whistleblower further alleges that this practice is consistent with the way in which CBP officials have dealt with employees who they wish to leave the agency, by placing maximum pressure on them to relocate, retire, or resign.”

Comer and Green are requesting CBP, DHS, and the White House provide all documents and communications related to any employment action taken by the agency with respect to Chief Patrol Agent Bovino, in addition to any previously prepared documents concerning previous invitations to speak before the committees.

The chairmen are also requesting a briefing on the matter by CBP officials no later than July 28, 2023.

According to CBP, Border Patrol agents apprehended 2.2 million migrants who illegally crossed the southwest border with Mexico in 2022.  Nearly 604,000 migrant got-aways were recorded by the agency during the same year according to a CBP source not authorized to speak to the media.

Since October 1, 2022, CBP has recorded more than 1.5 million migrant apprehensions in fiscal year 2023.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

Authored by Randy Clark via Breitbart July 23rd 2023