Border Patrol revamps hiring

Illegal immigrant was on the payroll


For Border Patrol officials, it could scarcely have been more embarrassing.

One of their own was an illegal immigrant.

And, investigators say, he was using his government-issued truck to smuggle other illegal immigrants into the United States.

How could this happen? How could the government agency charged with guarding the nation’s borders hire someone in the country illegally? And could it happen again?

Border Patrol officials said this month that they hired Oscar Antonio Ortiz in 2002 even though a background check flagged a problem in his application, he admitted using drugs and had been arrested on suspicion of smuggling.

Just like the fact that we don’t really need more laws covering illegal immigration, we just need to start enforcing the current laws, this case sounds like we don’t need a revamped hiring process, we just need to follow the current hiring process. This guy didn’t get hired because of a problem in the system. He got hired because someone ignored their duties. And get this:

He joined the Navy in 1998 and served four years, most of that time aboard the San Diego-based Tarawa, an amphibious attack ship.

Navy buddies describe him as an honorable man who told them he was from Chicago. Navy service often qualifies foreign-born sailors for U.S. citizenship.

Obviously we don’t have all the facts, but my guess is that he could have received US citizenship if he had wanted it or had been interested in getting it. But the story makes it sound like he was a man with a plan, and that plan was to set up a (probably lucrative) people-smuggling operation. The article notes that while still in the Navy, he was arrested with two illegal immigrants in his car. They claimed to have paid $200 each to be smuggled into the United States. Another Border Patrol agent has also been implicated.

You might recall how low- and mid-level corruption is such a tradition in the Iraqi border security services that it’s difficult to build a dependable force capable of stopping the flow of foreign fighters and weaponry into Iraq. Well, Iraq isn’t the only nation with that sort of tradition.

It sounds like, despite the failures of the current system, that some revamping is, indeed, in order. Let’s hope it helps. Meanwhile, Murdoc still thinks additional military presence along the border is not only acceptable, it’s practically demanded.

UPDATE: Why is a military enforcement of our border practically demanded? How about stuff like this: Al Qaida Nabbed Near Mexican Border:

An Al Qaida operative who was on the FBI’s terrorist watch list was recently captured near the Mexican border, housed in a Texas jail and turned over to federal agents, Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, said on Friday.

“A confirmed al Qaida terrorist, an Iraqi national, was held in the Brewster County jail,” Rep. Culberson told ABC Radio host Sean Hannity. “He was captured in Mexico. This was within the last six weeks. He was turned over to the FBI.”

Wags will immediately point out that it’s a link to Newsmax reporting on something claimed by a Republican congressman from Texas on Sean Hannity’s show. Point taken. But if this is true, isn’t this HUGE?

At some point we are going to pay dearly for our negligence on our southern border.


  1. Just the other night I saw a report on O’Reilly that talked about an army unit that has been stationed on the border for the last two months. While they couldn’t use their weapons, they were using all there other equipment to find and report illegals to the border patrol. The report mentioned how much illegal alien trafic had died off in that area. The army unit said it was great training for Iraq.

  2. That might be a good idea, buy up land around the border and turn it into live fire ranges for artillery and solders, that might keep people from crossing.

  3. Didn’t another Congressman make a statement a week or two ago about three Al Qaida operatives being captured trying to get into the US? It was mentioned on the floor as I recall. Sorry, but not sure of the details.