LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - After the Border Patrol announced its proposal to deactivate Lubbock's office, along with 8 others, law enforcement officers against the move are fighting back.
Although the offices will not close, all 41 agents will be relocated closer to the border. National Border Patrol Council President George McCubbin said the 9 offices should not only remain open, but their personnel levels should be increased.
"I think it's a major mistake to deactivate these stations," said McCubbin. "If we're going to go along the lines that the border is more secure than it's been, now is not the time to let up."
He says criminals will not fear the Border Patrol's presence in locations like Lubbock and will continue to engage in illegal activity like sex trafficking or drug trafficking.
"It sends the wrong message," said McCubbin. "The folks that continue to commit those types of crimes are going to understand now that it's a wide-open area."
Although U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement is said to take over duties after agents are moved south, McCubbin said ICE has not increased their staff levels adequately and cannot meet the demand to fight the amount of existing crime with local authorities.
"People who live in the communities north of the border understand it's a lot bigger problem than that and it just doesn't make any sense for us to close those stations."
CBP Public Affairs Specialist William Brooks says the move would promote more efficiency, since there is a larger need in areas closer to borders.
National Border Patrol Council members are headed to Washington, DC next week to discuss why the proposal would be detrimental. The change requires Congressional approval before it is implemented.
McCubbin encourages everyone to voice their opinions to elected officials before next week's meeting.