U.S. air marshals normally tasked with protecting travelers, especially surrounding national holidays, have instead been deployed to the southern border to assist other agencies grappling with the illegal immigration crisis.
In 2021, U.S. air marshals who are federal law enforcement under the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), were given the option to take a volunteer-based 30-day deployment to the southern border; however, earlier this month, the Biden Administration announced that it would now be mandatory. Some air marshals reportedly plan to refuse the mandatory orders because they fear it would leave American travelers vulnerable.
On Tuesday, Director of the Air Marshal National Council, Sonya LaBosco told Fox News, “We just received an email last week that resources are depleted as far as our flying air marshals.” David Londo, President of the Council similarly told the Washington Examiner that “Rank and file air marshals are going to refuse to deploy and risk termination,” noting that the administration’s plan would remove federal protection from 99% of commercial airline flights during one of the busiest times of the year for air travel.
Labasco also said that while at the southern border, air marshals are “not doing law enforcement duties” but instead are “passing out water” to individuals entering illegally into the U.S.
“We are ushering in illegal immigrants on the border and leaving the traveling public unsafe,” LaBosco added. “Secretary Mayorkas has said more than once that the border is secure, so he is not concerned with that. But we all know that the border is not secure. He will not call this a crisis. But now, not only is the border destabilized, our aviation is destabilized as well,” LaBosco said.
U.S. Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz also condemned the TSA’s deployment of air marshals to the southern border, writing in a letter to TSA Administrator David Pekoske, “It is concerning that the administration has prioritized ushering illegal immigrants into the country over protecting the lives and safety of the traveling public.”This piece first appeared at TPUSA.