NPR Story
1:28 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Border Patrol Cutting Patrols To Save Fuel Costs

TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Border Patrol agents along parts of the Southwest border are being told to scale back operations in order to save on fuel costs. It's all part of the government sequestration cutbacks, and agents say it’s creating security issues in the field.

The memo from Border Patrol officials was quietly issued weeks ago in South Texas, agents say. They themselves weren’t even supposed to know about it.

The fuel rations affect agents in the Rio Grande Valley. Among the most controversial fuel saving ideas: carpools for agents in the field.

“By doubling up in the vehicles it’s cutting in half the number of vehicles that are out there patrolling," said Gabriel Martinez, spokesman for the agency's union post in California's El Centro sector.

Agency officials stated the plan is a work in progress.

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