Saturday, March 30, 2013

US Border Patrol - A Fair and Honest UOT (AUO) System


1 comment:

  1. I remember joining the US Border Patrol at age 27. I naively believed that since our Government was behind border enforcement that it must be right, right?

    Then reality hits. I experienced that the vast majority of the people coming north were simply honest, poorer people looking for a better life. I also knew that some of them were people that we had just arrested picking out tomatoes or strawberries.

    Then I saw a young Mexican man fall to his death while playing this game. I lost two agent friends playing this game too. Needless to say, I began to painfully question what my work was all about.

    I was so mad that I tried to get my Chief Patrol Agent to fire me. I turned myself in for lying about, "padding" or "penciling in " overtime hours worked.

    This was long before any governmental whistleblower protections. I was afraid to go to the press because I did not want my co-workers to suffer. They were suckered, coerced and bribed into the same hypocrisy that I was (swear to uphold the law but lying about overtime is OK).

    I was just at the point were I didn't care what they did to me. I naively hoped my exposure of the lying would change the system. My case was swept under the rug. I eventually went into INS investigations which was much more suitable for me.

    Today there are similar overtime abuse cases pending.

    My case started in 1984. From my experience I would say that lying about AUO overtime in the US Border Patrol is cultural, systemic and system wide.

    So some basic eye-opening math. Let's say one third of the 19,000 current agents lie about overtime. Let's say their average pay grades are GS-9's and that take home $50,000 a year. They would make 25% of that $50,000 ($12,500) by lying. If roughly one third of the 19,000 agents lied that would be 6,333 agents times $12,500 or $79,162,500 tax payers' dollars ripped off per year. If that figure was constant or ten years, the gouge jumps up to $791,625,000.

    As my 1984 memo asked, what if everyone is doing it? We are most likely talking billions of dollars since 1984.