Border Patrol Fights Boredom as Illegals Plummet

Agents struggling to stop ennui creeping in
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2011 2:05 AM CDT
Border Patrol agents who signed up hoping to see action are getting tired of looking at fences.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Border Patrol agents hired to keep illegal immigrants out are having trouble keeping boredom and sleepiness from creeping in. Illegal border crossings have plummeted to record lows in many areas, thanks to the US recession and tougher enforcement, leaving some agents with little to do but "watch the fence rust," reports the Los Angeles Times. Some agents known as "felony sleepers" actually bring pillows to work, but most do their best to stay alert. The drop in activity has been linked to a rise in agent suicides.

In the Yuma sector, which straddles California and Arizona along the Mexican border, apprehensions of illegal immigrants dropped 95% between 2005 and 2010. One agent who joined the force two years ago says he has arrested some 100 immigrants in that time, as many as some agents could once arrest in a day. "It might be tough on some agents who want to see action," he says. "But as a US citizen, it's comforting to know" that the Yuma-area border is "not crazy with people running around."

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