Since later October, the Biden administration has been sending Federal Air Marshals (FAM) to the Mexican border to assist with the illegal immigration crisis. After months of keeping the Federal Air Marshals from doing their critical duty of protecting commercial passenger flights from terrorist threats, Biden has finally given in to the Air Marshal National Council and ended the FAM border missions.
Each month, the Biden administration has been sending 150-200 FAMs to the southern border on 21-day rotations as migration levels surge. The marshals were tasked with giving illegal immigrants welfare checks, transportation, hospital watch, entry control, security at CBP facilities, and other basic duties.
In October, a directive was sent to FAM officers informing them that their critical duty of protecting against terrorist attacks would be postponed since they were needed to assist Customs and Border Protection with the overwhelming numbers of migrants entering via the southern border.
“The nation is experiencing a surge in irregular migration along the Southwest Border (SWB),” said the notice. “The unprecedented volume of Noncitizen Migrants (NCMs) currently apprehended mandates immediate further action to protect the life and safety of federal personnel and noncitizens in CBP custody.”
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On October 31, the first group of air marshals began their work in El Paso, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona.
The Air Marshal National Council represents thousands of FAM throughout the country. Disturbed by the new tasks being assigned to the air marshals, they sent a formal complaint to Joseph Cuffari, the DHS Inspector General, in which they accused TSA Administrator David Pekoske and the FAMs Director Tirrell Stevenson of violating federal law and overstepping their authority by sending highly trained air marshals to assist U.S. Border Patrol with the illegal immigration crisis.
“TSA Administrator David Pekoske and FAMS Director Tirrell Stevenson are sending TSA assets, to include highly specialized Federal Air Marshals (FAMs), to the southern border to assist the Border Patrol,” the complaint said. “The agency documents never describe or mention that these duties have any relation to TSA’s core mission of transportation security. Instead, the duties relate to assisting migrants who have crossed the border into the United States.”
The complaint also accused the TSA and FAMS leaders of engaging in fraud, waste, and abuse of authority.
On December 31, 2022, an intelligence alert was delivered that warned of an upcoming Al-Qaeda attack. The caption of the warning said, “Al-Qaeda says upcoming attacks on US, possibly involving planes, will use new techniques and tactics.”
In response to this alarming notice, David Londo, President of the Air Marshal National Council, sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Pekoske, and Stevenson, insisting that the deployment of FAMs to the southern border is not only reckless but it also puts the nation in a vulnerable position.
Londo wrote that “deploying FAMs to the southern border to perform humanitarian work is reckless and putting our Nation and the people we serve at extreme risk.”
“We are once again requesting you immediately stop these dangerous and unnecessary deployments and let our FAMs do what the American taxpayers pay them to do, protect and defend our transportation system,” Londo wrote.
He then called out Mayorkas for denying an immigration crisis, saying, “We have to ask how can you justify sending FAMs to the border in huge numbers, when the border is in your words secure, and there is no emergency?”
The pressure put on the Biden administration seems to have finally paid off because a memo was recently sent to FAM informing them that all future deployments to the border have been suspended.
The memo said, “Wave #5 will continue their deployment until January 27th and then travel home as planned on January 28th. Wave #6 will NOT DEPLOY as planned on January 25th.”