June 25, 2019
Meeting was called to order by Carol Johnson at 7:30am. Steve B. led the flag salute.
Dan moved to accept June 18 meeting minutes, seconded by Matthew. Motion passed.
Debra Pitts, Brendan Meyer, Jennifer Phillips, Brandon Janisse, Ian Nichols, Martha Cunningham, Ken Reaundeau, Jodi Wilke
Dan thanked attendees of the airport fly-in.
Carol gave a Certificate of Appreciation to Chief Phillips.
Steve B. moved to extend the meeting up to 15 minutes, Dick P. seconded. Motion passed.
Program: Matthew Rainwater, US Border Patrol
Matthew said USBP has apprehended 56,278 unaccompanied juveniles between October 2018 and May 2019. In May alone there were 2 groups of over 1000 people.
Apprehensions are up 463% over FY18. About 80% are “other than Mexican”; Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Congo, and over 80 other countries. This shows global human trafficking. USBP does not have the manpower to handle the number of apprehensions and patrol the border effectively.
People are bringing viruses across the border that the US haven’t been exposed to.
A rapid DNA pilot program has been started because over 30% have no familial relationship. About 90% don’t show to their court date for asylum.
Local agents are gone 30 days at a time helping at the border.
Drugs are the majority motivation of cartels. Other than that, they don’t know, could be terrorists or other activity. The numbers apprehended understate the totality if the numbers don’t include ports of entry and CBP.
To become a border patrol agent there is a lengthy background check, test of law, Spanish test, interviews that are scenario based, a physical, academy for a few months and field training. There is active recruitment going on. As an apolitical answer, a combination of barrier and other methods are what is needed to help.
Kids are screened when they arrive with 24 hour presence of medical staff. They are fed 3 times a day, can call family, and are taken to the hospital, if needed.
More help at the border and better technology is suggested for the safety of all humans. Diseases get through. In high numbers of people, agents are trained to single out troublemakers.
When asked if the Mexican government could provide a possible solution, he said anything to deter entry is good. It will take both branches of legislature to fix the issue.
Port Angeles numbers in the 20’s for agents here, customers he doesn’t know. About 25% of agents are going south at a time.
Border Patrol trains with other law enforcement agencies to help with situations like active s hooter and to assist the Coho.
The information officer for each station can supply information to learn more.
Not many elected officials visited while he was there, and he would tell our elected officials to work together. No one is released without having an address and they don’t know where they actually go.
When asked if agents are respected he said yes and no.
There are Red Cross type agencies there to help.
Meeting adjourned at 8:45am.