Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano responds to Team 10 investigation into Border Patrol

Napolitano defends BP

SAN DIEGO - Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano responded to questions after a Team 10 investigation exposed claims of lowered training standards and lack of background checks among Border Patrol agents.

The claims come as corruption cases and allegations of excessive force by agents continue to surface.

"The Border Patrol is looking into all of those acts of violence and whether appropriate use of force was employed," Napolitano said.

Team 10 sources inside the Border Patrol said training standards dropped and background checks on agents lagged as the White House put pressure on the Border Patrol to recruit more agents.

"They'd been in the system for three years," one source said. "They finally found out through their background that they had some felonies."

In May 2012, 16 members of Congress wrote the Department of Homeland Security and asked for an investigation into the Border Patrol's culture, citing "a troubling lack of training and accountability."

One of them, former Congressman and current San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, stood next to Napolitano as Team 10 asked what she's done about it.

"With all respect to the mayor, we would disagree with some of the assertions there," Napolitano said.

She said the Department of Homeland Security has hired a third party to evaluate Border Patrol's use of force and training.

Filner said he explained his concerns to Napolitano during her recent visit to San Diego.

"There have been a couple of cases of extreme violence and I'm not sure they've been dealt with in an accountable fashion yet," Filner said.

 

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