Border Patrol offers suicide counseling to agents
Federal budget cuts are hitting the U.S. Border Patrol hard and some say that will hurt border security.
The National Border Patrol Council is speaking out about federal cuts from the sequester.
A cut in pay for Border Patrol agents equals a decline in national security, according to the council.
"It could very well be the final blow to the border patrol. A once proud agency could be done for under this plan," said Shawn Moran with NBPC.
According to Border Patrol, the average agent will lose 25 percent of his or her salary effective April 7th.
The cuts will be a big blow to those who have the stressful job of patrolling the border.
Just last month an agent from the Weslaco Sector committed suicide, according to a Border Patrol official.
"This agency has a huge suicide problem. This does nothing to help those situations on a personal side. It TMs going to be devastating," said Moran.
Moran says more than 30 agents have taken their own lives since 2008.
It TMs so bad, Border Patrol provides suicide counseling for agents and their families.
"Some won TMt be able to pay their mortgages and some will leave the Border Patrol," said Moran.
Moran says agents are working 10 hour shifts, 5 days per week, something they were promised when hired.
The overtime adds up to big money which they will now have to learn to live without.
Agents will also have to take a furlough day every month.