Cuts to Border Patrol cause for concern

Residents living close to the border are wondering who will protect them as groups of illegal immigrants make their way to the United States.

The effect of Sequestration is trickling its way down to our border protection agencies.

With rumors of about 5,000 fewer Border Patrol agents patrolling our borders, the sequester cuts have many wondering How much will change along our borders?.

The impact it has on the Rio Grande Valley is not determined yet, but illegal border crossings are becoming an everyday norm.

Gracia Chavez, a resident of Peitas lives about a mile from the border.

"Helicopters pass daily along with Border Patrol agents everywhere," Chavez said.

She said the sounds of helicopters above or close to her home are normal and believes the community has become numb to pursuits.

She said all her family does is bring the kids inside for safety.

La Joya police responded to a pursuit Sunday morning, a call like this one is no shock to many residents along the border town.

"Illegal TMs pass almost daily. For example, the one's from today two guys got out when police where following them, the driver left the van in gear and everyone was still able to get out the van, but it was a lot of them.

They ran to an open field with brush," Chavez said.

A spokesprson for Customs and Border Patrol (CPB), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, told the Washington Post in an email that they are making "Every effort to minimize the sequesters impact on public safety and national security," and that people caught illegally crossing the U.S. Border in the southwest will be "processed as usual."

The impact on reductions are unknown at this time, but it TMs definitely a concern for our local police.

"On our side it becomes a problem because we rely on Border Patrol to assist us with this eye and we have to put a hold on the safety of the city because we are dealing with Border Patrol issues," La Joya Police Chief Julian Gutierrez said.

According to CPB Deputy Commissioner, David V. Aguilar, he said that they agency would do everything possible to meet budget. That would include a hiring freeze, cut back or eliminate overtime, limit employee travel time, training and carry out the furloughs.

Gracie Chavez said she hopes that with budget cuts going into effect that the United States can maintain or even increase the amount of security level in the border, especially since she lives minutes from Reynosa.