A union president for Border Patrol agents based around Del Rio, Texas, testified Tuesday morale could not have been lower among law enforcement personnel prior to President Trump's entering the Oval Office and has risen in his first year in office.
"Last year , morale was probably about as low as it could get. So, with the new administration showing the support that they're showing, it's helped, but it can only do so much," Jon Anfinson, president of Local 2366 in the National Border Patrol Council, told House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security Chair Martha McSally, R-Ariz.
"I think part of the improvement has been that we have an administration that clearly supports what we do, and that's been a great improvement, but there are still issues within the agency that are gonna take a while for us to get through," Anfinson explained. "The agency is starting to pay more attention to morale, but we're still seeing issues in the field where there are managers who feel that it's just not their job to be worried about that."
Anthony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said morale among Customs and Border Protection officers in general is "dangerously low," but blamed it on staffing issues, not leadership in the Department of Homeland Security or the Trump administration.
"You have individuals who are working 16-hour days, days on end," Reardon testified. He also cited a "dramatic increase" in the number of suicides, substance abuse cases, and domestic violence incidents among agents as a result of the conditions.