FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2021
Charleston, S.C. – Today, U.S. House Homeland Border Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Nanette Diaz Barragán addressed the graduating class of Border Patrol Processing Coordinators at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, South Carolina.
“Your work will matter not only to the people you help, but also to our nation. You will play a critical role in to ensure that our laws are applied fairly and efficiently, as well as to secure our border,” Chairwoman Barragan told the graduates.
She asked them to have empathy for the migrants they will be assisting at the border: “I ask that you all to take a moment and imagine what it would take for you to flee your home, to leave behind those you love, and to make the dangerous journey north. It is not a decision anyone would make lightly. These are the people you will be helping. These are the people who will be relying on you. They will ask for your compassion, for your assistance, and for your professionalism.”
Before speaking at the graduation, Chairwoman Barragán toured facilities at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Charleston and spoke to instructors and heads of various academies at FLETC. She learned about Customs and Border Patrol’s Trade & Cargo Academy which trains officers at ports of entry, like the Port of Los Angeles. She also learned about the U.S. Coast Guard’s Maritime Law Enforcement Academy and other maritime training conducted at FLETC, as well as FLETC’s training system teaching students judgement for the use of force.
Text of Chairwoman Barragán’s full remarks to the graduating class of Border Patrol Processing Coordinators follows.
Thank you for that kind introduction.
Good morning, everyone.
Congratulations graduates! I am thrilled to be here to celebrate with all of you today.
I want to thank everyone here at Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for my warm welcome.
Graduates, your class is historic. As the second class ever to graduate and become Border Patrol Processing Coordinators, you will be pioneers, leading improvements and adding much- needed capacity along our borders.
Yesterday, I was able to tour this facility and observe some of your training. It was impressive. I hope you all feel ready and eager to take on your new role. In fact, we are counting on you to do so.
The role of the Border Patrol Processing Coordinator was created a few years ago out of recognition that the federal government, and particularly your colleagues in Customs and Border Protection, were stretched thin and needed help processing the individuals arriving along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Today, we are again seeing high levels of migration to our borders. These families, children, and individuals are fleeing unimaginable circumstances, asking for safety and protection.
I ask that you all to take a moment and imagine what it would take for you to flee your home, to leave behind those you love, and to make the dangerous journey north. It is not a decision anyone would make lightly.
These are the people you will be helping. These are the people who will be relying on you. They will ask for your compassion, for your assistance, and for your professionalism.
It is not a role to take lightly, but I fully expect that all of your actions will make the United States proud.
I personally saw the need for Border Patrol Processing Coordinators during my trips to the Rio Grande Valley in April. I understand that some of you are headed there soon.
I spoke with little girls who look just like me as a kid. They had been in CBP custody for days, but many hadn’t been able to make a phone call yet. I bet you all can imagine how scared they were. And how worried their parents must have been.
Agents were working around the clock to process these children quickly, but they needed help. You will be stepping up to provide that assistance. Your work will matter not only to the people you help, but also to our nation. You will play a critical role in to ensure that our laws are applied fairly and efficiently, as well as to secure our border.
Make no mistake – while the number of children in held in Border Patrol custody has decreased dramatically since my last visit, the need for your work remains. We must improve how we process individuals at the border, and not just during influxes in migration. We must improve our border management system.
I believe you are all part of that solution and commend you for taking on this role
Again, congratulations, graduates! I look forward to seeing you in the field.
Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington. She serves as chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Border Security.