Border Patrol denies no-arrest policy

April 6, 2011 at 3:33 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Border Patrol chief is angrily contradicting an Arizona sheriff's claim that agents are chasing migrants away, not arresting them.

Michael Fisher sent a letter -- obtained by ABC News -- Tuesday to Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever saying, "That assertion is completely, 100 percent false. … That it comes from a fellow law enforcement official makes it especially offensive."

Dever asserted in a Fox News interview last week that a Border Patrol official told him agents were under orders to cut arrests during specific reporting periods.

"The senior supervisor agent is telling me about how their mission is now to scare people back," Dever said. "I had to go back to my guys and tell them not to catch anybody, that their job is to chase people away. They were not to catch anyone, arrest anyone."

Fisher said Border Patrol policy is to apprehend and arrest every illegal crosser, and he invited Dever to ride along with his agents.

"I do not make this stuff up," Dever said. "I can unequivocally say what I have told you comes from Border Patrol agents who work the problem every day and other federal government officials."

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