The border fence stretches for miles between the United States and Mexico near Nogales, Ariz., on July 13, 2014. A new report says corruption at the U.S. Border Patrol is a national security threat. File Photo by Art Foxall/UPI | License Photo
LOS ANGELES, March 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Border Patrol's discipline for corruption and abuse is so weak it poses a threat to national security, a new government report found.
A new 49-page report from an independent task force said corruption in the Border Patrol poses "a national security threat" because it undermines the agency's ability to protect the country from terrorism.
The report, the Los Angeles Times reported, is expected to be submitted to the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday and concludes the "discipline system is broken" at the nation's largest law enforcement agency and serves as little or no deterrent to criminal behavior.
If an agent is investigated for allegations of serious misconduct, like shootings of unarmed people or collaboration with drug cartels and other criminals, the case can typically take more than a year and a half to be resolved.
"Far too long to be an effective deterrent," the report concluded. "Such corrupt officials can assist the cartels by providing intelligence and facilitating the movement of large amounts of contraband across our borders and into our country."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection employs more than 60,000 people, with 44,000 armed officers.
The task force noted the agency did not implement 14 recommendations it made last year to fight corruption and other issues, and made 39 new recommendations with the new report, arguing they are essential in ending "the risks of endemic corruption" and the use of "unlawful and unconstitutional use of force."