Against the Wall: My Journey from Border Patrol Agent to Immigrant Rights Advocate

Code: LH41512

Dates: November 9, 2023

Meets: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

Sessions: 1

Location: ONLINE

Course Fee: $39.00

Sorry, we are no longer accepting registrations for this course. Please contact our office to find out if it will be rescheduled, or if alternative classes are available.

Join the author as she presents her experience as a Senior U.S. Border Patrol agent from 1995 to 2001 and what propelled her to pursue immigration rights advocacy. She is a frequent whistleblower seeking accountability in the Border Patrol and immigration law enforcement. Through her powerful story she brings the need for reform into the public dialogue. Hear how her work is making a difference.
Fee: $39.00
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Jenn Budd

Jenn Budd was a Senior Patrol agent with the U.S. Border Patrol in San Diego and an intelligence agent at San Diego Sector Headquarters. She worked there from 1995 to 2001. Since leaving the agency due to rampant corruption and the Border Patrol’s culture of impunity, she has become an immigrant rights activist. She regularly speaks on her time in the Patrol and today’s immigration system as an ambassador for Define American and the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC). Jenn Budd is now considered the most informed expert on Border Patrol. The majority of articles written on the website of SBCC have her input in them whether cited or not. She routinely appears on national and local news programs, several documentaries soon to be released, community panels and speeches, podcasts and radio programs. She is often quoted and consulted on Border Patrol articles for outlets such as The New York Times, Newsweek, The Nation, The Guardian, Washington Post, Daily Koz, NPR, Telemundo, CNN, Politico, Mother Jones, John Oliver, Samantha Bee and many more. She can also be found in the halls of Congress speaking with members on humane immigration policies. Jenn Budd has been interviewed often on MSNBC (Ari Melber, AM Joy, Alex Witt, Chris Hayes) and on Alyssa Milano’s podcast, Sorry Not Sorry. Her more than 35K Twitter followers include Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Rick Wilson, Representative Joaquin Castro, Representative Veronica Escobar, Alyssa Milano, Kathy Griffin, Piper Kerman, Rosie O’Donnell, Morgan Fairchild, Jacob Soboroff, Sarah Kendzior and more. Articles quoting Jenn Budd: San Diego Union Tribune (front page profile, February 14 2021) : The Nation (August 10 2020 by Jeanne Guerrero): “Jenn Budd, a senior Border Patrol officer who left in 2001, says the culture has long been steeped in racism and antiquated notions of masculinity.“ Daily Kos (July 29 2020): Business Insider (July 2020): The Guardian (July 27 2020): : “Jenn Budd spent six years working as a senior border patrol agent until 2001 when she blew the whistle on a station chief who was himself smuggling drugs. She was offered promotion in exchange for her silence on the subject, but resigned in disgust. In her years as an agent she got to know Bortac well. She remembers them as the “biggest guys, like the jocks in a football team. They live in tight groups like the Navy Seals, spending their time in military-style training.” In Budd’s experience, Bortac agents are among “the most violent and racist in all law enforcement”. The quasi-military nature of the unit goes beyond their training, percolating into their state of mind. “They don’t exist within the realm of civilian law enforcement,” Budd said. “They view people they encounter in the military sense as enemy combatants, meaning they have virtually no rights.” That strain of extra-judicial aggression runs through everything Bortac does, Budd said. “They don’t do normal vehicle stops. They will rip drivers from their seat, throw him against the side, put him in handcuffs – the same tactics you are now seeing Bortac agents use in Portland.” Mother Jones (July 2020): “For Jenn Budd, a former Border Patrol agent turned migrant-aid volunteer and a frequent critic of the agency, the situation in Portland has brought into sharp relief the myriad problems that have plagued the agency for decades. In a blog post on Sunday, Budd wrote…” The Independent (UK, July 21 2020): “But Jenn Budd, a former senior US Border Patrol agent who is now an immigrant rights activist, says the use of the Border Patrol for interior law enforcement purpose is something that has long been desired by those who serve on the so-called “green line”. This, despite the fact that Border Patrol agents — unlike police — operate in areas in which the usual constitutional protections that Americans enjoy do not apply and receive very little training on how to deal with crowds in a lawful way. “The majority of training that BORTAC does, and even the majority of training the agents do, is more military-style training, so they're going to deal with crowds of people … like you would see soldiers dealing with crowds in Iraq or in Afghanistan,” she said…Budd also pointed to the example of a protester who told Oregon Public Broadcasting that he was seized off the street, taken to a federal building, and searched without a warrant as evidence underscoring the agents’ lack of familiarity with the Constitution.“That's typical Border Patrol, because down here, they don't have to have a warrant to do anything,” she explained. And despite their lack of familiarity with Americans’ basic constitutional rights, she said Border Patrol agents are eager to embrace their newfound freedom to inflict themselves on American protesters because doing so as a “national police force” has long been their goal. Because most Border Patrol agents hold what is known as “1801 authority” — which only grants the power to make arrests and enforce federal law but not conduct investigations — rather than the “1811” authority held by Special Agents at other agencies, Budd said the USBP has long had both an agency-wide inferiority complex and designs on a larger role in the nation’s law enforcement apparatus. “The Border Patrol has always had this elective low self-esteem, that they're not considered to be like, ‘real cops,’ and they're just always pissin’ and moanin’ about how they feel that they should be able to go around and grab anybody up off the streets and do whatever they want,” she said. “And that's what you're seeing out there.” The Nation (July 17 2020): And that’s exactly what makes them so troubling, explains Jenn Budd, a former senior Border Patrol agent. “During the DC protest, many federal agents removed their insignia,” Budd explained, referring to a June 1 protest in front of the White House where protesters were teargassed. “What the agencies discovered was that they could do this without much blowback from Congress,” Budd explained…“‘Mission creep’ is what CBP, Border Patrol, and ICE have been engaged in since 9/11,” Budd said. “There are all sorts of interesting powers that CBP, ICE and Border Patrol have under Title 42 pandemic law, which has been triggered with Trump’s Covid-19 national emergency declaration. Even though he claims we should not be in pandemic lockdown, he refuses to lift the emergency declaration because this gives these agencies more authority. All of this is legal because of vague and broad authorities given to these agencies after 9/11.” Newsweek (11/21/19) by Chantal da Silva: Newsweek (11/29/19) by Chantal da Silva: New York Times: (10/5/19) Senior Border Patrol Agent Faces Charges of Sexually Assaulting Colleague and (9/15/19) Inside the Border Patrol’s Morale Crisis Interviews with Jenn Budd: CBS, Ex-Border Patrol agent says she doesn't trust agency: "Far different than what they portray" (24 Feb 2021): Podcast, American Coyote #1 documentary (Chapter 4 “Operation Gatekeeper” + Chapter 9 “End of the Line”) Podcast, Redirect: Immigration Law and Perspectives (3 Jan 2020): Podcast, Alyssa Milano: Sorry Not Sorry (June 2020): June 2020 (4 November 2019, 1 hr): Richard Eskow “The Zero Hour” Q&A Podcast, (1 August 2019) Huffington Post: (19 June 2018) “Former Border Patrol Agent To Current Agents: Refuse Orders To Separate Children Articles written by Jenn Budd: NBC Think: Medium: “The Border Patrol is the Crisis” “Trump is Using Federal Agencies to Invade Your City” Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC): Crooks and Liars: “This is one of the first pieces I wrote on my time in the CBP. I spent time writing on this site to practice my skills.” San Diego Tribune: USA Today:



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