Even as the Biden administration continues to attempt to sell the narrative that the southern border is “secure,” it has outraged a large number of U.S. Air Marshals by redeploying them from their duties protecting air travelers to assisting with the border disaster.
The personnel diversion is taking place at the direction of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Of course, he is the same official who refused to acknowledge there is a crisis at the southern border last month. He flatly stated in testimony before Congress, “The border is secure.”
Some marshals have already been sent to the border, where they are not performing normal law enforcement operations; rather, they have been assigned to hospital, transportation, and janitorial duty. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has publicly denied that air marshals have been assigned to “menial” duty, stating that is “entirely inaccurate and does not reflect the critical and professional law enforcement role these officers perform.”
SCOOP: U.S. Air Marshals are planning to stage an open rebellion against the Biden administration over a plan that would strip 99% of commercial flights from federal protection as people take to the skies during the busiest time of the year for air travel.https://t.co/4dsEf85wn0
— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) November 30, 2022
Air Marshal National Council (AMNC) president David Londo told reporters on Wednesday that an atmosphere of “mutiny” is growing among marshals who are concerned that American air security is being compromised during the holiday travel season.
Londo said that many “rank and file air marshals are going to refuse to deploy and risk termination.”
Reports indicate that the redeployment is likely to deplete marshal staffing on domestic flights to one-eighth of normal levels. That could leave only one federal marshal for every 100 domestic flights.
Londo went on to say that “morale is so destroyed by this.”
He also wrote to Mayorkas regarding the danger involved in removing air marshals from their assigned duties. After citing the statistics regarding the thousands of reports this year of unruly passengers and the hundreds of enforcement actions undertaken by marshals, he wrote that the new “policy has resulted in a complete loss of confidence” in senior officials’ ability to lead the air marshal service.
With the growing risk of widespread refusals to report for duty on the border, the AMNC is working with the DHS Office of Inspector General to fast-track an official investigation into the decision to remove air marshals from law enforcement duties.