Teeming with drug smugglers, human traffickers, and violent criminals, the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego is anything but boring. And that's exactly why Christian Sanchez wants to work there. As Sanchez stated publicly last month, his current job as one of more than 40 Border Patrol agents stationed in Port Angeles is "a bad situation for bored, high-energy men to be in." Apparently his fellow Border Patol agents didn't take kindly to the criticism, hence Sanchez's recent request for a transfer south and news today that his family has been "terrorized" since he spoke out about the Olympic Peninsula's Border Patrol boondoggle.
That echoes what Seattle Weekly's Nina Shapiro reported earlier this year. She chronicled the agency's aggressive presence in the otherwise sleepy town, detailing how "Agents have stopped and questioned Hispanics paying their water bill at City Hall, filling up at the gas station, leaving the grocery store, and riding their bikes." The situation culminated with the death of a migrant worker who drowned after he jumped into a river to flee the Border Patrol.
Now the national news is catching up to the story. Today, CNN debuted this lengthy segment on the peninsula's Border Patrol controversy:What's new, according to CNN, is that Sanchez has asked his bosses to transfer him back to the San Diego field office where his career began:
His attorney, Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project, which specializes in whistle-blower cases, said Sanchez still works at the Port Angeles station but has requested a transfer back to the U.S. border with Mexico, where he had previously patrolled.
Devine said Sanchez feared more reprisals like the kind that he said took place after he began criticizing the Port Angeles station.
"Retaliation has increased," Sanchez told the panel on whistle-blowers. "My family has been terrorized, vehicles have been driving by, my mail has been opened."
Whether Sanchez will be granted the transfer he seeks remains unclear--the Border Patrol has refused to comment on the matter--but even if he moves to sunny San Diego, the whistleblower should probably expect a cool reception from his new co-workers. But hey, at least he'll have some work to do.