The number of border patrol agents employed by the Department of Homeland Security is expected to grow to more than 20,000 by 2009, which is more than double what it was in 2001. An investigation by The New York Times and FRONTLINE/World found that the increased manpower has also led to increased corruption—agents accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to smuggle illegal immigrants, drugs, and weapons across the border they were hired to protect.
“If you can get a corrupt inspector, you have the keys to the kingdom,” one FBI agent told the reporters.
The Times article, by Randal C. Archibold and Andrew Becker, catalogs a number of recent cases of agents-gone-bad. The accompanying FRONTLINE/World documentary begins airing on PBS tonight and will also be available online. Check local listings.