Air Marshals in the United States are nearing the point of rebellion as they are being diverted to the border for trivial tasks as the traveling season begins to heat up.
Air Martial National Council President David Londo indicated federal marshals may risk their jobs in an attempt to defy relocation orders. “You’re almost going to have a mutiny of a federal agency, which is unheard of,” Londo said.
The unrest comes on the shoulders of reports that the marshals have been carrying out tasks not related to law enforcement, such as driving and monitoring hospitals. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas denies that the work could be considered janitorial, but didn’t speak on the other kinds of work being alleged.
“The border is secure,” said Mayorkas at a Congressional hearing in early November. Mayorkas’ assurance align with the words of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who said that the president has been taking action on the border.
The move to aid Border Patrol agents with air marshals will shrink the presence air marshals on domestic flights to one-eighth of the normal force. The move is disheartening, considering there have been over 3,000 incidents this year, and the fewest marshals covering flights since before 9/11.
Confidence in Mayorkas has diminished significantly, and Londos expressed that in a letter written to the DHS head. Londos also expressed his grief with the Washington Examiner in a phone call where he said, “The rank and file air marshals are going to refuse to deploy and risk termination.”
The bold move of threatened disobedience comes as even the National Association of Police Organizations chimed in with support for the Marshals. The NAPO said it questioned the move by DHS strongly, particularly since “a Federal emergency has not been declared at the border.”
The controversy comes as claims that President Joe Biden has been to the border have been harshly criticized. Jean-Pierre also dodged a question asking when that visit was at a White House hearing recently.
Support is being rallied for a federal investigation into the deployment.
The looming crisis comes as a rail worker strike is also threatening supply chain issues that could hinder holiday transportation of goods.