Border Patrol agents get gift cards, bonuses for rounding up immigrants: Agents operate up to 100 miles from border and are rewarded when they make arrests, advocates charge

January 31, 2013
Border Patrol receives bonuses for detaining people

U.S. Border Patrol agents who arrest immigrants in New York State get rewards like $100 Home Depot gift cards, extra vacations and cash bonuses, a new report found.

Some agents got as much as $2,500 a year each.

New York City immigrant advocacy group Families for Freedom and the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic sued under the Freedom of Information Act and discovered supervisors in the agency's Buffalo sector, which extends across 29 counties in New York and Pennsylvania, gave out close to $1 million in cash awards to agents from 2003 to 2011.

"The whole notion of the incentive program is disturbing. But the cash part is crazy," Abraham Paulos of Families for Freedom said Thursday.

"We have every reason to believe that this is going on everywhere else."