Air marshals plan to refuse Biden admin order to deploy to the southern border: report
"Morale is so destroyed from this... I’ve never seen anything like this."
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
U.S. air marshals are planning to defy an order from the Biden administration that they deploy to the southern border to aid in handling the migration crisis, a plan that would mean that 99% of commercial flights would be without the protection of an air marshal.
"The rank and file air marshals are going to refuse to deploy and risk termination," Air Marshal National Council President David Londo told the Washington Examiner. "You're almost going to have a mutiny of a federal agency, which is unheard of."
The Federal Air Marshal Service last year asked for volunteers to help out at the southern border, but the government in November 2020 made it mandatory. The Department of Homeland Security wants 150 more air marshals at the border on Dec. 7. Dozens are reportedly planning to refuse and likely lose their positions.
Air Marshal National Council President Sonia Labosco warned earlier this week that the plan would compromise national security during the holiday season, one of the biggest times of year for air travel. Under normal circumstances, air marshals are present on roughly 5% of commercial flights, but that figure would drop to a mere 1% under the order.
"We have been decimated. We have been depleted. We're on less than 1% of flights," Labosco said. "These ground-based duties that they're pulling us out of the sky to go to the border are just demolishing our chances at stopping another 9/11."
Reports emerged this week that the air marshals were being used to conduct menial tasks at the border such as driving immigrants to the hospital and "heating up sandwiches," claims the Transportation Security Administration derided as "entirely inaccurate."
Londo, however, contended there was some veracity to the reports, writing in a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, which the Examiner obtained that "[t]hese highly skilled [air marshals] are being made to perform mainly non-law enforcement civilian humanitarian duties."
"Morale is so destroyed from this," he told the outlet directly. "I've never seen anything like this."