This Border Patrol Agent Resigned After Changing His Mind About Immigration

Updated : Oct 20, 2019 in Articles

This Border Patrol Agent Resigned After Changing His Mind About Immigration


Joshua Childress is a 37 year old father of two who spent seven years as a U.S. Border Patrol agent out of Arizona’s Yuma Station tracking footprints to catch illegal crossers he resigned last month after changing his mind about illegal immigration. I went in because I have a background in the military it was something I was good at, and it seemed like something that needed done. My understanding of the laws at the time was that there were proper ways to get into this country legally and that the people that were coming across were just shirking those laws What is the border situation there? Is there a fence or a wall? What kind of obstacles are people trying to get around? Most of our area does have fencing infrastructure. There are parts that have barriers that just will stop vehicles. How did people get past that? Oh, they would just climb over. Would a wall going across the entire border be useful and stop people from coming over? I don’t think so it’s been my experience that whatever we do they find a way to adapt and will adapt to that and then they adapt to that. I mean it’s a it seems to be a pretty constant back and forth. Border Patrol’s policy of separating parents and children crossing the southern border sparked a national outcry this summer which Childress says underscores the impact the press and the public can have on policy. So there were separations under Obama. No, it wasn’t the the official policy to use it as punishment. Obviously Trump did try to use that policy. It was pretty short-lived as we saw it. When I left, the grounds for separating anybody were more relaxed than they were under Obama, so that’s the effect that the public outrage, I think, has had, is that when the people just won’t tolerate it it’s going to have to change. Were there any particular experiences that made you start second-guessing this entire endeavor? Not actually an incident where I caught somebody, but after they’re caught they have to be processed and I was assigned to processing one day and as a routine part of the questioning we have to ask if they have scars or tattoos, and this guy said he had scars and when he lifted up his shirt to show me the scars there were lash marks all over his back. When I asked him what those were from he explained that he refused to carry drugs for a smuggler and they tied him up and whipped him for it I didn’t feel good about sending that guy back and that was a dramatic example but there’s countless others that didn’t have a dramatic story like that that they just want a better life and I stopped being able to reconcile that. What also changed his mind was listening to podcasts while driving around the border 8 to 10 hours a day. Specifically a show called Unregistered, hosted by historian and recent contributor Thaddeus Russell. One particular episode featuring author and sex worker Maggie MacNeil made him reexamine his fundamental beliefs. And I’ve actually had people go, “Oh yeah, I’m a whore!” – I’ll go “No no no, I mean an actual prostitute as in actually take money for sex” and then they’ll be like “oh oh oh” because they’re thinking I mean slut How did the ideas being expressed there changed the way you started to think about your job? So there were two guests of Thad’s that when I first saw them I wasn’t completely thrilled. I didn’t really want to hear what they had to say, I thought, and one of those is Maggie MacNeil and Conner Habib who’s a gay porn star. I don’t have anything morally against either those lifestyles but I also didn’t really want to hear about it. But once I finally did download and listen to those episodes, I was blown away. I mean, they had so much more to offer and so much more to say than these little categories that we put them in as a pornstar or prostitute. They’re fascinating people: They’re brave. They’re smart. They’re heroic. This small bias in my mind almost stopped me from listening to these people’s stories and how much enrichment I got from listening to their stories, so then it made me start to take stock of the rest of my life. If I had these biases that I didn’t really realize I had, what else is there? How do I really? feel about the drug war? How do I really feel about prisons? And immigration naturally came up as one of those opinions. And so what are your views about immigration now? I think we’re moving in the wrong direction. I think we’re moving towards more restriction more enforcement and I think there should be less. As Bryan Caplan, the economist, says, if there’s not a good reason to keep you out, come on in. He basically says that if there’s no communicable disease, no violent past, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be allowed to come in and try to make a life for yourself. I want to see a freer world I want people to take charge of their lives. I want people to be able to make their own choices, and I don’t want an imaginary boundary to get in the way of that. They’re being spoken about as if they are pieces to be moved around or assets to be utilized. Like, no, they’re people. Deport all criminal aliens and dismantle every last criminal gang and cartel threatening our citizens. We’re told from the Trump administration that the reason that we need to get tough on the border is to stop, you know, ms-13 members from coming over, criminals, violent criminals and drug traffickers and child traffickers. Those people do exist, and we do come across them, but I no longer believe that immigration policy or immigration restriction is the solution. If you have problems with drug trafficking and violent gangs, which are also linked to drugs most of the time, well let’s legalize drugs in the United States and that takes a significant amount of power out of those guy’s hands. We can’t fix the problem just by more restriction. Childress recently appeared on Russell’s podcast for a long-form discussion about his intellectual journey and ultimate decision to leave the Border Patrol. He’s now working on a maintenance crew at an apartment complex alongside several Mexican immigrants. If what I have to say has any effect I hope that it is that people will take inventory of their life and take inventory of their views. Think about why you believe what you believe, and if you can go through it and think, “yeah these beliefs are firmly rooted,” good. That’s gonna help you sleep at night that’s gonna help you lead a peaceful life, but if it’s not I think that’s valuable information to have

100 Comments

  • Asking for open borders without removing the welfare state first is asking for a disaster. Of all people those at Reason ought to know this!

  • Last part was just character assassination of the US Board Patrol agents insinuating that they are racist, most of them are Hispanic. Reason need to publicly retract that last part, that is no better than the MSM.

  • Come on ReasonTV. Is the fact that you always get many more dislikes than likes on your videos supporting open borders enough for you? I am not a racist or anti-immigrant. In fact. My mother's parents came here from Mexico legally. However, you guys are supporting feelings over facts. Those who come illegally break the law and are essentially cheating while the legal immigrants play by the rules. Just because it may be mean to enforce the law is no reason to stop. You need to stop pushing this (essentially) anti-law open borders agenda.

  • Stay off my lawn is analogous with illegal aliens stay out of my country.

    Until the welfare state, counting non citizens on census to increase blue stats population for increased numbers of Representatives in Congress

  • 4:57 – I wonder if he took stock if his military background? "A revolution cannot succeed without the support of the military." This guy is heroic. I hope his colleagues will follow his lead.

  • OMG… this dude isn't a cop…. hes an actor taking his lines straight out of a movie script. fuckin hilarious.
    P R O P A G A N D A ! ! ! look over there —–> Trump is still Pres.
    Reason….this is weak reporting.

  • Wake up America, heck, even the Bush center agree's immigrants are good for America.https://www.bushcenter.org/catalyst/north-american-century/benefits-of-immigration-outweigh-costs.html
    Than there's the Berkley study: https://clas.berkeley.edu/research/immigration-economic-benefits-immigration
    Than there's these immigrants, or children of, some are very wealthy people that the Reich wingers worship because they have money….Immigrants, or chidren of immigrants: Elon Musk, CEO Tesla; Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon; Sundar Pichai, CEO Google; Safra Catz, CEO Oracle; Ariana Huffington Co-Founder, Huffington Post
    And, if you believe "the Balance." "Immigrants have driven two-thirds of U.S. economic growth since 2011. They founded 30 percent U.S. firms, including 50 percent of startups valued at over $1 billion. "

  • I don’t agree with open borders, I do agree with vetting for criminal backgrounds, and proper identity, especially from a national security point of view (prevent terrorism/attack). I do not agree on legalizing drugs as they are proven to drive people into poverty and create mini-areas of drug runner tyranny holes-> creating dependence on Government.

  • When countries put up walls to keep people in, they are rightly condemned as tyrannical and failing. Yet when countries put up walls to keep people out, that's lauded. There is no difference between the two: both involve drawing arbitrary lines on a map and then refusing to let certain people cross them for arbitrary, irrational, and/or selfish reasons.

  • What specific enrichment did you get from the prostitutes stories? How did you develop your fundamental belief system? Which philosophers did you read? Or are the prostitutes the basis of your NEW fundamental belief systems. Your education must have been limited if your fundamental belief system is changed by a couple of prostitutes. I know the Yuma sector very well because I have many friends from MCAS Yuma. I know the quality of the Border Patrol personnel and the educational level is pretty low. They are good people but very absent from any understanding of introspection. Funny that two prostitutes are the basis of your reexamination of your fundamental belief systems. Normally, reading the great philosophers like Socrates, Aristotle, Bacon, Hume, Hobbes, are the basis of a reexamination of fundamental belief systems. I don't suppose any of those names ring a bell, now do they?

  • Obviously you have not studied economics. Oh, just come on in no problem; you make economic decisions for other people very fast with no understanding of how much each of these people cost in social safety net services. Social services cost about minimum wage for everyone of those people crossing the border. Our economy has over 200 trillion in unfunded liabilities now. Who is going to pay for that? Nobody, our nation is way past being saved. Every border town on the US, Mexico border is nothing but a huge govt subsidy program. We just keep printing money and paying for these peoples Social Security, Welfare, Housing, Schooling, Law enforcement services, Health Care and on and on.

    We are not even talking about NBC attacks. Do you know how easy it would be to cross weaponized anthrax? You need to start reading good books. Start with the book Germs and read about how easy it is to built bio weapons.

    Sorry man, but you are a disgrace to our nation. Your ignorance is unbelievable and your weakness reinforces my opinion that the West is doomed.

  • What are your beliefs firmly rooted in? Mine are firmly rooted in my study of history, military history, philosophy, psychology, science, economics and the history of mankind. I read a lot. How many books on the liberal arts have you read in the last year? Working on a maintenance crew is good work for a simple man. I am not cutting you down, it is good work but your superficiality concerning the subjects you talk about is mind boggling and shows your true vocation is as a maintenance worker.

  • Once more, Reason TV not engaging in reason. Hey Reason TV, go talk to Stefan Molyneux and get your ass handed to you. He is the voice of reason. You all are some goof ball leftist group of exploiters who take advantage of the lack of education of this poor, confused former border guy.

  • Obviously you have not studied economics. Oh, just come on in no problem; you make economic decisions for other people very fast with no understanding of how much each of these people cost in social safety net services. Social services cost about minimum wage for everyone of those people crossing the border. Our economy has over 200 trillion in unfunded liabilities now. Who is going to pay for that? Nobody, our nation is way past being saved. Every border town on the US, Mexico border is nothing but a huge govt subsidy program. We just keep printing money and paying for these peoples Social Security, Welfare, Housing, Schooling, Law enforcement services, Health Care and on and on. We are not even talking about NBC attacks. Do you know how easy it would be to cross weaponized anthrax? You need to start reading good books. Start with the book Germs and read about how easy it is to built bio weapons. Sorry man, but you are a disgrace to our nation. Your ignorance is unbelievable and your weakness reinforces my opinion that the West is doomed.

  • What specific enrichment did you get from the prostitutes stories? How did you develop your fundamental belief system? Which philosophers did you read? Or are the prostitutes the basis of your NEW fundamental belief systems. Your education must have been limited if your fundamental belief system is changed by a couple of prostitutes. I know the Yuma sector very well because I have many friends from MCAS Yuma. I know the quality of the Border Patrol personnel and the educational level is pretty low. They are good people but very absent from any understanding of introspection. Funny that two prostitutes are the basis of your reexamination of your fundamental belief systems. Normally, reading the great philosophers like Socrates, Aristotle, Bacon, Hume, Hobbes, are the basis of a reexamination of fundamental belief systems. I don't suppose any of those names ring a bell, now do they?

  • I'm sorry guy, but Jeh Johnson (in Homeland Security under Obama) specifically said that they separated families on purpose as a deterrant/punishment. I'm sure they changed that. Crossing our border illegally is a crime and just like other crimes in America (and most likely everywhere else in the world) the parents are locked up until dealt with, and kids SHOULD NOT be put in a cell also. They should be taken to a better place than a cell, which they are. Do not believe the "cages" pictures.

  • I’m Libertarian however your rights end when they affect my rights, if you are a US citizen or here legally. These are not US citizens so they have no right whatsoever to adversely affect my life by entering the country illegally, driving up crime, living off government assistance, and suppressing the wages of US workers.

  • The reality is he has become soft since his military days and now allows human emotion to trump truth and justice. Maybe that was trauma experienced in the military or PTSD. Regardless, it does not make his opinion anymore valuable simply because he was a bordergaurd agent. Superior ideas proven by history transcend one present tense story from a border agent who cannot take the heat in the kitchen anymore. The truth is; he can't take the guilt of seeing good people broken and battered; and many are descent people I'm sure. However, that is why only certain men and women have the perspective that allows them to look beyond immediate emotion too a wholistic redemption. Seeing the panoramic releases you to sacrifice short emotions for the longterm result of preserving the country. A good example is a lifeguard that might have to knock a panicing victim out cold in order to rescue them from drowning. Short term- knocked out
    Long term- still alive

    I guarantee you this man would have no problem If this matter arose on a more personal scale. For instance, lets just say some squatters came to his private house to stay on his property, eat all his food, take his daughters money, and sleep with his wife; would that release him to act on his own family's behalf without guilt? Of course. Nothing is different here except that you end up with some bad and some descent people looking for the same opportunities, but both have the potential of draining your resources; whether good or bad. While it may be true that there are nice squatters; It is equally true that they can drain your resources just as fast as a violent or aggressive one. Why? People maintain the same human necessities to live whether they are good person or bad person.

    If we are truthful, then no can argue that both types of squatters are committing a crime in the end. In regards to human needs, they eat the same, spend the same, sleep the same, and demand the same basic resources. The reality for most people is that it's easier to deliver justice to the squatter who is openly aggressive or confrontational than the one who is nice to you, If we're honest. When a boarder agent is able to truly grasp the full conviction of what the job entails then you can implement the full extent of the law without reprise and without the guilt of conscience. This man is not able to consciously decifer that code anymore and why I suggest that this is a second rate opinion and that this interview is nothing more than a psychiatric appointment for a man that cannot endure the battlefield anymore. Instead, he chose to grow politics from the corpse of instability and emotional trauma. All history proves that border control, including a wall and rampart, saves the city so please lets build the wall. God bless America!

  • His defeatist mentality made him a failure and his Utopian idealism is his personal redemption. 7 years of taxpayers money for salary and training down the toilet.

  • Wow this guy lost his fucking mind I think he might have PTSD or something because to think that just listen to a podcast changed his mind. What the fuck are you doing

  • Here, let me correct one little claim for you.

    "Border Patrol's policy of separating parents [being arrested and sent to jail for illegally crossing the border] from children [who are blameless for the crimes of their parents] sparked controversy."

    Doesn't seem very controversial when you put it like it actually is, does it?

  • "They just want a better life. Any one of us would do the same in their shoes."

    Correct. But that's not what they're being arrested for. They're being arrested for breaking the law. Any one of us who tried the same thing to ANY other country would run into the same consequences.

  • According to Milton Friedman, (y'know, an ACTUAL libertarian), we CAN have open borders. We can. It's feasible.

    ….but not with a welfare state. Open borders + welfare state = the situation we have today. To change that situation, either get rid of the welfare state, or enforce the border.

    Kinda hafta pick one, folks.

  • Under Obama’s presidency people south of the border were sending us their kids all alone by train (many unaccompanied by relatives) and amongst absolute strangers. Somehow now Trump is the bad guy trying to make sure we verify the relationships between these kids and supposed parents. We just need to make sure we’re not releasing these poor kids into the custody of child traffickers which is one reason why they’re being “locked up in cages”. They’re given three hots and a cot and also provided entertainment while the logistics are being worked out. I want everyone to be happy but we cannot afford to take care of everyone! Most of these people end up abusing the welfare system and people like me get the crap end of the stick. In California we are overtaxed, the cost of living is so high it’s making life here unbearable. I’ve been working full time for 12 years, I’m frugal with my money, and I still barely have a pot to piss in. At 30 years old, the hope of home ownership is dismal. I can’t afford to get married. I’ve never had a vacation in my life. If these people want in they need to do it the right way, just like my grandparents did when they can here from Mexico in 1961.

  • Facts are more important than his leftist feelings and illegal immigration is illegal , illegal immigrants should be deported and should never be allowed,[email protected]#k illegal immigrants and no to multicuralism.

  • I'm all for letting more people in, but they have to do it the right way. As much as it sucks to send back suffering people, it has to happen. We can't have people running around our country undocumented and unaccounted for. Central Americans for the most part share our values. Lets let more of them in LEGALLY. But first, we need to secure the border and deport the ones that did it the wrong way.

  • What about all the officers that haven't resigned? No, let's just cherry-pick one feel good story we can masturbate to. I mean, seriously, why not just become a bleeding heart, emotional thinking Leftist already, Reason? Think about it, you could flee this dying outfit and maybe get a kush job at the NYT or WaPo

  • “Let’s legalize drugs.” Smoke and shoot more dope…yea that’s the solution. Sorry legalizing crystal Meth and heroin is just going to create more druggies. But hey the state will take care of them right?? Smh

  • So the illegal says he was whipped for not carrying drugs, how do you know that is true?
    How do you know he wasn't wiped for raping a child?

  • 4:34 'The brave heroic gay porn star' I suppose you might consider volunterring to take a huge cock up your arse heroic but I don't.

  • The leftists know that most immigrants from Latin America, Africa and other low IQ populations will be welfare dependent and as such will vote Democrat for more generous welfare handouts.
    Hence the left love third world immigration, it supplies them with voters.

  • This idiot amongst other idiots think legalising drugs will make the criminals turn legit.
    They will just turn to becoming law abiding citizens.

  • Some wimply dimplys just don't have what it takes to do their jobs….. they think with their emotions instead of their brain……🤔 Notice how he has no moral foundation, by his own words? Yet he appreciates the same deadly virus he has no opinion on, as being "beautiful and worthwhile"…… this guy is just a CIA deep state plant…… 🤔

  • Wait, so ReasonTV are you for private property or not?
    On how I understand the State is the public property of the citizens in that state. They get to decide what rules they enforce on that land, via electing officials, and paying taxes. Wouldn't that mean anyone entering without permission is trespassing?
    If some people would jump over the fence on someones private property, let's say a garden, would the owner of the garden be allowed to shoot them? Or it shouldn't matter, because the trespassers will find another way to enter the garden anyway.
    The mental gymnastics you guys did this video is astonishing.

  • I appreciate hearing his views, however I feel he is just like every other government worker who is annoyed by the bureaucracy. I think his conclusions are good in nature, but simply wrong. He is not seeing the whole picture. Good thing he quit.

  • The correct answer is to improve the legal process if you find it lacking. The wrong answer is to encourage illegal behavior. What good is virtue if vice is rewarded better?

  • More dislikes than likes. Hm. The world is changing in the west. Nationalism and populism are the future. The Libertarian party would be wise to at least not support open borders if they ever want to win.

  • I would be proud to live in a country so many people want to go because it offers better opportunity for life. People come freely to the US, those go comes have the guts to take a difficult decision and take risks for it. Some may be good some may be bad. Take the good ones, don't miss the bests. Throw away the others.

    I am not for open borders, but I you are already here, have contributed to the benefit of the country or can do it, ok.

    For gang members, hell on earth.

  • Open borders with open welfare is a recipe for collapse. I am all for open borders, but as long as we have a system that takes money from one group to give it to another we can't have an open border.

  • I want a better life for myself as well. So is it ok that I got to my neighbors house, which is twice the size of mine, and start sleeping on their couch, driving their cars, and eating their food? All without their permission? Shouldn't they be responsible for my happiness?

  • Oh so he’s fine with them as long as they don’t have a criminal history! So mr agent how do you suppose we get their Mexican criminal history? You can’t so you have no idea what your getting unless they have a past US criminal record. You should already know that dummy!

  • Aren't libertarians supposed to value private property? Illegal immigration is, at its most basic, an act of trespassing. I'm all for making legal immigration easier, but we simply cannot let just anybody walk in.

  • Koch brothers propaganda. That's Trump's great achievement: he made every media outlet ramp up over the top propaganda that you can't help but burst out laughing. Now I can just ignore all of it knowing that I'm not missing anything. It's a great time tune out and drop out.

  • I'm an AnCap Nationalist. No "Reason" a voluntary society couldn't organize Itself as a "Nation" without the State added after.
    NATION ≠ NATION-STATE FIGHT THIS TYPE OF "LIBERTARIANISM"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country

  • The only way open borders can be feasible is if we get rid of the welfare state and the income tax. Welfare is an incentive for less-productive people to come here and mooch off the system, and how will you impose an income tax if people can claim they are not citizens despite living here? These are the things open border proponents, even the libertarians, do not take into account. The left wants open borders because it will allow leftist immigrants to flood here and take over the votes.

  • He's a typical example of what happens too often in the federal service; they, the feds hire some duds. This guy can rationalize anything. With guys like this in law enforcement, laws mean nothing.

  • It a good thing he resigned. He seems more suited for apartment maintenance. I dont want this guy protecting our borders.

  • Has anyone thought to consider our southern countries have a right to be great too? We’re taking in the people who fight wars and take action against corrupt governments. The other countries want us to take them so they have less upset fighting age citizens and further keep the corrupt Central Americans governments from having to deal with the people they are supposed to govern.

  • Here is the simplest and in my opinion the most logical, affordable solution to this immigration conflict. Sitting in some government warehouse is the remains and leftovers of the civil war, canons, Gatling guns, wooden crates of tnt sh*t like that. Lets fabricate a story like the leader has the worlds largest child porn collection and use all that old civil war sh*t to overthrow and take mexico. While under the thumb of the US we'll go ahead and fix everything, make sure our hand picked politicians are voted in office (really they're accountants to count the hundreds of billions we will skim off the top) also tidy up any and all who resist. Add a walmart and pay day loan store at every other intersection; Who would ever want to leave that utopia?.. The US is 2nd to none when it comes to fabricating a scenario that justifies an invasion for gain…. So much knowledge, tools, weapons and people but yet we continue to let them (.gov) murder, lie, cheat and steal from we the people. To you political party blame pointers please please please do whatever it takes, ask for help, beg for help just get your fckn head (brain) out of your fat a**… These political parties are and have been dividing we the people from the start. I feel the division is at the point of no repair and we are about to fall..

  • Yea and I feel that cutting in line just because you feel you deserve to is as wrong as it gets when it comes to who comes into our country. There are millions of people who want to come to America and are going through the legal process to come here, they come first not someone that ignores our systems!

  • Libertarians: Philosophy- A person who believes in free will.

    Actual Libertarians: Fuck your free will! Stay out of my country.

  • Weak. Very weak. Israel has a border n so do other good counties. This guy cucking full blown to weak feelings over healthy facts. He would let all legal migrants get hammered as well as established Americans.

  • The only reason open borders are promoted, it's all part of a greater plan. A ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT! Then we can become like China, the way its being Governed right now, go look up news on China and this new dictator XI, who rules about like the Leader of North Korea with not much differences so we can , go back to communist days, lose all our freedoms and be totally controlled by them, our children will be slaves! Yeah, sounds like a very promising future to look forward too!

  • Somehow I think attracting a bunch of dipshit short-sighted conservatives to your channel, and then posting a thought-provoking video like this… somehow I think that might've been a recipe for disaster.
    My god this comment section is a fun read xD I mean it would be a horrifying, depressing window into American polarization in politics, you know, if I still had any faith. But yea, a very fun read for the emotionally numb.

  • Well before you think about illegal immigration as being right, white, black, all americans should watch how legal migrants pay so much money and wait so many years just to come here in America. You guys should also watch the New Year in Germany 218 when there were may German got sexually assaulted by refugees, these are the same people they give free housing free iphones and free food to. How about the Angel parents kids that dies since they feel victim from these illegal people with crimes. But nobody cares much about white, Americans nowadays. They care more on what is happening in other country, they even hate their own America, reason why they don't mind having all these illegals around. Feelings and emotions do not pay for the bills and do not makes the world go round. Rules and regulations makes what America great, do not underestimate what freedom you have.

  • Joshua. I tip my hat at you to show my respects. As a Vietnam veteran, I can tell you I did not hesitate a minute to risk my life to give the oppressed a better life. Hip, Hip……………..

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