DEL RIO, Texas — For us in the Del Rio sector, the lapse of funding started on December 22nd so since that time our professional staff which for us is about 150 employees are not working,” Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak said.
According to Hudak, those 150 people are essential to daily operations.
"Those mission support functions that they do, those are immensely critical to us day to day. They do our purchasing, they do our human resources, personnel management, pay, benefits, all of that is what gets done by that workforce, whether that be here in our sector headquarters or the individual stations,” Hudak said.
While the sector has taken a hit during the government shutdown, it doesn't mean everyone has stopped working.
"All of our border patrol agents, our dispatchers, our automotive mechanics that keep us mobile and operating they are working but they are working without pay,” Hudak said.
Though the agent's paychecks are nowhere to be seen, Hudak says the community will still see agents.
"I think it's important for the public to know they're still out there, they're still doing their job, they will still see the green an whites out in the neighborhoods. They'll continue to do their jobs, continue to do rescues, continue to do arrests and that will continue,” Hudak said.
Arrest and rescue numbers are remaining steady, with some areas even seeing increases in those numbers.
"It's a challenge for us, it certainly adds detentions to our job that makes it more difficult than normal. But border patrol agents and our employees in true fashion are doing their job and doing it professionally and I have not seen any loss of performance in our performance with the furlough,” Hudak said.
A silver lining though, some members of the national guard are still deployed to Del Rio so more agents have been able to get back to the front lines.