While the Obama administration has begun looking into ways to ensure safe passage to the United States for Honduran children, federal officials have reportedly harassed an Iowa Boy Scout Troop seeking to enter Alaska through Canada.
Jim Fox, leader of the Mid-Iowa Boy Scout Troop 111, told an Iowa television station one of his scouts took a photo of a Border Patrol official and agents immediately leapt into action. “The agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and 10 years in prison,” he said. Fox alleges one agent drew his pistol and pointed it a scout’s head after the scout attempted to retrieve luggage from the top of the van in which the scouts were traveling.
A statement obtained from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency denied that the agent had pulled a gun on the Iowan Boy Scout. “CBP’s review of this group’s inspection, including video footage review, indicates that our officer did not un-holster or handle his weapon as stated in the allegation,” the statement reads. “The review revealed nothing out of the ordinary. We have reached out to the Boy Scout troop for additional information in reference to the allegation. The video footage has been referred to CBP Internal Affairs for further review.”
Iowa senator Chuck Grassley received word of the incident and told an Iowa television station his office will look into the altercation. “It’s just outrageous that a Border Patrol agent would point a gun at a Boy Scout just for taking a picture,” Grassley said. “It just doesn’t make sense, but anyway that incident happened.”
The Border Patrol agents also inquired as to why the scouts were traveling with excessive amounts of lighters, matches, and knives, Fox News reported. Eventually, all of the scouts arrived back home in Iowa from their 23-day trip, but not without much stress and consternation. “We’re going to present our country in this manner: that we’re the bullies and we’re going to tell you what to do to protect your safety,” the troop leader told the Iowa television station. “These kids are going to turn.”