Senator’s legislation classifies the Shadow Wolves unit as special agents, improving their ability to secure Arizona’s border
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously passed Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s Shadow Wolves Enhancement Act—bipartisan, bicameral legislation introduced with Republican Senator John Hoeven (N.D.) that classifies the Shadow Wolves unit as special agents. This classification allows Shadow Wolves to patrol, investigate, interdict, and secure the border.
“Reclassifying Shadow Wolves as special agents entrusts them with more authority to investigate illegal border crossings, patrol the border, and keep Arizona families safe and secure,” said Sinema, Chair of the Senate Government Operations and Border Management Subcommittee.
“For nearly 50 years, the Shadow Wolves have helped secure the border, protecting the U.S. homeland and the Tohono O’odham Nation. The country’s only Native American tracking unit, their traditional methods are renowned worldwide. They are demonstrated proof of what can be accomplished when tribes and federal agencies work together to enhance public safety. Senator Sinema’s legislation will help the Shadow Wolves expand their operations as special agents, improve recruitment and, most importantly, continue to protect American lives. The bill will ensure that this unique unit can continue its vital mission at the border for decades to come,” said the Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr.
Shadow Wolves are members of the Tohono O’odham Nation who work for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. Shadow Wolves patrol the 76-mile stretch of land the Nation shares with Mexico and are known for their ability to track drug smugglers as they attempt to smuggle illegal commodities across the border. Sinema’s bill reclassifies Shadow Wolves from tactical officers to special agents, allowing the unit to better investigate and track cross-border criminal activity. The bill also provides the ability to expand the Shadow Wolves program to other parts of the border.
Last week, the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security unanimously passed the bipartisan House companion bill (H.R. 5681), which is led by Representatives John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Henry Cuellar (D-T.X.).