Rep. John Katko (R-NY) said the enactment of his Shadow Wolves Enhancement Act (H.R. 5681) expands support for Shadow Wolves officers performing critical duties and bolsters the southern border.
The Shadow Wolves, part of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, are a Native American tactical patrol unit assigned to Homeland Security Investigations in Sells, Ariz., located on the Tohono O’odham Nation.
The unit specializes in the interdiction of human and drug smugglers through the rugged terrain of the Sonoran Desert, officials said, utilizing both technology and the traditional art of tracking.
“I am excited that the Shadow Wolves Enhancement Act was finally signed into law,” Katko, ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said. “Every day, Shadow Wolves officers carry out a difficult and dangerous mission under increasingly challenging circumstances. At a time when border encounters are at an all-time high, and deadly drugs such as fentanyl and methamphetamine continue to pour into American communities, the Shadow Wolves are crucial in the fight against drugs and human traffickers.”
In the wake of limited pay and lack of upward mobility, it has been difficult to recruit and retain Shadow Wolves officers, he said.
“This effort will improve Shadow Wolves officers’ ability to stop illicit activity on Tribal Lands and allow the officers to be reclassified as special agents,” Katko said. “Homeland security affects every American in every state across the country. We must use every tool at our disposal to secure our border and ensure the security of our homeland. I would like to thank Sen. (Kyrsten) Sinema for championing this bill in the Senate and working to ensure this important bill became law.”