TEHRAN (FNA)- US Custom and Border Patrol officials expressed concern over the planned expansion of ICE, complaining that Trump’s migration policies have given a hard time to the agency, struggling to keep its agents on the job, let alone recruiting new ones.
As part of the new immigration enforcement orders issued by the Department of Homeland Security in late February, the CBP is required to recruit at least 5,000 new agents, therefore the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, might not get the help from its sister agency, Telesur reported.
The shortage of the border security agents is currently among urgent challenges the CBP facesm. The CBP currently has 19,000 agents, an astronomical number, but still 2,000 less than the target the Barack Obama administration set. According to AP, this is the first time the number has dipped below 20,000 since 2009.
Officials attributed the dip in numbers to stringent screening methods, said the Guardian. Many qualified candidates get rejected during lie-detector tests. In January, nearly two-thirds of CBP applicants failed the polygraph, the AP reported. And nearly 1,000 agents quit each year as they refuse to continue living in remote, rugged areas.
The severe shortage has put the CBP on the defensive. Randolph “Tex” Alles, acting deputy commissioner of CBP, told the Guardian, “Some people just don’t want to live there. Hiring challenges are not new. Attracting and recruiting high-quality individuals is a challenge for us.”
But unlike the CBP, ICE agents are offered more overtime opportunities and live in the cities that are not desert outposts. ICE agents also don’t undergo a lie-detector test. CBP chief Ronald Vitiello told the Guardian the Border Patrol has accelerated application processing and revamped academy training.
“If you know people who are enthusiastic about border security please send them to CBP,” Vitiello said. “We’re already behind. We’re not hiring fast enough to keep up with the attrition.”
Air and Marine Operations, a separate agency, is also struggling to find pilots and other employees, reported the Guardian.