As if the threat of thousands of migrants crossing illegally into the United States or the issue of drastically inadequate funding wasn’t enough, Border Patrol now faces another mounting problem. Finding enough members to fill its ranks.
USA TODAY delved into government documents, congressional testimony and agent interviews to reveal that Border Patrol, a faction of U.S. Customs and Borer Protection, is woefully understaffed.
For example, in the last three years Border Patrol agents have made numerous requests for air unit support, many of which have been denied because there were no available pilots.
This problem got worse after Trump announced that 5,000 additional agents needed to be hired in order to properly defend the southern border.
Temea Simmons-Collins, acting executive director for the talent management directorate at Customs and Border Protection didn’t seem to feel confident about the prospect.
“I can’t necessarily say whether we’ll be able to meet it at this point,” she said of hitting the 5,000 person threshold.
In order to combat against the problem, Customs and Border Protection has employed a ‘Fast Track’ hiring process that they hope will fill the gap. It cuts an hour off the entrance exam and alters medical screenings “to reduce the number of applicants requiring medical follow-up.”
However with Mexico warning that the “Mother of All Caravans” is beginning to form, will the new process provide enough new members in time?