The independent government agency that oversees the Department of Homeland Security released a report on Monday questioning the Trump administration’s ability to hire 15,000 new immigration officers and border patrol agents — because there likely won’t be enough applicants who make the cut. Based on past hiring numbers, the department would need to receive more than 1 million applications, the report says.
Trump issued an executive order in January directing DHS to hire an additional 5,000 border patrol agents and 10,000 immigration officers, a process the Office of the Inspector General says will come with “significant challenges.” (Two days earlier, Trump had ordered an across-the-board hiring freeze in the federal government, which seemingly didn’t apply to DHS.)
Most people who apply to be immigration officers don’t get the job. The Associated Press reported in January that two-thirds of border patrol applicants fail the polygraph test required as part of the application. A month later, Foreign Policy reported that Customs and Border Protection was considering loosening some of the agency’s stringent requirements more — including the polygraph test, as well as an entrance exam, and a background check — to meet the new hiring goal.
Two-thirds of border patrol applicants fail the polygraph test required as part of the application.
An earlier OIG report released in April, however, found that restructuring the agency — and giving officers more training — was likely necessary. According to the April report, ICE deportation officers working with non-detained immigrants complained of being overworked and undertrained, with the average officer being tasked with the supervision of anywhere between 1,700 and 10,000 immigrants. Meanwhile, the average officer working with detained immigrants only supervised between 65 and 104 immigrants, and staff told investigators that the caseloads were seemingly assigned arbitrarily.