It’s been quite evident that U.S. government agencies such as ICE and the Border Patrol have been following President Donald Trump’s orders to ramp up deportations of undocumented immigrants. But just because there’s a surge in detainments and more emphasis on “securing” U.S. borders, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the agencies have the manpower to keep up.
In August, Trump proposed a plan to hire 15,000 Border Patrol and immigration personnel, but a watchdog group for the agency said hiring that many people in such a short time frame was unrealistic. Now there are numbers to back up their assessment.
According to two reports released this week, one from the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security and another from the Government Accountability Office, the Border Patrol is losing agents faster than it can hire new ones. Between 2013 and 2016, the Border Patrol hired an average of 523 agents each year while losing 904 agents.
The Washington Times reports that the problem stems from “remote working conditions, competition with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, difficulty in filling out ranks, and, also, applicants are having problems passing the polygraph test.”
The reports also show that as of May, only 19,500 border patrol agents were on the job despite laws requiring the Border Patrol to have 21,370 agents on staff.
This news comes during the same week that ICE announced they’re on a hiring spree. The agency said they wanted to double their size by hiring an additional 25,700 staff members by 2023. But with so many government workers quitting their job, it looks like it may be a difficult mission to accomplish.