Border Patrol Agents Could Add to Problems for Biden's Latest Migrant Move
The Biden administration's proposal to increase funding for Border Patrol agents faces skepticism from existing agents who argue that the recruitment and retention challenges must be addressed first, according to statements provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Tuesday.
The administration has urged Congress to allocate funds for the addition of 1,300 Border Patrol agents, including 300 Border Patrol Processing Coordinators and support staff, to address the surge in illegal immigration.
More agents will only lead to faster PROCESSING and RELEASING of illegal aliens into our communities
#HR2’s policies SECURE the border, not throwing more taxpayer money to keep the border open
— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) January 24, 2024
Current Border Patrol agents believe that additional funding alone won't solve the recruitment issues that stem from the demanding nature of the job.
Agents point out that recruitment incentives, such as sign-on bonuses of up to $30,000, have not effectively countered the challenges of the job, characterized by long hours and minimal visibility of the results of their efforts.
Some agents emphasize the need to incentivize individuals in the 3-7 year experience range, as there is a significant gap due to agents leaving for other law enforcement agencies.
Border Patrol staffing has declined from 16,614 in 2021 to 16,234 in 2023, despite an increase in encounters with illegal migrants, according to a recent Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report.
The morale within the agency is described as low, with agents feeling that the agency has deviated from its original purpose.
The challenging environment for law enforcement hiring is cited as a factor, with concerns about being scrutinized for actions and the perceived role of babysitting illegal aliens.
The Biden administration's policies are seen as contributing to the recruitment crisis within the agency.
Mark Morgan, former acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner under the Trump administration, argues that while more agents could help, the root issue lies in the policies adopted by the Biden administration.
He suggests that additional funding may not result in a substantial increase in agents and could have minimal impact.