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Tag: employees

Trump’s Pledge to Hire More Border Patrol Agents Is Met with Resistance, Logistical Snags

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s pledge to quickly hire 15,000 new border security agents and immigration officers has hit logistical snags.

Just days after entering office, Trump signed an executive order to add 5,000 more Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more immigration officers for ICE.

Since then, Homeland Security’s watchdog has expressed skepticism about the ability to hire that many new employees. Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General also issued a report in late July that questions  need for 15,000 new agents and officers, CBS News reports. 

“Neither CBP nor ICE could provide complete data to support the operational need or deployment strategies for the additional 15,000 additional agents and officers they were directed to hire,” the report found.

Neither agency knows exactly how many employees it needs.

Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at the Baker Institute at Rice University, suggested the Trump administration provided an “arbitrary number” of employees to hire.

“So what is the optimum number for the border patrol?” Payan said. “We don’t really have a baseline right now. I think saying that we need 25 percent more, or we need to double ICE, at this point in time it sounds to me more like … sort of an arbitrary number.”

Feds May Lower Hiring Standards to Hire More Border Patrol, ICE Agents

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security may have to lower its hiring standards to increase immigration enforcement and shut down the border with Mexico.

The agency, which has struggled to fill vacant positions, wants to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more ICE agents.

Strict hiring standards have made it difficult to fill those positions, so now DHS is considering eliminating the polygraph test, requiring less thorough background checks and making an entrance exam easier, according to a DHS memo obtained by Vice

“The idea that they would be able to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents without lowering the standards always struck me as unrealistic,” said Stephen Legomsky, who served as senior counsel to DHS under President Barack Obama. “It would be a terrible idea to eliminate the [lie detector] test, but if they don’t, I don’t see how they could meet their hiring target.”

The hiring standards are so strict that a vast majority of applicants never make it through the process. For example, about 65% of applicants fail the polygraph test.

Nearly 200 Homeland Security Employee Accepted Bribes in Past Decade

homeland-security-investigationsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nearly 200 employees and contract workers for Homeland Security have accepted bribes totaling about $150 million over the past 10 years, the New York Times reports. 

At the time, the employees were getting paid to protect the borders and enforce immigration laws.

The employees and contract workers have allowed tons of dugs and thousands of undocumented immigrants to be smuggled into the U.S. in exchange for bribes. They also illegally sold green cards and other immigration documents and provided sensitive information to drug cartels.

“It does absolutely no good to talk about the building of walls or tougher enforcement if you can’t secure the integrity of the immigration system, when you have fraud and corruption with your own employees,” said an internal affairs official at the Department of Homeland Security who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Although these employees represent less than 1% of the more than 250,000 people who work for Homeland Security, the impact is still broad.

“Any amount is bad, and one person alone can do a lot of damage,” said John Roth, the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security. “It doesn’t have to be widespread.”

Vice President Biden: We Need a Larger FBI to Combat Terrorism, Gun Violence

Vice President Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Vice President Joe Biden said the FBI should be larger so it can focus on the growing threats of terrorism.

“It always needs more resources in terms of personnel,” Biden said in an interview with Charlie Rose. “I mean, we could use a larger FBI.”

Biden said the FBI has done all it can to prevent gun violence, but the bureau just isn’t big enough.

Biden’s comments were in response to the Orlando nightclub shooter, who was investigated twice by the FBI but never arrested.

The vice president, however, did not say there were concrete plans to increase the number of agents at the FBI. 

Rights Group Demands Records about Border Patrol Abuse in Lawsuit

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

How many complaints were launched Border Patrol agents and how did the agency respond to each allegation?

The American Immigration council sued Customs and Border Protection for records related to the complaints since January 2012, Courthouse News Service reports.

The nonprofit research and legal organization said the agency is longer overdue in responding to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted in October.

The American Immigration Council previously obtained data on 809 complaints of abuse by Border Patrol agents between January 2009 and January 2012.

The records revealed that Customs and Border Protection failed to take action in 97% of the reports of abuse. The most common complaint was “physical abuse.”

     “CBP’s failure to produce the requested records violates FOIA and is impending the Immigration Council’s efforts to assess and inform the public about CBP’s progress, or lack thereof, in developing meaningful and transparent procedures for investigating and resolving complaints of abuse of USBP agents,” the June 6 complaint states.

Report: FBI ‘Best Place to Work’ in Federal Law Enforcement

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI was ranked the best place to work in the federal law enforcement by the Partnership of Public Service and Deloitte.

The FBI scored higher in the report than any other federal law enforcement agency, Federal Times reports. 

Employees were generally happier working for law enforcement than any other type of federal agency.

But employees for agencies within the Justice Department and Homeland Security ranked low, largely because of morale problems.

The report recommended instituting wellness programs and better handling limited resources for employees.

FEMA Hired 4 Employees with Criminal Backgrounds, Inspector General Reports

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FEMA official hired four employees with criminal backgrounds, paying them nearly $350,000 in combined annual salaries, a report has revealed.

Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth said the unidentified chief security officer knew about the criminal backgrounds of two of the employees and hired them anyway, the Associated Press reports. 

The employees were fired in 2012.

Roth recommended an investigation by the Homeland Security Department’s chief financial officer to determine whether other violations occurred. Roth also said the chief security officer should enforce premium pay rules.

A FEMA spokesman said the agency supports the recommendation and added that the agency has “taken a number of corrective actions to prevent current and future misuse” of pay rules.

Hacker Dumps Details of Homeland Security Officials; Plans Same for FBI Today

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A hacker posted a database featuring details of nearly 100,00 Homeland Security employees online Sunday and pledged to post similar information today of 20,000 FBI employees, International Business Times reports.

The database includes the names, titles, phone numbers and email address of 9,355 DHS employees, the hacker announced on Twitter.

The information “appeared to be genuine and matches other online records,” IBT reported.

The hacker, who often uses the hashtag “FreePalestine,” said access was possible through an internal Justice Department network.

Neither the Justice Department nor the FBI has commented yet.