By Steve Neavling
President Trump’s plans to hire 10,000 more ICE officers and 5,000 more Border Patrol agents may not succeed.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said it’s unlikely that “we’re going to get 10,000 and 5,000 on board within the next couple of year,” NPR reports.
That’s largely because of the extensive training and background checks for potential agents.
When the number of agents at Customs and Border Protection were increased from 10,000 to 21,000 during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administration, problems occurred. For example, new agents were rushed into the field, many without completed background checks.
“You have to make sure that no red flags come up in someone’s background before you’re putting them in a position like this,” says Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Border Patrol agents.
One of the most burdensome steps to becoming an agent is passing a rigorous – and some say flawed and overly burdensome – polygraph exam that two out of three applicants fail.
Moran said the exams, which can take up to eight hours, “is excluding qualified candidates from being Border Patrol agents.”