By Steve Neavling
Border Patrol is losing more agents than it can replace, causing “significant challenges” in hiring and training new personnel.
Two eye-opening reports from the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security and the Government Accountability Office underscore the difficulties of meeting ambitious hiring goals set by President Trump, the Los Angels Times reports.
The GAO report indicates that staffing levels fall below the 2011 congressional mandate of 21,370 agents. As of May, the agency had 19,500 agents, or 1,870 fewer than required.
Between 2013-16, Border Patrol hired an average of 523 agents a year to replace the annual exodus of 904.
The reports indicate fewer agents are hired because of better pay at competing agencies, a difficult hiring process that requires a polygraph exam and assignments that involve working in remote location near the border.
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