Politics

White House Might Hire Thousands Of New Border Agents

| by Ray Brown

President Donald Trump's administration unveiled memos on Feb. 21 indicating that the White House might hire up to 5,000 more Customs and Border Patrol enforcement officers.

"This includes immediately identifying and allocating all sources of available funding for the planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall along our southern border -- and hiring of additional personnel, including 5,000 additional CBP border agents," said White House press secretary Sean Spicer, according to NPR.

James Tomsheck, former head of internal affairs for CBP, told NPR that, under former President Barack Obama's administration, the number of CBP officers more than doubled from 10,000 to 21,000.

"Certainly, there were problems along the way," Tomsheck said about the vast increase. "I came from an environment in the U.S. Secret Service where pre-employment polygraphs were a part of how we determined suitability."

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Tomscheck went on to say that there were a great deal of problems in screening CBP officer applicants.

"More than half of the applicants failed to clear the exam, with the overwhelming majority giving us detailed admissions as to why it was they failed the exam," Tomsheck said. "It was what these applicants had done in their past that most concerned us. They included serious felony crimes, active involvement in smuggling activities and several confirmed infiltrators who actually were employed by drug trafficking organizations who had been directed to seek out positions within Customs and Border Protection to advance ongoing criminal conspiracies, essentially be spies in our midst."

Another memo related to the Trump administration's plan on immigration said that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security "no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement," with some exceptions, including children, according to ABC News.

"[I]f an immigration officer determines that an arriving alien is inadmissible to the United States [under existing laws], the officer shall, consistent with all applicable laws, order the alien removed from the United States without further hearing or review," DHS Secretary John Kelly wrote in the Feb. 20 memo, according to the Washington Examiner.

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"Empowering state and local law enforcement agencies to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law is critical to an effective enforcement strategy," Kelly added.

Sources: NPR, ABC, Washington Examiner / Photo Credit: Charles Csavossy/U.S. Customs and Border Protection via Flickr

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