Two new reports from government watchdog agencies say the Border Patrol is losing agents faster than it can hire new ones, and that border and immigration enforcement agencies face “significant challenges” in hiring and training new personnel.
The reports from the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security and the Government Accountability Office were released separately over the last week. Both highlight the difficulties that federal agencies have filling the ambitious hiring goals laid out by President Trump.
The problem is that agents are leaving faster than they can be replaced. Auditors say that between 2013 and 2016 the Border Patrol hired an average of 523 agents each year — and saw an average of 904 leave.
Reasons include better pay at competing agencies, a hiring process that requires applicants to pass a polygraph exam (which other agencies don’t require) and assignments that often send new agents to remote locations along the border.