Border Patrol Agents Pour Cold Water On Biden’s Plan To Bring In More Manpower

The Biden administration’s request for Congress to fund more Border Patrol agents won’t work to secure the southern border because of already-existing issues with recruitment and retention, agents told the Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday.

The Biden administration has requested that Congress fund the addition of 1,300 Border Patrol agents to the force that will include 300 Border Patrol Processing Coordinators and support staff in the hopes of getting more manpower to deal with the surge in illegal immigration. However, Border Patrol is already offering enhanced incentives to new recruits because it continues to shed the agents it needs, with its recent offer of up to $30,000 in sign-on bonuses.

Border Patrol agents say additional funding likely won’t increase manpower, as funding does little to solve the ongoing recruitment issues that are a consequence of the nature of the job.

“No one wants to do this job. It’s thankless, long hours, and then we rarely if ever see the fruits of our labor. We didn’t sign up to be Uber drivers or babysitters just letting tons of aliens in,” one agent, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly, told the DCNF.

“They don’t need to hire new agents. They need to incentivize agents in the 3-7 year range. there’s a huge gap in experience because agents in that range are leaving and going to DEA, HSI, U.S Marshals,” the agent added.

Border Patrol staffing fell from 16,614 in 2021 to 16,234 in 2023 as illegal migrant encounters increased, according to a recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General report. Border Patrol staffing rose under the Trump administration, reaching 16,806 staffers in 2020 compared to 16,534 in 2018.

“Law enforcement hiring is at an all-time low because who wants to do it right now and be scrutinized if you sneeze in the wrong place? Also, babysitting illegal aliens who get free flights and phones probably isn’t something people want to do either,” a second border agent, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly, told the DCNF.

“At the existential level, my agency lost what its purpose is, it’s not doing what it was meant for. To keep the bad guys out and protect the Constitution of the United States,” the agent added.

A third agent, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly, described agency morale as “in the gutter,” in a text message conversation with the DCNF.

“It has been made very clear by this current administration, that rather than accept full responsibility for the current and ongoing illegal immigration crisis that they caused,  they’ve chosen to scapegoat Border Patrol agents time and time again,” the third agent said, referring to several incidents including when the president and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas falsely accused horseback Border Patrol agents of whipping migrants in Texas in September 2021.

Border Patrol agents recorded more than 2.2 million encounters of migrants crossing the southern border illegally in fiscal year 2022, more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023, according to federal data. While more agents would help, the issue is the policies that the Biden administration has adopted have created a huge recruitment issue within the agency, Mark Morgan, former acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner under the Trump administration, told the DCNF.

“This is politics. So both sides get to say, ‘well, I supported more resources,’” Morgan said, adding “But in the end, it’s really not going to realize any additional agents, because they’re losing so many.”

“Congress could authorize an additional 50,000 agents. And guess what? Nothing. You can make the argument that it may not even actually realize a single additional agent. And if it did, it would be minimal,” Morgan added.

Neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immediately responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

Jennie Taer on January 23, 2024

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