Prior to President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) was roughly 1,280 employees short of the congressional mandate.
Now, according to the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), CBP is struggling to find employees to fill an additional 5,000 positions added by the new executive order.
“We can’t get people to come into the patrol,” said Stu Harris, the vice president of the El Paso AFGE, “specifically [because of] the polygraph examination.”
Harris told Fox News in El Paso that the polygraph tests and readers can oftentimes be inaccurate, leading to more failure rates than they would like.
“So, these are the kind of errors in the reading of the polygraphers that are resulting in a failure rate of about two out of every three not passing the polygraph exam.”
Several of other reasons border patrol is having trouble filling all of the positions is that the hiring process can be long and many of the applicants live far away from where they are needed on the job. The description of the job may also deter many from applying.
According to Fox News, border patrol agents must be willing to have “long rotating shifts in hazardous conditions and work on operations away from home for more than a month.”
“We’ve got to find a way to incentivize them … to keep people there so that we can keep securing the border and keep people in the border patrol,” said Harris.
Currently, border agents make an average of $52,583 their first year, according to Fox, but can reach close to $100k in their fifth year of work.
Customs and Border Patrol believe veterans would do extremely well in the position because they have experience serving the country and it would be an easy and rewarding transition.
Regardless, Fox reports the hiring process takes seven months to a year, so these vacant positions will not be filled immediately.
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