Inspector General at DHS Questions Need to Hire More Agents

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Says agency could not provide data to justify 15,000 more border agents

Southern Border Region - A recent report released by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General supports what the Southern Border Communities Coalition and other border advocates have been saying: there is no justification for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to hire additional Border Patrol agents.

The report, Challenges Facing DHS in Its Attempt to Hire 15,000 Border Patrol Agents and Immigration Officers, was released six months after President Trump directed DHS to ramp up hiring efforts to fuel his unjust deportation force.

According to the report:

  • Neither CBP nor Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) could provide complete data to support the operational need or deployment strategies for the additional 15,000 additional agents and officers they were directed to hire.

  • In March 2017, U.S. Border Patrol Agents apprehended 12,193 individuals between ports of entry along the Southwest Border, compared to 18,754 in February 2017 (35% decrease) and 31,577 in January 2017 (61% decrease).

  • Without proper workforce planning and deployment strategies, CBP and ICE could be hiring the wrong types of personnel to meet operational needs.

Vicki Gaubeca, Co- chair of the Southern Border Communities Coalition and Director of the ACLU-NM Regional Center for Border Rights, released the following statement:

“The findings of this report confirm what we’ve been saying all along: that hiring more agents when border apprehensions are at a 17 year low is misguided and unjustified. President Trump’s orders to rapidly hire and unleash more Border Patrol and ICE agents into our nation's safest communities has already led to traumatic family separations and widespread racial profiling.

Instead of expanding discriminatory, military-style policing of our communities with unaccountable agents, Congress should invest in what truly makes border communities safe and prosperous. Border residents want to see us build bridges with our neighbors to support local economies and fuel jobs across the nation. We also expect border and immigration agents to be held accountable and charged with protecting human rights. Congress needs to listen to the Inspector General of DHS and reject the Administration’s request to waste taxpayer dollars on hiring more Border Patrol or ICE agents."

About Southern Border Communities Coalition

The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) brings together organizations from San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas, to ensure that border enforcement policies and practices are accountable and fair, respect human dignity and human rights, and prevent the loss of life in the region.

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