U.S. Border Patrol is so understaffed that the department has launched a major new program to reach out to former officers to plead for them to come back to the service.
A new advertisement recently appeared on the home page of the Border Patrol’s controlling agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, urging agents under the age of 40 to return to their old job, according to the Washington Examiner.
The agency is so desperate, the usual six-month retraining time at the agency’s academy is being waived and substantial raises are being offered to sweeten the deal.
But the offer may find few takers, as the Biden administration will likely make conditions for Border Patrol officers more dangerous as it works to cancel Title 42, a move that would take one of the last barriers away from illegal entrants and would greatly exacerbate the border crisis, critics fear.
Even without canceling Title 42, the rule put in place at the outset of the COVID pandemic that allows the Department of Homeland Security to expel illegals who have or may have been exposed to the virus, the border is in serious disarray.
A senior Border Patrol official who asked to remain anonymous told the Washington Examiner that conditions are dire even without the cancellation of Title 42.
“Out in the field, it’s already gotten bad. There’s so many sectors where they’re just pulling everybody in from the field to just help with the command and control at stations,” the official said.
But with the Biden administration’s attempt to make matters on the border even worse, the department is awash with officers retiring and otherwise looking to get out while the getting is good.
“We’re getting pummeled with retirements. It’s not just Title 42 ending,” the official told the Examiner. “I know agents that are good agents, and they totally believe in the mission — they just feel they’re unable to do their job, so if they’re eligible to retire, they’re retiring. ‘This isn’t what I signed up for.’”
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As to Title 42, the Biden administration is intent on eliminating the rule to allow an even greater flood of illegals to rush the southern border, but is finding the effort to be more troublesome than imagined.
A large number of border states have gathered together in a lawsuit to stop Biden from canceling the rule. On Friday, a federal judge in Louisiana ordered that the restrictions must stay in place while a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of 24 states works its way through the courts.
In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays in Lafayette, Louisiana, agreed with the states that Biden could not suspend the law until the court has its say on the issue.
The Centers for Disease Control had ruled in April that the conditions that gave rise to the restriction were no longer valid and that the order would expire at the end of May.
“After considering current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19 (such as highly effective vaccines and therapeutics), the CDC Director has determined that an Order suspending the right to introduce migrants into the United States is no longer necessary,” the agency said, according to Fox News.
Naturally, the Biden administration points to the CDC’s ruling as its grounds to suspend the rule.
But the states suing to stop the suspension of the rule insists that “This suit challenges an imminent, man-made, self-inflicted calamity: the abrupt elimination of the only safety valve preventing this administration’s disastrous border policies from devolving into an unmitigated catastrophe,” Fox added.
Regardless, the Examiner noted that as conditions at the border continue to spin out of control, morale among the agency is very low and there is an extremely high suicide rate among members of the U.S. Border Patrol. According to Quartz, the suicide rate among Border Patrol officers is 30 percent higher than other members of law enforcement.
But the Examiner also points out that there are other problems driving the department’s forces down, including a strict polygraph requirement that some say unfairly restricts some applicants from passing the process, a 12- to 18-month hiring process that causes many to give up in frustration and a pay scale that has not kept up with private-sector jobs.
The Examiner added, “Agents who do wish to return should expect to ‘travel frequently,’ regularly work overtime, be fluent in Spanish, pass a polygraph test, meet physical fitness requirements, and pass a background check. They are not required to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.”
The mess at the border is certainly not the fault of the U.S. Border Patrol, but they are bearing the brunt of the burden as the Biden administration’s policies continue to make a mockery of our immigration laws.
But with the news that even more good agents are leaving their jobs, things can’t help but get worse for all of us.