A new hiring campaign from U.S. Customs and Border Protection is asking agents who fled the agency to return.
The agency, the parent of the beleaguered Border Patrol, is acting because of a dire shortage of people, according to one report.
“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 Washington Examiner quoted “a senior Border Patrol official at the agency’s Washington headquarters” as saying.
The official was not identified.
The ad campaign targets people who are under 40 and have quit in the past three years. Raises over past salaries are offered as an inducement.
A long list of locations are seeking agents, according to the Border Patrol’s website, with most in Texas.
The unidentified official said the Border Patrol is essentially “begging people to come back.”
“We’re getting pummeled with retirements. It’s not just Title 42 ending,” the official said.
Title 42 is a public health law that was used during the pandemic to bar illegal immigrants from entering the United States. The Biden administration has said it will stop enforcing Title 42 as of Monday, but a court could keep Title 42 in place.
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“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,’” the Border Patrol official told the Examiner.
The official said suicides by Border Patrol agents have been “ridiculously high” over the past year.
The border has seen record numbers of illegal immigrants crowding into the United States.
In April, 234,088 migrants entered the U.S. across the southern border, up from a 22-year high of 221,444 in March, according to The New York Times. If Title 42 is lifted, the surge could hit 18,000 migrants per day, the Times said.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said the administration’s plan for a post-Title 42 border is to require immigrants to show a fear of persecution or a significant reason for not wanting to go back to their home country in order to be allowed in the U.S., according to WBTW-TV.
Eagle Pass, Texas, Mayor Pro Tem Yolanda Perales-Ramon said that’s not much help, because the illegal immigrants would remain in Eagle Pass for days before being released into the U.S. to supposedly return for their case to be heard or sent back to Mexico.
“Title 42 is the only thing we have in place in the United States to try to prevent the influx from coming in, and I hope it stays in place and I hope the people in Washington understand,” Perales-Ramon said Thursday.
“The deadline is the 23rd, and by then they’re going to have to make a decision and we’re asking. We’re asking the judge and anybody that has anything to do with making this decision to please, it needs to stay. Please do not lift Title 42, because what’s going to happen in the border cities is it will be a lot worse than what’s happening right now.
“Right now that is the only tool that can help us put somewhat a stop to this influx of illegal immigration that’s coming in. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against legal immigration, but they need to inform these people. These people who are coming over are very much misinformed. They think that because they’re coming across, that once they set foot in U.S. soil they’re staying here, and those of us who are here, we know better. That’s not going to happen,” Perales-Ramon said.
“We don’t want these people to be here illegally for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t help us. It doesn’t help them, and it doesn’t help the economy of the United States.”