(DCWatchdog.com) – In a significant and telling development, the recent request by the Biden administration for Congress to fund additional Border Patrol agents is facing criticism from the agents themselves.
These agents are skeptical that this move will effectively strengthen security at the southern border, citing persistent recruitment and retention issues.
This funding request from the administration aims to add 1,300 Border Patrol agents, encompassing 300 Border Patrol Processing Coordinators and support staff.
This move is in response to the escalating illegal immigration challenge. Yet, the Border Patrol is already deploying enhanced incentives for new recruits, offering sign-on bonuses of up to $30,000 due to difficulties in maintaining necessary staffing levels.
Agents have expressed their doubts about the impact of additional funding.
One agent, who wished to remain anonymous, shared with the media their view that the job is often thankless and exhausting, with little visible impact. They remarked, “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.”
Another agent emphasized the need for incentives targeted at agents with 3-7 years of experience, noting a significant experience gap as agents within this range tend to leave for other law enforcement agencies.
The Border Patrol has seen a decline in staffing from 16,614 in 2021 to 16,234 in 2023, as per a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General report, despite an increase in illegal migrant encounters.
A second agent, also speaking anonymously, pointed out the current unattractiveness of law enforcement careers and the unappealing nature of the tasks involved in managing illegal immigrants.
They added, “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.”
The third agent described the morale within the agency as very low, “in the gutter,” expressing frustration over the administration’s tendency to shift blame onto Border Patrol agents for the immigration crisis. This includes incidents like Joe Biden and the DHS Secretary falsely accusing agents on horseback of mistreating migrants in Texas in September 2021.
Despite over 2.2 million illegal border crossings in fiscal year 2022 and more than 2 million in 2023, Mark Morgan, former acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner under the Trump administration, told the media that the Biden administration’s policies have exacerbated recruitment issues within the agency. Morgan views the funding proposal as a political gesture, unlikely to increase agent numbers significantly.