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U.S. Border Patrol losing agents faster than it can replace them: Audit

November 10, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
U.S. Border Patrol losing agents faster than it can replace them: Audit Photo: CBP

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Details of a new audit released Wednesday, revealed that the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is losing agents faster than it can employ them. The report said that competition with other federal positions and the difficulty of passing a polygraph test had lost the agency almost 2,000 agents.

On average, 900 agents leave Border Patrol each year and only hires roughly 523 a year, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The law expects the agency to have a minimum of 21,370 agents. However, it had only 19,500 agents as of May.

That’s an even bigger issue when stacked up against President Trump’s petition for employing 5,000 additional agents, to reach a workforce of 26,370.

According to the Washington Times, officials have blamed everything from remote working conditions to competition with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the immigration agency that’s also staffing up.

The issues span the southwest border, with California and Texas experiencing particular shortages.

The new analysis also examined how the agents who are on board are deployed, amid a long-running issue within the agency over the utilization of highway checkpoints.

Checkpoint proponents believe they serve as a critical chokepoint, helping catch drugs and, occasionally, illegals traveling on the roads. Opponents say they are easily circumvented, and also test the limits of constitutional rights, given that the Border Patrol claims authority to work up to 100 miles away from the border.

In 2016, one in five Border Patrol apprehensions of illegals, and over three-fourths of drug seizures and contraband, came more than five miles from the border.

“Illegal crossers and smugglers may travel near or through communities and private property in areas that are not along the immediate the border, before being apprehended by Border Patrol,” the GAO stated.

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