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Department of Homeland Security in need of Border Patrol agents, immigration officers

After President Trump directed the Department of Homeland Security to hire an additional 15,000 law enforcement officers in January, the DHS Office of Inspector General recently stated that the department is facing challenges in filling the required positions.

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General recently released a report stating the department is facing challenges in hiring an additional 15,000 law enforcement officers that President Trump mandated in January.

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General stated in a report released in late July that the department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are facing challenges in identifying, recruiting, hiring, and fielding the number law enforcement officers mandated by the president earlier this year.

"We do need more people, but we want people who are passionate and committed to the mission--committed to securing America," said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Marlene Castro.

Proper workforce planning is needed to ensure correct staffing levels, rations and placements, according to the report. Recruiting Border Patrol Agent Alex Pequeño says many applicants get lost during the lengthy hiring process, which includes a background investigation, polygraph test, medical evaluation and other requirements.

"So, we guide the applicants through the entire process,” Pequeño said. “It takes anywhere from six months to a year from the time you apply to the time you get hired."

Border Patrol would need 750,000 applicants to hire only 5,000 agents, while Immigration and Customs Enforcement would need more than 501,000 applicants to hire 10,000 new immigration officers, according to the report.

"It's a career that not only does it rely on smarts or brains, you also have to be physically fit,” Castro said. “It's a strenuous physically demanding, but for people out there who are considering and are afraid they may not meet those physical demands, its like, ‘Give it a try--you never know what you are capable of until you are in that situation’. Not just that, but we'll get you up to those standards at the academy."

In January, the department saw a 61 percent decrease in apprehensions, and if those trends continue, the department stated that it should play a factor in how many Border Patrol agents are needed.

Pequeño says the department attends about 30 hiring events, and advertise to let the public know they are hiring.

For those interested in seeing if they’re eligible to apply, visit www.cbp.gov/careers.

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