On January 25, 2017 President Donald Trump directors the Department of Homeland Security to hire 15,000 new law enforcement officers. The Office of the Inspector General released a new report in July examining what needs to be done for DHS to meet it’s hiring goals.
Notably the OIG found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection “are facing significant challenges in identifying, recruiting, hiring, and fielding the number of law enforcement officers mandated in the Executive Orders,” the report states. ” Neither CBP nor ICE could provide complete data to support the operational need or deployment strategies for the additional 15,000 additional agents and officers they were directed to hire.”
Both immigration enforcement agencies will have until April 2019 to complete the hiring of the new officers and the inspector general reports they will have trouble completing hiring by the deadline. The report cites the lack of a well-defined operational need and comprehensive deployment strategy as one of the main challenges in the hiring process.
Further hindering the hiring of specifically Border Patrol agents is the fact ICE generally pays more. Since both are hiring simultaneously the inspector general believes CBP will have trouble finding qualified Border Patrol candidates. Requirements for new Border Patrol agents are also very strict in order to maintain border security. Those strict requirements may also draw applicants to ICE instead, according to the OIG’s report.
The report concludes by talking about the number of applications that might be needed to fill the positions made available by the executive order. The OIG report states DHS will need more than 1.2 million applicants in order to be fully staffed under the new hiring mandates.