President Donald Trump took office vowing to bring in 5,000 new Border Patrol agents. That was among his first executive orders. But the agency can’t keep up with attrition.
"The manpower shortage is getting worse," said Southern Arizona Republican Martha McSally, who heads the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee.
"We are losing ground every single month and there is no end in sight as we continue to lose experienced agents and officers to attrition without the ability to efficiently hire news ones," McSally said.
Border Patrol union president Brandon Judd criticized Congress for the slow hirings, pointing out that there is only a proposal to bring on 500 new agents at the moment.
"At this rate the agents we hire this year will be halfway to retirement before we meet the goal of 5,000 new agents by 2028," Judd said.
The Border Patrol only had 19,347 agents employed in 2017. That’s 2,000 less than Congress mandated the agency have, according to the border and maritime security subcommittee hearing Tuesday.