President Trump's vow to stop the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico into the United States was one of the central tenets of his campaign, but a shortage of border patrol officers has put that promise in jeopardy.
In 2017, the Border Patrol's payroll only included around 19,000 agents, nearly 2,000 short of a Congressional mandate that required the force have a staff of at least 21,000 agents. That kind of pressure on the agency resulted in a $297 million contract awarded to Accenture, a company in San Diego, who will find and hire the new border agents.
The border patrol's Mark Morgan told KFI's Steve Gregory that people don't need a college degree or be a police officer.
"We're looking for men and women that really have an innate set of core values, of honesty, of integrity, of dedication, of respect," Morgan said. "You don't have to have a college degree, you don't have to be prior military, but if you do, that's great too."
President Trump, whose victory was partially based on his promise to secure the border says he wants to hire at least 5,000 additional agents. Accenture, an international professional services corporation was contracted to help hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents, 2,000 customs officers, and 500 agents for the Officer of Air and Marine Operations.
The situation is so desperate in Arizona, new recruits there could be eligible for a $10,000 signing bonus.
A recent analysis from the CATO Institute says if the contract with Accenture runs to completion, the cost of recruiting will run almost $39,600 per new agent. The reason for the high price? A big problem is a high failure rate of a polygraph test administered during the hiring process. Documents show that to fill one border agent spot, up to 133 people are interviewed. It can take up to 292 days on average to vet and hire a new agent.