Despite Trump Order, No New Border Agents

President Donald Trump is finding out that securing the border takes longer than he thought. While a funding package for his proposed border wall continues to languish in Congress, another of his border priorities is also in a holding pattern. So far, the U.S. Border Patrol has yet to even begin hiring any of the 5,000 new agents authorized by President Trump in a January executive order. In fact, the Border Patrol actually still has 2,000 vacancies to fill before it can start on the new agents in the President's order.

Chris Cabrera, spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council, says the hiring delays are frustrating but not necessarily surprising. "Anytime you deal with the government there's just so much red tape, so much bureaucratic nonsense that goes along with it, and I think that's one of the big problems," he tells KTRH. Cabrera notes that the Border Patrol is still trying to fill leadership posts several months after the Trump Administration took over. "Even our current Border Patrol Chief is just an acting chief," he says. "We have so many issues right now with getting the right people in place to make these changes, and until we get these set on the higher end we're not going to be able to get them set at the lower end."

Despite delays in the wall and border staffing, the Trump Administration has already produced positive results at the border, thanks to increased interior enforcement. Nevertheless, help is still needed at the border. "Whether it's drugs, whether it's people with criminal histories, it could even be terrorists, you never know," says Cabrera. "We have a very high 'got away' rate in the Border's a wide open border and it needs to be secured."

 Frustrations about the slow pace of progress aside, Cabrera maintains the rank and file agents remain firmly behind the President. "We are anxious and we're hoping that things get rolling here real soon," he says. "But we do have a really good relationship with President Trump, and we're proud of the fact that we did endorse him."

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