Immigration Officials Defend Funding Request Despite Drop in Arrests

With border arrests down, some are questioning the Trump administration's push for more agents.

Arrests along the border were down 24 percent, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan says imagine what even more officers could do.

“The president has asked for 10,000 more officers and we certainly need them,” Homan told reporters last week.  “A large amount of those would be deportation officers to look for the criminals who hit the street, to look for those that are fugatives.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Director Ronald Vitiello says many of his new hires would replace agents getting out of the game.

“The administration has instructed us to hire an additional 5,000 border patrol agents, this also means we will make collateral hires for mission support, as well as to address backfill attrition and close staffing gaps across all three uniformed components,” he said.

Still, Democrats want federal lawmakers to rethink efforts to appropriate the billions of dollars for border security.

“We've made some great strides this year, but we need more to get this thing done,” said Homan.  “We sent out letters to policymakers up to the Hill asking for changes in certain policies and regulations so we can enforce law in a meaningful way across the board.”

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