CBP struggling to hire thousands


Historically, Customs and Border Patrol has faced a number of challenges in hiring and retaining suitable candidates.

The Trump administration wants the agency to add 5,000 new agents, but two-thirds of applicants fail the polygraph test.

The agency has struggled to hire and retain agents for a wide variety of reasons: inconsistent work schedules, continuous overtime, high-risk, physical and mental toll, outside all the time.

CBP acting executive assistant commissioner Benjamin "Carry" Huffman testifying during a House committee hearing said there are not enough agents.

“Our jobs are not for everyone. We demand vigilance and integrity in our public servants,” said Huffman.

He said air and marine operations need pilots to disrupt cocaine traffickers and field operations needs officers to inspect cargo for illicit or dangerous content.

“The border patrol needs agents to combat human smugglers,” said Huffman.

National Border Patrol Council vice president, and border patrol agent of 17 years, Chris Cabrera said being a border patrol agent pays well, but warns new hires will probably patrol the southwest border.

“An outdoors-man or outdoors-woman of any type. It’s the perfect job for you,” said Cabrera. “You get to encounter all kinds of people, hear all kinds of stories.”

He said it's a great stepping stone to other law enforcement opportunities. Until then, he added it's like being a kid again with better toys.

“Obviously, we have motorcycles, dirt bikes, boat patrol. You can patrol open water, you can patrol the river or the Great Lakes, wherever,” said Cabrera.

He said their horse patrol is like no other in the nation. They cut horses from wild Mustangs in Colorado.

They recruit online, at job fairs and college campuses--like criminal justice majors, as well as country music concerts, NASCAR races, rodeos and festivals.

Cabrera said applicants need a high school degree, work history and clean background.


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