Despite Trump’s Push, the Border Patrol Is Losing More Agents Than It Can Hire

Government Executive: The Homeland Security Department is making some progress in fulfilling President Trump’s mandated hiring spree, according to a year-end report, but is still failing to bring on more border agents than it loses through attrition.

Customs and Border Protection hired a total of 1,477 frontline personnel in fiscal 2017, the agency announced on Tuesday, a 14 percent increase over the number it brought on the previous year. Most of those hires were for CBP officer positions, which saw a 21 percent spike in new people.

Trump’s request for 5,000 new CBP employees, however, focused on Border Patrol agents. The agency saw just a 4 percent increase in new employees for those positions. While the numbers demonstrate some progress at CBP, which has for years struggled to keep pace with a congressionally mandated floor of employees, they reflect only new hires without accounting for net losses. Ronald Vitiello, CBP’s acting deputy commissioner, said even the increased hiring in fiscal 2017 has failed to keep pace with the losses sustained at the agency.

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