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Border Patrol Faces Retirement and Recruitment Crises

As the mass migration crisis rages out of control at the southern border, the Border Patrol is facing a massive shortage of agents as thousands prepare to retire while recruitment falls flat.

According to Just The News, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official confirmed that at least 9,828 Border Patrol agents will be eligible for retirement in 2028. At the same time, the agency has struggled to increase its recruitment of new agents over the last several years.

Border Patrol agents are required to retire when they reach the age of 57 and have served in law enforcement for 20 years.

Previous recruitment efforts by the Bush Administration added 6,000 new agents between 2001 and 2007, with unfulfilled plans to add another 18,000 agents by the end of 2008. On an archived version of a website detailing the former administration’s plan, the Bush White House declared that “we have more than doubled border security funding from $4.6 billion in FY 2001 to $10.4 billion in FY 2007.”

We will have also increased the number of Border Patrol agents by 63 percent,” the website added.

But by the 20th anniversary of the end of the Bush Administration, most of the agents recruited during that period will reach retirement age. And with the ongoing open-borders approach to immigration by the Biden Administration, during which many Border Patrol agents have instead been ordered to act as escorts guiding illegal aliens into the country, rather than law enforcement officers keeping them out, fewer people have been applying to join the agency.

A report from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which was featured in a hearing of the House Oversight Committee last year, interviewed over 9,000 Border Patrol agents. Over the course of these interviews, the OIG determined that the agency suffered from staffing challenges and greater workloads which contributed to a decreased morale among the agents.

“Shifts in U.S. immigration and border security policies, migrant surges, COVID-19, and the overall rising number of migrant encounters along the Southwest border have exacerbated staffing challenges,” the report reads. As a result, the total number of Border Patrol agents has remained steady since 2019, even as individual agents face more responsibilities.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: TOPSHOT - This photo shows a US Border Patrol patch on a border agent's uniform in McAllen, Texas, on January 15, 2019. (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP) (Photo credit should read SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)