President Donald Trump wants to follow through with the promise he made last year to hire more border patrol agents and build the wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
The Department of Homeland Security’s most recent statistics show that illegal border crossings are down 24 percent, the lowest level in four decades, according to Fox News.
Border patrol agents reportedly made 310,531 arrests during the 2017 fiscal year.
An employee count last May showed that there were only 19,500 border patrol agents on the job, however, Congress requires a force of 21,370.
“The problem is that we have such a high attrition rate that we have a hard time keeping up with hiring,” President of the National Border Patrol Council Brandon Judd explained.
Right now it takes nine months to hire a border patrol agent, and Judd said that was due to the polygraph system not running correctly.
Trump issued an executive order to hire on 5,000 new agents last January and is still working to follow through on his promise while adding to the progress border security made last year.
Judd remains positive about the promised changes for this year.
“From a border security perspective, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year,” he said on Fox News. “And it’s shaping up to be a great year simply because we had a businessman elected as president who came in and did something in one year that most people thought was going to take two to three years.”
There are still parts of the border that are without the infrastructure necessary to help with border security.
“Build the wall and hire more agents,” Judd advises the president. He added that there are a lot of different places along the border that need a wall.
However, the president of the National Border Patrol Council also recommended a “holistic approach to border security.”
“Criminals, like water, take the path of least resistance. When you beef up one area and you leave another area open, you’re susceptible to the crime going to that area,” he said. “So we have to take a holistic approach to border security.”
Trump responded to Judd’s interview with Fox reiterating his promises to build the wall and hire more agents.
Judd added that many of the people who try to cross the border are not Mexicans, and he had arrested people from places such as Russia and Poland.
“We’ve arrested people from all over the world,” he concluded. “They’re coming through Mexico, but we’re arresting them from everywhere.”
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