Homeland Security Department cannot prove need for Trump’s promised officer surge

Homeland Security Department cannot prove need for Trump’s promised officer surge

The Homeland Security Department's inspector general says that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE's plan to hire an additional 15,000 Border Patrol agents and immigration officers is unrealistic and may be unnecessary. 

Within days of taking office, Trump signed executive orders calling on the agency to hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents and another 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

But according to a report released last week by Homeland Security's watchdog, the agency would have to take on a pool of 750,000 applicants in order to hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents. Likewise, ICE would have to vet more than 500,000 applicants to hire 10,000 personnel. 

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"Entry requirements for law enforcement occupations are intentionally rigorous," the report reads. "Individuals typically must pass an entrance exam, qualifications review, interview, medical exam, drug screening, physical fitness test, polygraph examination, and background investigation."

"While these requirements are important to securing well-qualified individuals, they make recruitment and hiring inherently challenging and complicated," it continues.

The report also found that neither Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or ICE are currently able to correctly identify how many additional employees they need to hire, what kind of hires are needed and where to deploy the additional employees.

“Without comprehensive staffing models, operational needs analyses, and deployment strategies, CBP and ICE will not be able to identify clearly the correct number and type of employees required, what positions must be filled, or where to deploy those employees,” the report reads.

According to a USA Today report, Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan said that the 15,000-person hiring directive was a "goal" rather than a rigid order.

“Remember, all of this is iterative over time,’’ he said. “Things can change over time. Maybe that number becomes higher; maybe that number becomes lower. It's a goal.''