Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) are preparing a so-called "border surge" amendment for the comprehensive amnesty bill (S. 744) that would add 20,000 Border Patrol Agents in ten years as a precondition for distributing green cards to illegal aliens. But the National Association of Former Border Patrol Agents (NAFBPO) says it would take at least 20 years to identify, train and hire that many Agents unless the process shortchanges proper training and background checks.

NAFBPO suggested it might be possible to meet a ten-year timeframe if DHS fast tracked the hiring process. The agency would need to have a readily-available list of applicants, and to create very large training classes without much instructor over site. Also, DHS is likely to use contractual Office of Personnel Management background investigators, which do not use the optimal standards or procedures for candidate scrutiny. The danger, NAFBPO says, is that DHS may give hiring coordinators orders to approve most who simply present themselves well.

The correct track for hiring Agents, NAFBPO says, would use competent background investigations with no time limit for completion. Plus, reasonably-sized classes must be created with good instructor supervision. Even if DHS opened satellite academies, it would still take at least twenty years to graduate 1,000 Agents per year, a huge number under the existing hiring regimen.

However, NAFBPO said it would be an exercise in futility to beef up the Border Patrol without effective interior enforcement. The current number of Border Patrol Agents (18-20,000) might actually be sufficient with effective interior enforcement. That would necessitate having an adequate number of ICE Agents who function without the Obama Administration’s constraints, aggressively expanding the 287(g) state-federal partnership program, and actively pursuing employer sanctions for hiring illegal aliens.

One reason NAFBPO says interior enforcement is critical is that the percentage of the illegal aliens ICE apprehends annually with criminal records ranges from 17% to 30%.  For the national security and public safety reasons, any immigration reform measure would need to prepare for as many as 25% of those picked up in jail screenings (at least 3 million) to be serious criminals requiring criminal prosecution in the Federal system.  

Interior Enforcement
border control
immigration reform

Updated: Fri, Jun 21st 2013 @ 9:34pm EDT