The Southern Border Is a Huge Money Pit

From the LA Times:

Customs and Border Protection allocated $60.7 million to Accenture Federal Services, a management consulting firm, as part of a $297-million contract to recruit, vet and hire 7,500 border officers over five years, but the company has produced only 33 new hires so far.

Apparently no one wants to patrol the border even though starting salaries for border patrol officers are more than $50,000:

On Jan. 25, 2017, five days after Trump was inaugurated, he signed executive orders to hire 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, vowing to beef up border security and crack down on illegal immigration….Today, Customs and Border Protection — the Border Patrol’s parent agency — has more than 3,000 job vacancies, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. That’s about 2,000 more than when Trump signed the orders, according to a Government Accountability Office report on CBP’s hiring challenges.

The whole thing is ridiculous. CBP has about 6,000 more agents on the southern border than they did ten years ago despite the fact that apprehensions are down by a third over the same period. As a result, there are about one-third as many apprehensions per agent as there were a decade ago.

There is no crisis on the southern border aside from the ones that we ourselves have created. Border crossings are low, net illegal immigration is zero, and we aren’t importing crime. If we took all the money earmarked for expanding CBP and instead spent it on more immigration judges, that would do far more to the reduce the number of unauthorized workers in the US. But I guess it’s not manly enough for Trump.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest