Border Security

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Border-Security-Patrol-Struggles-with-Hiring-and-Retention.aspxBorder BurnoutGP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652019-07-01T04:00:00Zhttps://adminsm.asisonline.org/pages/mark-tarallo.aspx, Mark Tarallo<p>Walls or no walls, U.S. border security cannot function without many skilled humans—more specifically, a large force of law enforcement and security agents who do the grinding and risky day-to-day work of securing the border.</p><p>There’s a lot of border to secure. The United States has approximately 6,000 miles of land borders, roughly 95,000 miles of coastline, and more than 300 ports of entry where travelers and cargo are processed. To guard these vast areas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employs about 45,000 law enforcement personnel charged with stopping the unlawful movement of people and drugs across U.S. borders.</p><p>Often, these jobs are tough gigs, and CBP has been struggling to hire and retain enough border patrol agents to meet its operational goals, according to a recent report, U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Progress and Challenges in Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Law Enforcement Personnel, issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).</p><p>“Staffing levels for law enforcement positions consistently remain below target levels. For example, CBP ended FY 2017 more than 1,100 CBP officers below its target staffing level,” the report found.</p><p>“CBP has acknowledged that improving its retention of qualified law enforcement personnel is critical in addressing staffing shortfalls, but CBP officials identified difficulties in retaining key law enforcement staff as a result of geographically-remote and hard-to-fill duty locations,” the GAO found. “CBP officials cited location—and specifically employees’ inability to relocate to posts in more desirable locations—as a primary challenge facing the agency in retaining qualified personnel.”</p><p>The report’s findings are unsurprising, say two former agents who used to work on the U.S. southern border. </p><p>“I call it border burnout,” says Jason Piccolo, CPP, PCI, a current ASIS member who worked as a border patrol agent in San Diego, and later as a senior staff officer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Piccolo described the process as follows: newly hired agents come to the border proud to wear a U.S. badge, with a desire to “put the bad guys in jail.” A few years later, worn down by the work, their idealism fades and they feel stuck in an isolated location, with the possibility of a transfer unlikely. </p><p>Kenneth Strange, a former FBI special agent who worked on the El Paso border for the U.S. Agency for International Development, agreed. “The quality of life in these remote locations is inferior. You can understand why they would want to move on,” says Strange, who now runs Development Fraud Investigations (DFI), a company offering investigative services and fraud-related training to nonprofits. “You can imagine how it would be going to a remote location with a young family, trying to make ends meet.”</p><p> “There are no suitable schools, and the nearest stores could be 35 minutes away,” adds Piccolo, who is also the author of the book Unwavering: A Border Agent's Journey from Hunter to Hunted.</p><p>Moreover, a few particularly challenging factors embedded in day-to-day border security work can wear agents down. One is the feeling that the incident around the corner could turn violent. “There’s always a sense of danger,” says Piccolo.</p><p>Another is the “very isolating” nature of the work, partly due to the staffing shortages and the sheer size of the border, Strange says. “It’s a unique environment. All of a sudden you’re between two cultures, in an area that is porous, with both people and drugs making their way to the border. And as you can imagine, there’s a great deal of corruption,” he explains. </p><p>And while most of the border agents Strange knew were “goal-oriented and did great work,” every so often one would slip and fall prey to bribery, prostitution, or other hazards. “There’s a lot of temptation on the border. Young people can get tripped up by money or sex,” Strange says. “Once you accept something, you’re on the slippery slope.” </p><p>Given these hardships, the border patrol’s difficulty in retaining staff is exacerbated by competition with other federal, state, and local law enforcement organizations for qualified personnel, the GAO report found. These other organizations are often able to offer more desirable duty locations, such as large cities, and sometimes higher compensation.</p><p>According to CBP statistics, border patrol agents consistently leave their agency for other law enforcement agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As a result, for fiscal years 2013 through 2017, actual retirements accounted for less than a quarter of annual border patrol agent losses. And hiring new staff to replace departing agents can be a slow process; the average time to hire for officers and agents is 300 days, according to CBP estimates.</p><p>To make matters worse, the staffing challenges have been coming when CBP has been struggling with a spike in the numbers of apprehensions and migrants. “CBP is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our Southwest Border,” CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan said in a statement.</p><p> In March, for example, the agency recorded more than 100,000 apprehensions, the highest monthly total in a decade. During the same month, CBP had more than 12,000 migrants in custody nationwide in a week. The agency considers 6,000 migrants to be at crisis level; more than 12,000 is unprecedented. </p><p>“The increase is having a detrimental impact on CBP’s primary border security mission,” the agency said in a statement. “With up to 40 percent or more of CBP personnel working to care for, transport, and process vulnerable families and children, CBP’s security posture on the border is negatively impacted. The same transnational criminal organizations and smugglers that exploit and profit from migrants benefit from that reduced border enforcement presence. Smugglers and criminal organizations are using large groups of families as diversions.”</p><p>CBP is taking several steps to address this challenging situation. The agency plans to use additional funding provided in fiscal year 2019 to, among other things, augment the law enforcement force with contract support for migrant care. </p><p>CBP officials say they are also shifting up to 750 officers from ports of entry and stationing them so they can support the southwest border patrol with the care and custody of migrants. However, this will have a detrimental impact at ports of entry. “CBP will have to close lanes, resulting in increased wait times for commercial shipments and travelers,” the agency said. </p><p>Finally, in an attempt to beef up its workforce, CBP has launched the Fast Track Hiring Process, an expedited hiring program. The goal of the new program is to reduce the average time to hire from 300 days to 120 days or less. ​</p>

Border Security

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Border-Security-Patrol-Struggles-with-Hiring-and-Retention.aspx2019-07-01T04:00:00ZBorder Burnout
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-Six-Year-Reset-for-Security-in-Mexico.aspx2019-05-01T04:00:00ZThe Six-Year Reset for Security in Mexico
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/US-Maritime-Security.aspx2018-12-01T05:00:00Zmaritime maladies
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Shaping-Sanctuary.aspx2018-10-01T04:00:00ZShaping Sanctuary
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Getting-the-Green-Light.aspx2018-08-01T04:00:00ZGetting the Green Light
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-Returned.aspx2018-07-01T04:00:00ZThe Returned
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Postal-Peculiarities.aspx2017-12-01T05:00:00ZPostal Peculiarities
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/How-to-Build-a-Wall.aspx2017-06-01T04:00:00ZHow to Build a Wall
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/How-Smugglers-and-High-Risk-Travelers-Enter-the-US.aspx2017-05-04T04:00:00ZHow Smugglers and High Risk Travelers Enter the United States
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Detention-Tension.aspx2017-03-01T05:00:00ZDetention Tension
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Cross-Border-Disorder.aspx2016-12-01T05:00:00ZCross-Border Disorder
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Who’s-Staying-Over.aspx2016-06-01T04:00:00ZWho’s Staying Over?
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Terrorist-Attacks-in-Brussels-Leave-Numerous-Dead.aspx2016-03-24T04:00:00Zterrorist Attacks in Brussels Leave Numerous Dead, Cause City Shut Down
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Border-Wars.aspx2016-03-01T05:00:00ZBorder Wars
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Bottleneck-at-the-Border.aspx2016-03-01T05:00:00ZBottleneck at the Border
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Slavery-in-the-Supply-Chain.aspx2015-12-17T05:00:00ZSlavery in the Supply Chain
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review-Personal-Security,-A-Guide-for-International-Travelers.aspx2015-06-01T04:00:00ZBook Review: Personal Security: A Guide for International Travelers
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-New-Recruits.aspx2015-04-01T04:00:00ZThe New Recruits
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-Lone-Terrorist.aspx2015-03-01T05:00:00ZThe Lone Terrorist
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/El-Paso-and-Juarez-Securing-the-Sister-Cities.aspx2014-11-01T04:00:00ZEl Paso and Juarez: Securing the Sister Cities

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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/France-Confiscates-Weapons-from-100-Suspected-Extremists.aspxFrance Confiscates Weapons from 100 Suspected Extremists<p>​French authorities are turning to legislation to curb terrorism. After discovering that a radicalized man who ran his car into a police convoy in Paris had joined a gun club, officials are tracking down potential militants and taking away their weapons.</p><p>Prosecutors revealed that the 31-year-old man who shot and killed a police officer and then rammed his car into a police van had pledged allegiance to ISIS and was known to French authorities. Several guns—and a permit allowing him to own the weapons—were found in his car, and it was later discovered that he had trained at a gun club. The man died after his vehicle caught on fire after the attack. </p><p>The realization sparked an effort to confiscate weapons from other people known to authorities as having the potential to become violent Islamist jihadists. France’s interior minister said officials were tracking down about 100 people on the list to take their guns away.</p><p>The action was taken two weeks before France’s parliament votes on an extension of the country’s state of emergency. Following the November 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, a state of emergency was declared, which gives police extended powers of search and arrest. The state of emergency has continued to be extended by Parliament and will expire in mid-July if it is not extended again.  </p><p>The new administration, led by President Emmanuel Macron, will put forth legislation this fall to end the periodic extension of emergency rule and instead implement changes that would allow officials who vet gun permit requests to access terrorist watchlists. </p><p>French officials have thwarted seven attacks this year, but several plots have been carried out by lone actors, such as the one who rammed his car into the police van. At least 230 people have been killed in France by Islamist extremists since November 2015.  ​</p>GP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465