This Won’t End Well

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Even if Congress grants Trump's wish and appropriates funds to pay for hiring nearly 10,000 additional border control agents, where would the agency find that many able-bodied people willing to serve in Trump's gestapo?

I suspect they would have a hard time filling that many positions which may be why the Trump regime is considering lowering their standards for recruitment.

Customs and Border Protection, part of DHS, is seeking approval to relax some stringent standards that have made it difficult for the agency to meet recruitment targets in recent years. That includes a request to potentially loosen congressionally-mandated requirements such as a polygraph, as well as an entrance exam and background check. [...]

The memo estimates that even with the measures to accelerate hiring, it will take five years and cost about $2.2 billion to help fill out CBP’s ranks to meet President Trump’s quota.

Recent history tells us what happens when you loosen recruiting standards to meet hiring quotas for morally dubious purposes, particularly when the positions you're trying to fill may be attractive to racists. The military lowered its standards during the Iraq War to plug shortages in recruitment and for all the injustices we know were carried out in our name during the war, I'm sure there are many more we'll never hear about.

I'm reminded of former friends and guys I knew in high school who volunteered for the military after 9/11 because they wanted kill "ragheads." Some of them failed to make the cut before the Pentagon was forced to lower their standards after the war made a turn for the worse.

It's apparent to me that between the Border Patrol and ICE, there are already far too many agents with questionable motives and morals stretching the boundaries of their authority. I can scarcely imagine the devilry that eliminating entrance exams and background checks could unleash.

At least some officials have pondered the potential consequences.

And some current and former DHS officials and outside experts are concerned that lowering standards could allow the influx of less-qualified candidates who may be susceptible to corruption. CBP is uniquely targeted by drug-trafficking and other transnational organizations seeking out agents they can bribe — with money or sexual favors — to allow drugs, undocumented immigrants, or other contraband across the U.S.-Mexico border. [...]

“If you start lowering standards, the organization pays for it for the next decade, two, or three,” [former deputy CBP commissioner Jay Ahern] said.

CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan says Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has ruled out lowering the agency's standards, but it remains to be seen how long that will hold. Our Republican-controlled Congress could easily repeal the current requirements.

It's a darkly humorous irony and commentary on 21st century America that the Border Patrol would probably have an easier time filling their ranks if it were open to immigrants. There just may not be enough young white people to go around anymore.

  • Christopher Foxx

    The other option for increasing the number of people applying to become CBP agents, increasing pay, benefits and opportunities, never occurs to them, of course.

    I thought Trump was supposed to be a businessman. When a company is having problems recruiting do they make themselves more attractive to talent by lowering their standards?

  • The Border Patrol has been scraping the bottom of the barrel for years. Now they want to ditch the barrel altogether. That is a VERY bad idea.

  • Wookie Monster

    Remember when the right lost their shit and accused Obama of creating a private army by calling for college students to volunteer in their communities?

  • muselet

    The current crop of CBP officers is bad enough. I can only wonder what will happen after this sudden (and unnecessary) build-up. The potential for disaster is high.

    CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan says Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has ruled out lowering the agency’s standards, but it remains to be seen how long that will hold.

    Until Donald Trump stamps his feet and throws a tantrum, is my guess.


  • Aynwrong

    The first thing that will occur to any Liberal who is old enough to have lived through the Bush Administration is what lowering these types of standards in this way directly led to. White Supremacists and gang members joining the military. Not always because they wanted to bash heads and other macho shit. In the case of the gangs the military was used as training for their members to learn how to engage in tactics that would aid in drug smuggling, evading law enforcement and bring military knowledge and training to fighting law enforcement on the streets of American cities. And that’s what happened without the siren call of Donald Trump’s bigotry. Border security will become the breeding ground for future Timothy McVeigh’s & Ted Kaczynski’s.

    “American carnage” indeed.

  • Badgerite

    I think President So Called has surpassed any “mother lode of bad ideas” any religion can offer the world.