Trump Administration Spent Tens of Millions Recruiting More Border, Immigration Officers But Vacancies Grew

A patch on the uniform of a U.S. Border Patrol agent at a highway checkpoint on Aug. 1, 2018, in West Enfield, Maine. (Credit: Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

A patch on the uniform of a U.S. Border Patrol agent at a highway checkpoint on Aug. 1, 2018, in West Enfield, Maine. (Credit: Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Two years after President Trump signed orders to hire 15,000 new border agents and immigration officers, the administration has spent tens of millions of dollars in the effort — but has thousands more vacancies than when it began.

In a sign of the difficulties, 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.

The president’s promised hiring surge steadily lost ground even as he publicly hammered away at the need for stiffer border security, warned of a looming migrant invasion and shut down parts of the government for five weeks over his demands for $5.7 billion from Congress for a border wall.

The Border Patrol gained a total of 120 agents in 2018, the first net gain in five years.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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