Magazine article National Defense

Border Patrol Meets Hiring Goals, Looks to Add More Officers

Magazine article National Defense

Border Patrol Meets Hiring Goals, Looks to Add More Officers

Article excerpt

U.S. Customs and Border Protection in December reached its goal of hiring 6,000 new border agents.

The objective was set two years ago by former President George W, Bush in a bid to deter cross-border illegal activity--from smuggling to border jumping.

CBP now employs more than 18,000 border personnel--up 50 percent from 12,000 in 2006--and aims to increase the number to 20,000 by September, said Steven Cribby, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman.

The Border Patrol will receive an additional $500 million to reach this goal, which will give the agency a $3.5 billion budget for 2009, Cribby said.

Apprehensions of smugglers and illegal immigrants dropped more than 44 percent since CBP began the initiative in 2006, the agency said in a statement.

Applicants came from all 50 states, he said. New officers were recruited at military bases--veterans represented 23 percent of new hires--nationwide hiring events and via the Border Patrol's website.

Minorities were recruited through outreach to historically black colleges, urban leagues, churches and civic organizations, the statement said. …

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