Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Team Trump to hire 10,000 new immigration agents, but they likely won't face 'extreme vetting'

Rss@dailykos.com (hunter) · Monday, March 13, 2017, 4:11 pm

Donald Trump is following through with his vow to dramatically increase deportations of undocumented residents. Toward this end, he's demanding Immigration and Customs Enforcement expand their ranks by a whopping 10,000 officers. This is a massive staffing challenge for an agency currently made up of 20,000 employees total, and many observers are worried it will be met in the usual Trump fashion: Not properly vetting the people they're hiring.

John Roth, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, told a Senate committee in February that the agency would “face a number of challenges” in executing Mr. Trump’s executive orders because it had “inadequate systems to track and process applicants.”
Mr. Roth said his office was conducting an audit of previous hiring surges to help the agency avoid practices that may have led to corruption and misconduct by staff members.

That "corruption and misconduct" is not hypothetical; the department has been rocked with scandals. And the pressure to rapidly meet Trump's xenophobic campaign promises doesn't bode well for an agency that has already been under fire for insufficient vetting of would-be immigration enforcers.

Leaked documents outlining plans to beef up a sister agency, the Border Patrol, first reported in Foreign Policy magazine, show that Customs and Border Protection officials are considering waiving polygraph tests for some applicants and applying less stringent background checks to speed the hiring of 5,000 agents.
In the recent past, ICE agents have been arrested for stealing from detainees, demanding sex from them, taking bribes, falsifying evidence, assault, and drug running. Now the agency is going to increase their size by 10,000 officers—under the guidance of an administration that couldn't properly vet its own national security adviser. Given the incompetence with which team Trump has met every other staffing challenge, it's hard to imagine this as anything but the prelude to yet another scandal.

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