Customs and Border Patrol Tucson Sector are on a mission to hire hundreds of more agents to join their ranks after President Trump announced he wants to hire thousands more Border Patrol and ICE agents as his part of beefing up border security.
Since the president’s announcement Chris Clem, Assistant Patrol Chief of the Tucson Sector is now on the hunt for new, qualified recruits.
“Integrity, vigilance, service to the country, if you possess those qualities those are the types of people we're looking for,” Clem said.
Recruits come from all over America, but they're in Artesia, New Mexico, a small town in the desert just north of the border.
“There is a cultural change,” Clem said.
New recruits are trained in the desert southwest because many of their first assignments will be in this region.
“I think that is important for people to start acclimating; I think that's important, but the job is challenging that's why it takes a special person.”
Lawmakers say finding and keeping qualified applicants for border patrol has been a challenge.
Senators Jeff Flake, John McCain and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin introduced the Boots on the Border Act. They say the legislation will help address CBP’s hiring shortfalls by waiving the polygraph requirement for veterans, military service members, and law enforcement officers.
Once agents are in the Border Patrol, Clem says there are a variety of career areas within the Border Patrol including horse patrols, special tactical teams, paramedic jobs, and others.
“A lot of opportunities not only to be on the line and do your job every day but if you want a little bit more, you want to give back more, those opportunities exist,” Clem said. “I think that certainly keeps people engaged and wanting to continue their career as a Border Patrol agent.”