Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

John Oliver: We've Been Here Before with a Border Patrol Hiring Surge

ARCHIVES

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump made securing the border a centerpiece of his message. In addition to his signature border wall program, Trump promised to beef up the ranks of federal employees along the border. Much of that hiring would entail bringing in more Border Patrol agents, despite a recent Homeland Security inspector general report suggesting such a surge is not necessary and nearly impossible to implement.

Sunday night, Last Week Tonight's John Oliver examined the proposal for HBO viewers and noticed some large holes in the plan. Oliver first looked at the Border Patrol hiring surge during the George W. Bush administration. Oliver joked about the agency's recruiting campaign tied to the hiring surge, including the NASCAR team that the Border Patrol sponsored.

"They sponsored a NASCAR team, putting the Border Patrol in such fine company as other actual NASCAR sponsors Depends Underwear and Boudreaux's Butt Paste," Oliver joked.

At one point in the segment, Oliver played some of a 2013 KGTV interview with a Border Patrol agent who had said that agency standards were lowered during the previous hiring surge.

"They cut back on Spanish and physical training – so the new standards affected agents' ability to talk to the people they caught, and the ability to catch the people they wanted to talk to, which seemed like pretty essential facets of their job," Oliver said.

Oliver also noted the more-recent controversies that have engulfed the Border Patrol, touching on rogue agents aiding cartels and the easing of polygraph exams. He suggested the Border Patrol might want to learn from recent history.

“The big problem was, as they doubled in size, meeting and maintaining their hiring quotas meant their screening process wasn’t always as strong as [it] could have been. It was only later in the search that the CBP started giving applicant polygraph tests, something that most other law enforcement agencies do,” Oliver said.

Watch the video above or click here to watch the video. Be advised: There is profane language in the video.

Prior to joining Government Executive’s staff, Ross Gianfortune worked at The Washington Post, The Gazette Newspapers, WXRT Radio and The Columbia Missourian. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Missouri and a master's in communications from the American University.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec