The Southern Border Is a Huge Money Pit

From the LA Times:

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.

Apparently no one wants to patrol the border even though starting salaries for border patrol officers are more than $50,000:

On Jan. 25, 2017, five days after Trump was inaugurated, he signed executive orders to hire 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, vowing to beef up border security and crack down on illegal immigration….Today, Customs and Border Protection — the Border Patrol’s parent agency — has more than 3,000 job vacancies, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. That’s about 2,000 more than when Trump signed the orders, according to a Government Accountability Office report on CBP’s hiring challenges.

The whole thing is ridiculous. CBP has about 6,000 more agents on the southern border than they did ten years ago despite the fact that apprehensions are down by a third over the same period. As a result, there are about one-third as many apprehensions per agent as there were a decade ago.

There is no crisis on the southern border aside from the ones that we ourselves have created. Border crossings are low, net illegal immigration is zero, and we aren’t importing crime. If we took all the money earmarked for expanding CBP and instead spent it on more immigration judges, that would do far more to the reduce the number of unauthorized workers in the US. But I guess it’s not manly enough for Trump.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.