Facing hiring challenges, U.S. Border Patrol increases recruitment bonuses

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said it is offering additional incentives for newly appointed agents who will accept a remote position. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI

Jan. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday it is ramping up recruitment incentives to as much as $30,000 for newly appointed agents who entered duty on or after Jan. 8.

To address ongoing recruitment challenges, CBP said it is now offering a $20,000 recruitment bonus for all newly appointed border patrol agents who complete the academy and three years of service.

Agents who accept a remote station, such as such as Sierra Blanca, Presidio, Sanderson, Comstock, Freer or Hebbronville, Texas; Lordsburg, New Mexico; or Ajo, Arizona, will receive an additional $10,000. CBP said candidates must complete the terms of their service to receive bonuses.

Jason Owens, U.S. Border Patrol chief, said relocation is often a major barrier for people looking for a career in law enforcement.

"The mission of the U.S. Border Patrol is one of national security," Owens said in a release. "It plays a vital role in keeping our communities and our country safe. It is both exciting and rewarding work, offering the ability to work outdoors and with specialty groups like Horse Patrol, the K-9 Unit, and much more."

CBP also is reinforcing its push to bring in new recruits by hosting a virtual career expo on Jan. 24. The expo will tout CBP's "competitive pay and benefits" and discuss topics such as law enforcement and non-law enforcement positions, and opportunities for transitioning military and veterans.

These new strategies to bring in more CBP applicants come as the Republican-led House passed a resolution denouncing President Joe Biden's "open-border policy" and calling the situation at the U.S./Mexico border a "national crisis."

Fourteen House Democrats joined Republicans in calling for increased border security, including Rep. Jared Golden of Maine.

"Most of us understand that nations need borders, those borders should be secured, and we should enforce the immigration laws on the books," Golden said. "Most of us also understand that those seeking to enter our country deserve an orderly and predictable immigration process. Right now we have problems on both fronts."