When President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January telling the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to “take all appropriate action to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers,” plenty of experts wondered whether the exponential hiring spree was doable or necessary. Now, with a presidential directive hanging over its head, ICE has resorted to trolling Twitter in order to drum up its employee numbers.
According to a August 30 press release from the agency, ICE has launched a new Twitter account “dedicated solely to job-related information about the agency, including recruiting events, job opportunities and more.” The account—@ICEgovCareers—was created in May, although its appears to have been inactive until its first tweet on August 8.
Since then, it has tweeted a grand total of 17 times.
In addition to the Twitter account, ICE has launched a revamped “Careers” section on its website, which acting agency director Thomas Homan described as “a valuable tool in our agency’s toolkit for attracting the best employees.”
But it seems like not that many people want to be part of an anti-immigrant hit squad whose mission is to arrest, detain, and deport people—many of whom have done nothing wrong—on a daily basis. In the press release announcing the new Twitter account and jobs website, ICE admits to only having hired 1,300 of the expected 10,000 new staff.
Part of the problem may be the extensive qualifications and testing mandates for new ICE hires. According to CNN:
Prospective ICE agents also must have at least a bachelor’s degree. They have to take an entrance exam that tests critical thinking and complete a physical exam, a medical exam, a drug test and a background investigation. Any past arrests, drug use or financial issues may be flagged, though ICE doesn’t say it will automatically disqualify a candidate.
Then there’s a 16-week basic training program, which includes a five-week Spanish language training course, seven written tests and another physical assessment. Trainees can only score below 70% on one of the written tests.
Citing a department of Homeland Security memo entitled “DHS Is Slow to Hire Law Enforcement Personnel” (now seemingly deleted from the DHS website) CNN claims it takes about 200 days to hire a qualified ICE employee.
But, beyond the practical hurdles to ICE employment, there’s that larger moral question I mentioned earlier. Whatever the reason, ICE’s new Twitter account hardly seems to have inspired the hiring boom it is working toward. As of September 1, it is followed by just 235 people.