The Number of People Clamoring to Join Trump's Deportation Squad Has Plummeted

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It turns out that despite all of the Trump administration’s exciting talk about how cool it is that we’re building border walls and kicking undocumented immigrants out of the country, not a lot of people actually want to be paid to look at a human being in the face and tell them they’re being deported.

The number of people hired to be deportation officers dropped in half to just 371 in 2017, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) document made available to recruitment contractors.

In an apparent sign of its increasing recruiting problems, ICE is now offering to pay private companies to help it hire people, according to Government Executive, a daily news website aimed at high-ranking federal officials.


The number of people even applying to become a deportation officer also dramatically dropped since President Donald Trump took office, according to the ICE document.

From October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017, ICE received 11,460 deportation officers applications. But during that same period the previous year, the agency received 62,120 applications—almost six times as many.


The positions appear to be well-paying union jobs with good benefits that start out in the $70,000 annual salary range, according to job descriptions and the salary tracking website Glassdoor.


These are significant hiring woes if you consider that five days after his inauguration, President Donald Trump signed an executive order calling on ICE to “take all appropriate action to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers.”

The enlisting of the private sector is something that the Customs and Border Patrol agency has also done. Last year, Border Patrol awarded a $297 million contract to Accenture to help recruit and hire the new agents and other workers, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. A Border Patrol official told the paper that he blamed his agency’s hiring woes on “changing generational values,” a “growing distrust of law enforcement” and stoners who weren’t passing drug tests.


But the low number of applications may also show something pretty simple: people just don’t want to separate families.