NTEU president: U.S. border understaffed

The president of the National Treasury Employees Union this week testified to a House subcommittee that its members are concerned about lack of adequate staffing on the U.S Southwest border.

Workload models say the agency needs more than 3,000 new workers, with about 2,000 of those positions being CBP officers.

“There is no greater roadblock to legitimate trade and travel efficiency than the lack of sufficient staff at the ports, NTEU President Tony Reardon said to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security. He added, “Understaffed ports lead to long delays in commercial lanes as cargo waits to enter U.S. commerce and also creates a significant hardship for CBP employees.”

He noted that the agency has already struggled to fill 2,000 positions Congress authorized in 2014. 

“One factor that may be hindering hiring is that CBP is not utilizing available pay flexibilities, such as recruitment awards and special salary rates, to incentivize new and existing CBP Officers to seek vacant positions at these hard to fill ports, such as Nogales,” he said.

Mandated polygraph test for all front-line officers is impedes their hiring ability, Reardon added.

He urged that all CBP operational positions be excluded  from the president’s hiring freeze.

Reader comments

Thu, Feb 9, 2017

The mandated polygraph testing is absolutely impeding the hiring of CBP and new BP officers. Ever since Mr. Obama put in place this executive order, the hiring #'s have gone down. HR is even sending letters to the potential candidates writing in a letter to the applicant that there is a strong possibility that they will not pass. It states that 3 out of 5 are not passing. Since polygraphs are not admissible to the court, and it is really harming the employment rates in places like El Paso where there is a large population of graduates who would love working for the federal gov't . I believe this should be done away with. I know there are, and will be, those bad officers who succumb to bribery from the smugglers, but hindering good potential employees, who pass the regular background checks, is not good for the country or the health and welfare of all the officers on the boarder already fighting for us. They are worn down with mandated long hours in the heat and cold because of the shortage.

Thu, Feb 9, 2017

Didn't the NTEU pres. read the POTUS' EO authorizing DHS Border Patrol to hire 5,000 BPA and ICE to hire 10,000 agents?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above


Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

Free E-Newsletter


I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question