April 2, 2008, - 10:44 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Whenever an agency drops its requirements, that means it has 1) trouble attracting suitable job applicants, and/or 2) trouble retaining employees.
But I thought we were trying to improve the U.S. Border Patrol, not bring it down. Apparently, I was wrong:
The Border Patrol has had to reduce its qualifications for
the job in order to meet the new numbers.
The Border Patrol has made three significant changes in order to meet the new requirements and put more boots on the ground. It no longer requires a high school diploma or GED (the equivalent of a high school
diploma) for entrance. The only qualifications for the job are that one be under 40, a US citizen, be able to learn Spanish, possess a driver’s license, and pass through several background and medical checks. After application, candidates have to take tests in law,
firearms, Spanish, physical training and driving, but the Border Patrol has lowered the score necessary to pass from 85% to 70%. It also has condensed the standard 88 days of basic training to 55 days.
A former Border Patrol agent friend who sent me this writes:
Not even requiring a HS Diploma or GED? What on earth could they be thinking?
Interestingly enough, they state you must be able to ‘learn’ Spanish. (I wonder if they require agents to speak English?) I have seen a few agents that made me wonder.
The tool they use for determining the ability to learn a foreign language is the DLAB written exam (Defense Language Aptitude Battery) which is absolutely impossible to pass. I know, I severely flunked it
Consequently, if you already speak Spanish, this test is waived. This leaves border rats with family on both sides of the border, East LA Cholos and assorted tattooed gangbangers among potential applicants.
Anyone with any serious aspirations of law enforcement as a career, with any degree of education, would never entertain consideration of a career in the patrol. Sad.
Sad, indeed. None of this is going to help change morale at the U.S. Border Patrol or help retain the many good agents who are fed up with their agency and their employer, which is ultimately Michael “Serpenthead” Chertoff’s dysfunctional, disastrous Department of Homeland Security.
Remember, the fish rots from the head down.
Tags: Debbie Schlussel Whenever, Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement, Michael "Serpenthead" Chertoff, United States