U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is offering its agents a 5 percent bonus if they'll say with the agency another year in hopes of keeping experienced agents from leaving while record numbers of people are entering the country illegally.
“Investing in the men and women of the United States Border Patrol continues to be my top priority,” Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said in a statement, reports Fox News. "Their experience and expertise are critical to successfully accomplishing the border security mission.”
Morale is dropping among agents, retirements are increasing, and there is a shortage of new personnel, reports Fox.
Taxpayers will pay $84 million for the bonuses, which will come from the existing CBP budget. The bonus, of roughly $5,000, will go to the more experienced supervisors, who have had at least seven years on the job and earn about $100,000 annually. They will get the money in quarterly increments of $1,250 each over a year.
"This is one way of expressing appreciation for agents who are the backbone of our operations," a CBP official told Fox News on Wednesday. "We need them to get through this crisis."
Currently, there are 19,484 CBP agents, down from 21,444 in 2011, and people are retiring faster than new agents can be hired. The attrition rate is 38 percent higher this year than last year.
The CBP also plans to announce an incentive plan to fill jobs in remote border locations later this year.
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