Two years ago President Bush ordered 2,600 members of the National Guard to help intercept undocumented workers along the Southern border. "Operation Jump Start" was intended as a temporary measure to assist the Border Patrol as it increased its numbers. Now the operation's two years are coming to a close, the members of the National Guard are ready to go home, and the Border Patrol still hasn't hit its targeted number of hires. Why would that be?
[The Border Patrol] now stands at 16,471, about 5,000 more than two years ago, and the governors, as well as members of Congress, have expressed doubt that the agency will put enough agents in the field to meet its target.
"It is not as easy as running some ads and thinking you are going to have well-qualified people apply and come into the Border Patrol," said Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat whose southern Arizona district includes the border. "The risk is high, conditions are not great, the pay is average compared to other law enforcement positions."