Written by Hudson Crozier
What happened: Four top border officials in President Joe Biden’s administration resigned in the past two weeks, adding to a total of seven in recent months. The deputy secretary of Homeland Security was the latest to quit, who only stayed for one year after Biden appointed him despite years of government work in other administrations.
Not the only ones: Though we don’t know these specific employees’ motives, their actions follow a growing trend among border agents in both high and low positions. An internal survey by the Department of Homeland Security found that a quarter of border personnel plan to quit in the coming months, citing issues such as an excessive workload, lack of resources, and unusual border policies. Under Biden, the DHS has reported worse-than-normal health and morale among these employees.
Frustration with leadership: Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has admitted that the administration’s lax policies are “not particularly popular with” many officers, with some complaining that they can’t effectively do their jobs. House Republicans are on their side as they look to impeach Mayorkas over his response to illegal immigration.
Why it matters: The border crisis rages on as over 1.2 million people tried to cross the border illegally in the first four months of 2023, the equivalent of Montana’s population. Migrants are increasingly evading capture at the border while others are systematically released into the country through Biden’s policies. The drop in motivation among border personnel comes at a time when they are needed more than ever, but for many reasons, it’s easy for them to feel as though they’re fighting a losing battle.