U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) today issued the following statements after the Senate adopted their amendment to encourage the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to recruit servicemembers and veterans to serve in border security positions. It was accepted by voice vote.
"We've made great strides when it comes to strengthening our border and cracking down on corruption, but more needs to be done," Pryor said. "Our bipartisan amendment will encourage the Department of Homeland Security to recruit highly skilled military members and veterans for border patrol agent positions so we can have a stronger, more secure border."
"Encouraging DHS to fill border patrol agents vacancies with servicemembers and veterans helps secure the border while also providing military personnel a way to continue serving our country," Johanns said. "I'm pleased my colleagues agreed to our amendment and hope it is a sign that there will be support for additional amendments to finally, measurably secure our borders."
The amendment requires DHS to establish a program to actively recruit National Guard and Reserve members and veterans to serve as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. To improve retention, this provision also allows DHS to provide student loan assistance in exchange for three years of service.