The U.S. Border Patrol wants more women in its ranks.
Representatives say there are few women agents because the federal government gave preference to veterans.
The Border Patrol Commissioner, Gil Kerlikowske, says tens of thousands of migrant women cross the southwest border each year.
Human rights organizations say a large number of them are experiencing sexual trauma. The Border Patrol Commissioner said women would be a help dealing with the women’s issues as well as with the increase number of children crossing the border.
Kerlikowske discussed his agency’s recent push to recruit more women in a recent Federal News Radio interview. Excerpts were posted in The Washington Post.
“As a police chief for a long time, I know that women in law enforcement bring a huge amount of positive to any law enforcement agency, and increasing those numbers for the Border Patrol will do exactly the same thing,” Kerlikowske said. “Women bring a perspective and negotiating skill to law enforcement that we very much need.”
Right now, only five percent of the agents are women. Border Patrol plans to hire 1,600 agents by the end of the next fiscal year on Sept. 30. But not all of them have to be female.