With migrant encounters at the southern border continuing to set new records, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is asking all civilian federal employees to consider volunteering for a 60-day summer stint along the sweltering frontier.
A similar call for volunteers was made in March, but migrant traffic has continued to rise since then. Last week, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the number of migrant encounters at the southern border in May was a record 239,416. The previous record was just set in April, and the May 2022 tally was a whopping 33% higher than May 2021.
"As we continue to encounter large numbers of individuals along our southwest border, we are now, more than ever, in need of your assistance," says a five-page flyer on the DHS Volunteer Force program obtained by Zero Hedge.
Federal employees who sign up to help DHS manage the masses "will provide humanitarian and logistical, non-law enforcement support to those processing through the immigration system." An employee's current responsibilities are irrelevant.
Volunteer duties can include handing out clothes, blankets and personal care items, meal prep, picking up medical prescriptions at a local pharmacy, picking up trash, cleaning refrigerators, shredding paper, answering phones, housekeeping, warehousing, file tracking and data input.
Such responsibilities might otherwise command a minimum wage or something close to it, but federal employees who sign up will keep taking home whatever they make in their regular job, plus per diem and the possibility of earning overtime. There's no hazardous duty pay, however.
Volunteers don't get to pick their destination. The DHS flyer cautions that "conditions may be challenging," and that, while volunteers are typically put in hotels, they could end up in a tent. Volunteers are asked not to bring "firearms/flare guns/machetes"—or expensive jewelry, passports or anything else they "don't want" to be stolen. A Covid-19 shot is merely "encouraged."
Volunteers are prohibited from taking photographs or video or "posting anything on social media."
Apparently, former rapists who are currently federal government employees need not apply. A "Prison Rape Elimination Act Form" asks prospective volunteers if they've:
- "Ever engaged in sexual abuse in a prison, jail, holding facility, community confinement facility, juvenile facility, or other institution"
- "Ever been convicted of engaging or attempting to engage in sexual activity facilitated by force, overt or implied threats of force, or coercion"
As record numbers of migrants swarm the border, the Biden administration is attempting to end a Trump-imposed emergency restriction on immigration that was put forth as a Covid-19 safety measure. In May, a federal judge stopped Biden from doing so, finding the administration must first go through standard processes that require the solicitation of public input before making such a policy change.