U.S. Border Patrol Working to Hire and Train Hundreds of Female Agents
Right now, only 5 percent of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are female. But with a growing number of female immigrants coming into the country, the agency is hoping to change that.
Alicia Acuna reported on "Happening Now" that the agency has been working under a federal exemption that has allowed it to recruit solely females, and they are preparing to hire and train hundreds of women who answered the call.
Acuna noted that the number of women crossing the border rose 173 percent last year. By some estimates, more than half were sexually assaulted before they arrived, according to Amnesty International, she said.
"If we have more females, we kind of are able to relate a little easier to a female than it would be for a male to relate," Border Patrol cadet Haley Miller explained.
Acuna reported that out of 5,700 new female applicants, the agency hopes to hire 1,600 by October.
FoxNews.com previously reported:
The Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue team is responsible for rescuing lost or injured migrants and administering first aid. In Tucson, only one of the agents on this elite team is a woman. Nationwide, four are.
The Border Patrol responds to hundreds of cases each year of immigrants who need to be rescued while crossing the desert. The agency conducted 509 rescues in the 2014 fiscal year in the Tucson sector, although that's a much smaller figure than in past years.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas has seen the largest number of migrants come through. Almost 49 percent of migrants who are caught crossing in Rio Grande Valley are women.
Last summer, the agency was overwhelmed by a surge in unaccompanied minors and women with children who were crossing via Texas and turning themselves in to the Border Patrol.
Most were from Central America, and many were released with the expectation that they would report back to immigration officials within 15 days. Others were sent to a detention center for women and families in Artesia, New Mexico. Immigration officials keep children only in detention centers that are specifically for families.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol's parent agency, acquired a federal exemption to recruit strictly female agents.
Watch more above.