The news might crackle with emotion, the cries both of detained children and partisan outrage. But the machinery of the federal bureaucracy whirs steadily onward, undeterred.
The Choice Chicago Career Fair held on the second floor of the Holiday Inn Express on Dundee Road in Palatine Thursday had tables handing out flying discs and water bottles, ballpoint pens and magnets. It included recruiters from Aflac and Grainger, the Nosh Group and Pet Health and, tucked between the First Student bus company and Just Energy, was United States Customs and Border Protection, handing out lanyards and Post-It notepads and looking for personnel to deploy to our nation's southern border.
"On the whole southern border," said Orlando Ruiz, an 8-year veteran, who is finding keen interest in CBP jobs. "Everyplace we go, we always do."
Any why not? The thick glossy brochure titled "WE ARE AMERICA'S FRONTLINE" lists benefits from "10 paid holidays per year" to the federal retirement plan, not to mention "a priority mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the United States."
Starting pay can be as high as $50,000.
"As soon as you get out of the academy, you start making overtime," said Ruiz. "Border Patrol makes 25 percent overtime per year."
Border Patrol agents undergo 120 days of training.
"Because we are in the southern border, desert. It's tougher terrain," said Ruiz. "We need more training because we work outdoors. Sometimes when you're down there you're by yourself, covering five miles. It is difficult."
The images of children being torn from their parents has not reduced interest in working for CBP.
"No, not at all," said Ruiz. "This is a great career. Job security is hard to find."
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