Thousands of Customs and Border Protection agents risk losing job over COVID vaccine mandate

The vaccination rate for Border Patrol agents is lower than for the agency as a whole

Updated: November 11, 2021 - 8:28am

About 18% percent of the Customs and Border Protection workforce as of Monday had reportedly not received a COVID-19 vaccine, putting roughly 12,000 agency employees at risk for losing their job if they do not get vaccinated or receive a religious or medical exemption by the federal government's Nov. 22 deadline.

The agency risks losing the thousands of employees amid a record number of immigrants coming to the U.S.-Mexico border

The estimations are based on internal documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. 

The Office of Personnel Management says federal agencies could as of Tuesday impose disciplinary action, such as suspension or termination, against unvaccinated employees.

The vaccination rate for Border Patrol agents is lower than for the agency as a whole. 

Roughly 74% of agents have been vaccinated, which could result in over 5,000 of them losing their job before the year's end.

"There are just a lot of agents who are refusing to get the vaccine," an agent at the southern border told the Free Beacon, on the condition of anonymity. "There's a 50/50 chance they're all just going to get fired or placed on leave without pay. The union is involved, but not sure there is much for them to stand on."

A spokeswoman for CBP said the agency is "actively working to ensure compliance with President Biden's Executive Order requiring all federal employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 22, except in limited circumstances where an exception is required by law."