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Photo:Mani Albrecht/U.S. Customs and Border Protection via Getty Images

Customs and Border Protection cancelled a recruitment contract with Accenture on Thursday and is on track to end the year with fewer border patrol agents than the start of the year, two senior DHS officials and an Accenture official told reporters on a call.

Why it matters: The news comes amid a surge of migrants attempting to cross the southern border and more than two years after President Trump signed an executive order calling for an additional 15,000 border agents to be hired.

  • The applicant pool so small that CBP determined it could handle the hiring process in-house instead of outsourcing to Accenture — which at the end of last year, had provided 58 accepted job offers out of the 7,500 over 5 years asked for in their contract, DHS officials said.
  • "The political and economic environment makes it very difficult to compete for the people we need to do these jobs," one DHS official said.

By the numbers: DHS officials said two of CBP's three main immigration enforcement components, including border patrol, are on track to lose more workers than they gain this year. The Office for Field Operations — which primarily deals with legal ports of entry — will have a small hiring gain.

Between the lines: A government watchdog report late last year found that Accenture had been paid $13.6 million, and had only produced 2 frontline hires for CBP within the first 10 months of the contract.

  • DHS officials stressed that the report missed the large pool of applicants the company had brought in as well as the recruitment process, digital ads and analytics the contractor put in place and oversaw. CPB is looking at a potential new, smaller contract that would include the services that have been most useful.

Editor’s note: This piece has been modified to more precisely describe the nature of the contract between CBP and Accenture.

Go deeper

33 mins ago - Technology

Facebook Oversight Board overturns 4 of its 5 first cases

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook's independent Oversight Board published its first set of decisions Thursday, overturning 4 of the 5 cases it chose to review out of 20,000 cases submitted.

Why it matters: The decision to go against Facebook's conclusions in 4 out of 5 instances gives legitimacy to the Board, which is funded via a $130 million grant from Facebook.

New York AG: State severely undercounted COVID nursing home deaths

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Data from New York's public health department undercounted COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%, according to a report released Thursday by state Attorney General Letitia James.

The big picture: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration did not include nursing home patients who died after being transferred to the hospital in its tally of over 8,500 nursing home deaths, according to the report. Data provided to the attorney general's office from 62 nursing homes "shows a significantly higher number of resident COVID-19 deaths can be identified than is reflected" in the official count.

Trading platforms curb trading on high-flying Reddit stocks

Major trading platforms including Robinhood, TDAmeritrade and Interactive Brokers are restricting — or cutting off entirely — trading on high-flying stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

Why it matters: It limits access to the traders that have contributed to the wild Reddit-driven activity of the past few days — a phenomenon that has gripped Wall Street and the country.