- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 1, 2021

Homeland Security issued a striking new plea for volunteers to help at the border, telling employees in a new email that they won’t even have to be on-site but can instead do a “virtual deployment.”

Those who step forward would be tasked with doing interviews to try to help speed the process of moving children out of government custody and into families who are willing to sponsor them — usually the children’s own relatives already here, often illegally.

“Volunteer for a virtual assignment to help children at the southern border,” the department said in the email seen by The Washington Times.

It further explained: “The DHS Volunteer Force, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Health and Human Services (HHS) need additional volunteers who are ready for almost immediate virtual deployment.”

The plea is the latest in an increasingly frantic effort to get more people involved in what the administration has declined to label a crisis.

Homeland Security has dangled COVID-19 vaccines as a potential incentive to get volunteers to agree to go to the border to help manage the overwhelming numbers of children and families.

Pleas for volunteers have also gone out government-wide from the Office of Personnel Management and from specific agencies.

The new plea’s offer of “virtual” help suggests those previous requests weren’t enough.

“Pure desperation,” said one person familiar with the new email.

Homeland Security didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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