Aside from thrashing Pauly Shore impersonator Stephen Miller, who just so happens to be a White House senior advisor and a possible Anthony Scaramucci replacement, John Oliver also dedicated a sizable chunk of Sunday’s Last Week Tonight to the border patrol. Specifically, the comedian took issue with the president’s previously announced plan to hire 15,000 new personnel for the Homeland Security Department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division, which primarily patrols the country’s southern and northern borders. To voice his concerns as clearly as possible, he enlisted Arrested Development‘s very own Gob Bluth, Will Arnett.
Announced by Trump soon after taking office in February, the hiring push has run into several obstacles, as well as pushback from a federal watchdog’s report commissioned and released by DHS Inspector General John Roth (who just so happens to be an Obama appointee). To better understand why this renewed focus on border security might not go so well, Oliver and his researchers delved into President George W. Bush and his administration’s similar hiring and recruitment tactics following the September 11th attacks. Said tactics included sponsoring a NASCAR entry and airing television commercials during Dallas Cowboys game, but as Last Week Tonight cautioned, very little attention was paid to the quality of the applicants. Hence why so many issues occurred throughout the years following Bush’s hiring surge.
“Whatever your feelings about the laws the border patrol have been given to enforce,” says Oliver, “you do want the best possible people enforcing them. Because if you don’t, as we have seen, bad things happen. This is a story about the danger of not learning from your mistakes.” To amend this otherwise problematic situation as best as possible, the host suggests ICE do right by Americans, Mexicans, and “the good border patrol agents just trying to do a difficult job well” and advertise this latest hiring surge accurately. Specifically, DHS should provide “recruitment ads that show potential agents what the job is really like.”
Cue Arnett’s gruff, baritone voice, with which the Bojack Horseman actor warns hardcore border militia wannabes against joining ICE since actual border patrol work is way more boring than they might expect. “The border patrol may not be for you, because a lot of the time the job… is just you, the desert and nothing for miles around,” he quips. “This is a job that can combine hours of boredom with sudden bursts of action.”