Proposed Bill Would Waive CBP Polygraph For Military, Law Enforcement Applicants

The Anti-Border Corruption Improvement Act could drastically shorten the Customs and Border Protection's hiring process.

Washington, DC – Congress is considering proposed legislation that could drastically shorten the length of time it takes for Customs and Border Protection to hire new agents.

U.S. Senator Martha McSally introduced the Anti-Border Corruption Improvement Act on March 7, and U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives, according to a press release.

The proposed legislation would eliminate polygraph testing for applicants with law enforcement or military backgrounds, slashing the current 274-318 days it typically takes to complete the 11-step hiring process.

A polygraph examination costs over $2,000 on average, and only one out of every three applicants is actually hired by the agency.

“That costs an average of more than $6,000 per CBP hire,” according to the release.

The exemption would apply to reservists, active duty troops, veterans, and law enforcement officers who meet specific requirements, The Washington Times reported.

Veterans and members of the military would need to have served for at least three years, and would also need to have held a security clearance within the past five years.

Law enforcement officers would also need to have served for at least three years, and would need to have undergone a background investigation as a requirement for their law enforcement position.

The background investigation would also have to be “to the level required for service as a law enforcement officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” according to the proposed legislation.

“Our Customs and Border Protection agents are drastically undermanned, and this bill aims to help fix that,” Crenshaw said in the press release. “By eliminating the unnecessary and costly polygraph test for vetted applicants with military and law enforcement backgrounds, this legislation quickens the hiring process and eases the burden on applicants, CBP recruitment efforts, and the taxpayer.”

McSally noted that the bill would help to get much-needed agents to work more quickly.

“The men and women of Customs and Border Protection are some of the finest law enforcement professionals – but unfortunately there are simply not enough agents and officers to get the job done,” she said. “We need to streamline the hiring process while maintaining the same rigorous standards to get the additional help to our frontlines.”

Comments
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Gridsquare
Gridsquare

Some of these comments are rather cute. If you think a poly or any form of testing can account for the human condition and the million+ factors of why people do what they do....you're touched in the head.

Anyone working in Federal LEO agencies can tell you this. Dirty staff are everywhere. They come about in two ways: they either slip through the cracks in the hiring process OR they started legit and some external factor MADE them dirty. As someone who's worked places that suffer from short staffing, I'd rather have the bodies there at the job. Meaning, I'd rather have 20 people on duty (even if I knew a few weren't trustworthy) vs only 10 on duty, who were all legit. Some of you might not get that, but that's ok. If you've ever been inside a prison or any place where the staff to whatever ration is terribly skewed, numbers make a difference.

Waive the poly, get your staffing numbers to safe levels, then sort the dirty details later. That's why we have Internal Affairs and the OIG, to find the dirt bags and put cases on them. Does the system always work and get 100% of the bad ones? No, but show me one that does.

kr8caos2
kr8caos2

Great idea. As retired Security Forces, I can be entrusted to protect USAF basses, personnel and billions of dollars in assets, so I pretty damn sure I could be entrusted to protect our nations boarders.

Da$
Da$

Do away w the poly and your dirty applicant issues will soar!

Julidom
Julidom

In reality, there are some who beat the polygraph. As was mentioned above we did individuals (sorry. My cellphone doesn't make changes at times ) If you do remove the polygraph testing you better up the background checks. How do you check background on Mexicans from Mexicans? I understand Border Guards need more vehicles. Use some of the savings for that and more training. Good luck.

Weirddiablo1
Weirddiablo1

I think it could work out great for some, I mean you still have to go through the academy and everything... its just getting to that point... I have been in the hiring process for over a year now ! still nothing. And my whole career has been LEO.