Close up image of man taking a ploygraph test

Bill would omit polygraph requirement for certain CBP applicants

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has advanced legislation that would help simplify the 11-step hiring process for Customs and Border Protection officers.

The Anti-Border Corruption Act would allow CBP to waive polygraph testing requirements when hiring veterans or current or former federal or lower-level law enforcement officers who already have certain security credentials.

Currently, CBP’s hiring process averages between 274 days for agents and 318 days for officers. Omitting the polygraph requirement will lower that process time and save taxpayer money, according to the bill’s sponsor U.S. Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.).

“Given the crisis at our border, CBP agents and officers need urgent backup,” she said, adding, “My legislation not only maintains the same rigorous hiring standards, but it streamlines the hiring process for veterans and former law enforcement to deliver much-needed manpower to the frontlines.”

She noted that polygraph tests cost an average of more than $2,000, and with only one in every three applicants getting hired, that costs an average of more than $6,000 per CBP hire.  

The bill advancement follows the another piece of legislation that aims to to hire a minimum of 600 additional officers at airports, seaports and land ports of entry per year until the agency’s staffing targets are met.



Reader comments

Thu, Jun 18, 2020

The agency should also consider to have the polygraph text to be taken at the beginning of the hiring process. A lot of time and money is also spend on medical exams and fitness tests.

Mon, Oct 28, 2019 Nope Miami

If it works, don't remove it. If it doesn't work remove it. Remove it for all our remove it for none.

Tue, Sep 3, 2019

Many of you have it wrong they are only by passing the requirement if you already have military or law enforcement background. A lot of us veterans and prior police are applying for these jobs and do not necessarily need a polygraph when we've served the country already for years in the face of foreign and domestic enemies.

Wed, Aug 14, 2019 Patrick O’Rourke

While there is a great need for additional personnel at the border, requirements for background checks should not be lessened. The end result would be to have agents who could not hold down a law enforcement job in the state or municipal sector to migrate to CBP as an employer of last resort. This lack of standards can be seen in the private contractors this administration uses in the detention facilities at the border or in contracted detention facilities used by the government because of lack of available prison space.

Sat, Jun 29, 2019

As far as lie detection results, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama, Pelosi, Schumer, AOC, McConnel and the rest of cast of idiots would surely fail a basic test. Clinton would top them all.

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