Border Patrol could drop polygraph requirement for new agents: report

Border Patrol could drop polygraph requirement for new agents: report
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The Border Patrol is reportedly considering dropping a requirement that new hires pass a polygraph test, a move that could help the agency speed the hiring of thousands of employees called for by President Trump.

The agency is evaluating a number of potential changes to its hiring procedures in order to cope with the expansion, according to a Thursday report by The Wall Street Journal

Sixty percent of prospective Border Patrol hires fail the lie detector test, according to the report. 

“The polygraph has given us a difficult time,” said Border Patrol Chief Ronald Vitiello on Wednesday, according to the news source. “Not a lot of people are passing.”

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GOP Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSpokesman: Flake’s vote on tax reform will have nothing to do with Trump Trump slams Flake over hot-mic comments: Senator's career is 'toast' Bannon: McConnell 'picking up his game' because of our 'insurgent movement' MORE (Ariz.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump's dangerous Guantánamo fixation will fuel fire for terrorists Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny Ad encourages GOP senator to vote 'no' on tax bill MORE (Ariz.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock Tax bills speed up global tax race to the bottom Someone besides the president should have the nuclear codes MORE (Wis.) introduced legislation last month to waive certain "onerous and duplicative" Border Patrol polygraph requirements for those with law enforcement or military experience, in an effort to address hiring shortfalls.

The possible elimination of the polygraph, however, raises fears that new hires wouldn't be vetted thoroughly enough at an agency routinely targeted by drug cartels, smugglers and other criminals.

“If they actually can’t meet the standards, it doesn’t mean we lower the standards to get a larger number who can meet them,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told the Journal.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection pushed back on those concerns, insisting that any new procedures would not lower the bar for employees, according to the report. 

Trump has ordered Border Patrol to recruit an additional 5,000 employees in the next five years.

Updated: 8:14 p.m.