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 FlakeJeff FlakeSenate should seek to retain its 'blue slip' tradition for judicial nominees Progressives target Heller and Flake on Senate GOP bill The Hill's Whip List: Senate ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (Ariz.), John McCainJohn McCainFrustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response Coats: Trump seemed obsessed with Russia probe The Hill's Whip List: Senate ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (Ariz.) and Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonSunday shows preview: Senate healthcare debate heats up Trump called Cruz to press him on ObamaCare repeal bill: report Trump tells Democrats they need ‘courage’ to fix ObamaCare 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.