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 FlakeMcSally takes hard line on immigration in Arizona primary Flake threatens to limit Trump court nominees: report Poll: McSally holds 14-point lead in Arizona GOP Senate primary MORE (Ariz.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDon’t disrespect McCain by torpedoing his clean National Defense Authorization Act Meghan McCain rips Trump's 'gross' line about her dad Trump's America fights back MORE (Ariz.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSenate probes FBI's heavy-handed use of redactions to obstruct congressional investigators Hillicon Valley: DHS gets new cyber chief | White House warns lawmakers not to block ZTE deal | White nationalists find home on Google Plus | Comcast outbids Disney for Fox | Anticipation builds for report on FBI Clinton probe Graham jokes about Corker: GOP would have to be organized to be a cult 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.