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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 FlakeTanden's path to confirmation looks increasingly untenable On The Money: What's next for Neera Tanden's nomination Manchin to oppose Biden's pick of Neera Tanden MORE (Ariz.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain planning 'intimate memoir' of life with John McCain Trump-McConnell rift divides GOP donors Arkansas state senator says he's leaving Republican Party MORE (Ariz.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonTop cops deflect blame over Capitol attack NRSC chair Scott calls for party unity: 'The Republican Civil War is now cancelled' GOP senator raises uncorroborated claims about 'provocateurs,' 'fake Trump supporters' at Capitol riot hearing 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.