In The News
HOMELAND SECURITY TODAY: House Passes Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act of 2017
The Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act of 2017 (HR 2213), introduced by Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Martha McSally (R-AZ), which would give the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner limited discretion to waive required pre-employment polygraphs for candidates already thoroughly vetted was passed passed by the House.
Specifically, the waivers would apply to candidates who have served as law enforcement officers or former members of the armed services and have held a recent security clearance.
McSally said in a statement that CBP “continues to struggle to recruit and vet employees. The lengthy process involved with a pre-employment polygraph requirement slows the hiring process considerably. As a result, manpower at our border is critically understaffed.”
House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX), said, “Our national security depends on ensuring there are the right number of well-trained agents and officers on our front lines. This commonsense, bipartisan solution expedites the hiring process for those who have previously taken an oath and put their lives on the line for our country, allowing CBP to more effectively carry out their mission of safeguarding America's borders and ports of entry.”
McSally said, “All of the technology and infrastructure deployed along the southern border is useless if we don’t have a well-trained agent or officer present to intercept a drug load, screen cargo or speed legitimate transit through a port of entry. CBP has invested $200 million in port of entry infrastructure in Arizona alone over the last eight years, but there isn’t enough staff to open every available lane. By giving CBP discretionary ability to hire qualified, vetted individuals who already have earned public trust, this bill will increase the security of our nation and facilitate cross-border commerce and tourism – so vital to the Arizona and national economy. I am pleased to see [this legislation passed by] the House.”
Henry Cuellar (D-TX) said on the House floor he supports the bipartisan bill he co-sponsored will help solve the severe staffing shortage faced by CBP.
“Customs and Border Protection is facing a staffing deficit of more than 3,000 positions,” Cuellar said. “That puts our homeland security at risk -- one reason for this dangerous shortage: applicants for every single law enforcement position must take a polygraph examination. Even current and former law enforcement and military members with Secret and Top Secret security clearances, must go through this laborious and failure-prone process."
He stated, "The Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act of 2017 would streamline the hiring process for certain current ‘cleared’ federal employees, law enforcement, or military members to join CBP after their background check, without having to go through a redundant polygraph. This is a common-sense measure to solve an obvious problem, make a government procedure more efficient, and secure our homeland.”