President Obama Signs Anti-Border Corruption Act Into Law; Requires All Prospective Border Agents to Undergo Polygraph Test

Customs and Border Protection Patch.jpg
President Obama has signed into law a measure that requires that all prospective Customs and Border Protection employees undergo a polygraph test.

It seems like a no-brainer, especially considering that federal officials who investigate corruption within the agency say that polygraph tests are an effective tool for weeding out bad seeds.


Even law enforcement agencies throughout Arizona are required to conduct polygraphs on potential cops, according to AZ POST rules. (The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training board establishes the minimum hiring and training requirements for law enforcement officers.)

U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas) who introduced the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010, told New Times that Customs and Border Protection officials "should have been doing it all along, but they were not complying with their own rules and regulations."

Now, CPB has a two-year window to start conducting pre-employment polys on all job candidates. The new law also forces CBP to clear a backlog of 19,000 agents and officers who should have undergone periodic background checks. Agency officials have about six months to at least initiative those follow-up background checks on individuals with security-sensitive jobs.

Lawmakers argue that frequent background checks are vital because even if a Border Patrol agent joined the agency with all the best intentions, a follow-up check would reveal tell-tale signs that he or she has succumb to corruption.

For instance, does an agent pulling in $50,000 a year all of sudden have several luxury cars and multiple beach-front houses? And yes, some have been stupid enough to splurge their new found "wealth" in very obvious ways.

Consider Margarita Crispin, a former Customs and Border Protection officer serving 20 years in prison for working with drug cartels. She was a former cop recruited by drug cartel leaders to join CBP and look the other way when drug-packed vehicles passed through her lane.

When she landed on the FBI's radar, their reports reveal that "not long after she was hired, Crispin -- who lived meagerly in El Paso -- acquired two expensive homes in Mexico, along with several luxury vehicles, but she attempted to cover her tracks with straw buyers."

As the feds continue to ramp up the number of agents along the U.S.-Mexico border, leaders of drug cartels have found that bribery can be an effective way around those increased security measures. Drug traffickers skillfully zero in on corruptible agents and dangle before them money, cars, jewelry -- even sex -- to lure them into a life of crime.

It becomes an even easier ploy when federal agencies have not been thoroughly vetting the men and women they hire to stand guard along the U.S. borders.

Read "Culture of Cruelty," a New Times article that delves into other problems within the immigration-enforcement agency.

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6 comments
George Maschke
George Maschke

Polygraph screening of Customs and Border Patrol applicants is only a "no-brainer" if you're ill-informed about polygraphy.

As Homer Gragenfeld noted, the National Academy of Sciences published a scathing review of polygraphy in 2003. It's key conclusion was that "[polygraph testing's] accuracy in distinguishing actual or potential security violators from innocent test takers is insufficient to justify reliance on its use in employee security screening in federal agencies."

Misplaced reliance on polygraphy, which is inherently biased against the most honest of persons and yet easily countermeasured by liars who understand the trickery (not science) on which the "test" relies, is likely to produce a less honest, less ethical, and more corrupt organization.

NO_BSGUY
NO_BSGUY

These polygraph clowns have thrown down the gauntlet. The polygraph has no validity what so ever. The key to beating this sham machine is just not believe that it works. The secret to the polygraph is whether or not the examiner can get the adrenals released and in sufficient levels for his bio-rhythm sensors to read reactions. Once you know its a sham, then relax, it really has no power what so ever in detecting deception. Add a modicum of counter-interrogation information and what they are looking for (Kinesic Analysis) and how the process works. The usual reaction is laughter, which releases endorphins, which will actually counter the adrenal reactions. Making the subject less readable as a added benefit. The subject just sits there enjoying the polygraphers carnival act side show. No reactions, and valid info on the paperwork means a pass. We know how to beat your machine polygraph examiners.

Homer Gragenfeld
Homer Gragenfeld

The National Academy of Science issued a 2003 report saying that the polygraph as an employment screening tool was useless in weeding out bad apples and that for every potential spy it caught, it would needlessly cast suspicion on thousands...

botanybay
botanybay

They don't already have this requirement? You can't get a job as a cop on an Indian reservation without a polygraph test.

This might have to do with Clinton. He lowered the standards so that some of his key staff members could pass the extremely rigid FBI background checks, and that included easing the polygraph requirement.

Long_Rifle
Long_Rifle

Spoken like the true mouth piece of a clandestine US government website. Anonymous knows, who and what you and your website Antipolygraph.org are. The whole world knows too, as we have spread the world across all of our underground blogs. Prove us wrong Mr. Maschke ! Your website is now impotent.

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