Nearly half of new US Customs and Border Protection recruits are failing mandatory polygraph tests, causing a crisis in the agency which is struggling to replace thousands of agents who are scheduled to retire in the near future, according to a report.
“We’re losing a lot of people, including those who have prior military service, who have active security clearances, and they fail a CBP polygraph,” Jon Anfinsen, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News this week. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
Anfinsen added that nearly 50 percent fail the polygraph or lie-detector component of the vetting process, putting a strain on the federal agency’s capability to hire new agents.
Although the tests are not admissible in court and have been banned by most private companies to screen employees, they have been mandatory for Border Patrol for the last 10 years.
“They’ll go any other place where they’re not treated like a criminal during that portion of the hiring process,” Anfinsen said. “We’re losing a lot of really great people because of this polygraph portion.”
Polygraph test failures are not a new concern for Border Patrol agents. Two out of three CBP applicants who took a polygraph failed, The Associated Press reported in 2017. The FBI and Secret Service’s failure rates were about half that, according to the same report.
With Post wires