By Stephen Dinan. The U.S. Border Patrol is losing agents faster than it can hire them, according to a new audit released Wednesday that said competition with other federal law enforcement and the difficulty of passing a polygraph test have sapped the agency of nearly 2,000 agents it’s supposed to have.
More than 900 agents leave each year on average but the Border Patrol only hires an average of 523 a year, the Government Accountability Office said in a broad survey of staffing and deployment challenges at the key border law enforcement agency.
The law requires the agency to have a minimum of 21,370 agents on board, but it had just 19,500 agents as of May.
That’s an even bigger problem when stacked up against President Trump’s call for hiring 5,000 more agents, to reach a workforce of 26,370.
Managers blamed everything from remote working conditions to competition with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the interior immigration agency that’s also staffing up, for difficulty in filling out ranks. (Read more from “Border Patrol Losing Agents Faster Than It Can Hire Them” HERE)
Border Patrol Losing Agents Because of Lie Detector Test Issues
David Kirk was a career Marine pilot with a top-secret security clearance and a record of flying classified missions. He was in the cockpit when President George W. Bush and Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Joe Biden traveled around the nation’s capital by helicopter. With credentials like that, Kirk was stunned that he failed a lie detector test when he applied for a pilot’s job with U.S. Customs and Border Protection [CBP.]
Two out of three applicants to CBP fail its polygraph test, according to the agency. That’s more than double the average rate of eight law enforcement agencies that provided data to the Associated Press under open-records requests.
[L]awmakers, union leaders and polygraph experts, contend that the use of lie detectors has gone awry and that many applicants are being subjected to unusually long and hostile interrogations, which some say can make people look deceptive even when they are telling the truth. . .
Interviews with six of the applicants who failed to clear the polygraph test fit a pattern: The examiner abruptly changes tone, leveling accusations of lying or holding something back. The job-seeker denies it and the questioning goes in circles for hours. Some are invited for a second visit, which ends no differently. . .
“If there’s an exam that lasts four to eight hours, your polygrapher is either incompetent or a fool or both,” said Capt. Alan Hamilton, commanding officer of the Los Angeles Police Department’s recruitment and employment division. His department’s exams last no longer than 90 minutes. (Read more from “Border Patrol Losing Agents Because of Lie Detector Tests” HERE)