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Women’s Refugee Commission Stands for Strong Customs and Border Protection Hiring Standards

Washington, DC – Women’s Refugee Commission, today, expressed opposition for proposed legislation that would weaken Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hiring standards by waiving the use of polygraph for certain applicants. The bill was introduced last month by U.S. Representative Martha McSally (AZ-02). The use of polygraphs has identified countless cases of criminal activity by applicants that might otherwise have been entrusted with the safety of our nation’s borders. This elimination would leave holes for widespread corruption within the agency and endanger the lives of migrant children and in fact anyone traveling across borders. 

The Women’s Refugee Commission has long advocated for better screening, training, and oversight of CBP. According to Leah Chavla, Program Officer at WRC:

“In 2010, Congress took a step in the right direction in the Anti-Border Corruption Act by mandating polygraphs for all CBP applicants, a practice consistent with other federal law enforcement agencies. The attempt to weaken these standards and the current hiring system, which still need additional strengthening, is a threat to the agency and our nation. Congress should instead increase the oversight and accountability of CBP in light of longstanding issues, such as the over 50 reported deaths due to encounters with CBP agents and consistent reports of failure to properly screen and process vulnerable children and adults arriving at our border, excessive use of force, and sexual abuse and misconduct. The polygraph is and has represented a crucial step in the integrity of the CBP hiring process, and must be maintained as the Trump Administration and Congress ramp up border enforcement.