The House of Representatives voted last week to waive polygraph tests for certain border agents, despite heavy criticism from border groups, reports The Hill. The bill would make polygraph exemptions for candidates who are law enforcement officials or military veterans.
Christian Ramirez with the Southern Border Communities Coalition released the following statement:
“To lower hiring standards for Border Patrol is an affront to border communities who have urged the federal government to implement sorely needed oversight and accountability mechanisms in the nation’s largest law enforcement agency. Today’s misguided vote in the House of Representatives compounds the public’s mistrust for an agency already riddled with corruption and a culture of violence and impunity that has deteriorated its credibility in our communities, threatening the security and quality of life for the 15 million folks who call the borderlands home.”
A 2010 anti-corruption law mandates that all candidates for border agent positions pass a lie detector test.
In 2013, the Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that some potential agents admitted to crimes as serious as kidnapping and rape during the exams.
Seven Democratic members of Congress visited the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana on June 3 after Rep. Juan Vargas, who represents California’s 51st District, re-introduced a series of bills aimed at helping deported veterans receive aid (to which they are entitled through the VA) and/or U.S. citizenship.