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Pryor: DHS Response Highlights Effectiveness of Polygraphs in Preventing Border Patrol Corruption

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today said that new data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) highlights the effectiveness of polygraph tests as a tool to prevent corruption of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents by Mexican drug cartels. The data was provided to Senator Pryor in response to his inquiries regarding corruption cases involving CBP officials.

According to Secretary Napolitano, among CBP officials who have successfully passed polygraph tests since 2006, only one has been the subject of an investigation involving corruption. There were 585 allegations of corruption in 2009 alone.

"This data confirms what common sense already tells us: a rigorous hiring process will help prevent corruption at our borders. We cannot take short cuts when our national security is on the line," Pryor said. "My legislation strengthening CBP's hiring and retention processes will help ensure that the men and women protecting our borders are fully committed to the job. I hope Congress will take swift action to pass this critical bill."

On September 29, 2010, the Senate passed Pryor's legislation, the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010, to help prevent rogue border agents from being hired or retained. It requires CBP to follow employment policies requiring polygraph tests of all applicants for law enforcement positions. The requirement would have to be met within two years, providing the agency adequate time to hire and train examiners. The bill also requires the CBP to initiate background checks on all backlogged employees within six months.

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