Why Are so Many CBP Applicants Failing Their Polygraph Tests?

AP Photo/Eric Gay

A polygraph test is part of the standard operating procedure for joining a law enforcement agency and some government agencies. Every cop I have ever known has undergone the test. While not admissible in court, the test can serve to provide indicators of issues that could present problems with an applicant, and from time to time, polygraphs have even revealed an individual’s criminal past. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is no different. Applicants are expected to take and pass a polygraph in order to serve. But an odd trend has been developing. More than half to two-thirds of the applicants to the CBP are failing these tests.


Why? It may be that as society and behavior have declined in recent decades, more people are engaging in behavior that would preclude them from serving in law enforcement, including the CBP. Chances are, you could take any given person’s social media history and find things that just ten years ago would have made your average longshoreman blush. But Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council union, has a different theory. He believes the failures may be intentional, not on the part of the applicants, but by the design of the government.

Judd told Just the News, “They’re failing an awful lot of qualified candidates. And the reason why we know that they’re failing them is because these individuals have already passed other polygraph tests, or they fail ours and then they go pass a state polygraph test.” He continued, “We are losing out on a lot of applicants because they don’t want the number of border patrol agents. They do not want to ensure that we have enough for patrol agents. Everything that this administration is doing – they are undermining the mission of the Border Patrol. And the reason that they’re doing it is because we have activists that are running law enforcement right now… And those activists, they do not want the Border Patrol. They do not want law enforcement to succeed. It’s all about defunding police. It’s all about open borders.”


For its part, DHS is denying that the “fix is in” when it comes to using polygraph tests to reduce the number of CBP officers. But Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), who is a member of the and member of the House Intelligence Committee, told the site:

About two-thirds of the applicants for Border Patrol are being taken out because of a lie detector test, a lie detector test that there has got to be significant problems with. I know people who have cleared every lie detector test that they’ve ever been through that didn’t pass the one that Homeland Security has given them. We need to be fixing those types of problems and making it easier for people to serve in law enforcement and help protect us and not harder.

Back in March, Dan Crenshaw, Henry Cuellar, and Marianette Miller-Meeks reintroduced the Anti-Border Corruption Improvement Act, which would waive the polygraph requirement for officers who have already passed the test.

It is no surprise that Mayorkas & Co. would claim that their hands are clean when it comes to the issue of thinning the ranks of the CBP. After all, this is the same DHS that trotted out the narrative that CBP agents on horseback were whipping Haitian migrants until it had no choice but to admit the truth. And given the contents of the average news cycle, anything is possible under this administration.



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