Crenshaw, Rogers, Higgins and McSally Introduce Legislation To Improve Customs and Border Protection Hiring Process

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Dan Crenshaw joined Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Mike Rogers and Representative Clay Higgins in introducing the Anti-Border Corruption Improvement Act in the House. The legislation seeks to quicken the hiring process for Customs and Border Protection applicants by giving the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner the authority to waive the polygraph test for a narrow set of applicants including veterans and state, local, and federal law enforcement officers. This will help simplify a complex 11-step hiring process that averages between 274 days for agents and 318 days for officers. Not only does this improve processing times for CBP applicants that already maintain the public’s trust, but it also saves taxpayer dollars. Polygraph tests costs an average of more than $2,000. With only one in every three applicants getting hired, that costs an average of more than $6,000 per CBP hire. Senator Martha McSally (AZ) introduced a companion piece of legislation in the Senate. She championed a version of this bill in the 115th Congress which passed the House with strong bipartisan support.

“Our Customs and Border Protection agents are drastically undermanned, and this bill aims to help fix that,” said Congressman Crenshaw. “By eliminating the unnecessary and costly polygraph test for vetted applicants with military and law enforcement backgrounds, this legislation quickens the hiring process and eases the burden on applicants, CBP recruitment efforts, and the taxpayer.”

“The men and women of Customs and Border Protection are some of the finest law enforcement professionals – but unfortunately there are simply not enough agents and officers to get the job done,” said Senator McSally. “We need to streamline the hiring process while maintaining the same rigorous standards to get the additional help to our frontlines.”

“Adequate manpower is a critical element of border security,” said Ranking Member Rogers. “This legislation will help CBP fill critically-needed positions, while ensuring that our law enforcement is qualified and ready for the job. Oversight, Management, and Accountability Ranking Member Crenshaw deserves serious credit for his efforts.”

“In addition to enhanced physical barriers and modern technology, we must have additional manpower to properly secure our border. CBP agents are highly-professional and patriotic in carrying out their mission, but the current surge in illegal crossings has created a dire need for additional boots on the ground,” said Congressman Higgins. “Men and women with law enforcement or military backgrounds are prime candidates to join CBP, and they’re needed on the border sooner rather than later. I’m proud to cosponsor Congressman Crenshaw’s bill implementing a polygraph waiver and expediting hiring for these applicants.”