The Department of Homeland Security is looking to relax hiring requirements for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in order to comply with President Trump’s call for additional immigration officials.
According to memos written by CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and obtained by Foreign Policy, CBP may need to alter its employment process in order to increase the number of agents from 19,627 to 26,370.
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The memo says that with the proposed changes, which include waiving some polygraph requirements, it would cost $2.2 billion over the course of five years to hire the number of officials Trump has called for.
The memo also discusses relaxing the entrance exam and background investigations.
In discussing the polygraph requirement, the memo said that the polygraph test “has been identified as both a significant deterrent and point of failure.” Sources indicate that two out of three applicants fail this portion of the process.
CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan stated, “We’d like to have the flexibility to make those decisions, instead of having every single person who applies be subject to the polygraph,” he said. “But we’re going to make those decisions very carefully in balancing the risk against the benefits.”