This Bill Will Increase Corruption among Border Patrol Officers. So Why Did 51 Dems Support It?

Trump’s plan to ramp up the militarization of the border keeps hitting a snag: the people applying to be border patrol agents keep failing a mandatory polygraph test.

The polygraph requirement was instituted as part of a 2010 bill that sought to address a growing wave of corruption in the Border Patrol that accompanied a hiring surge.

However, rather than wondering why the jobs are attracting so many people who can’t pass a polygraph test, Republicans have decided that the proper solution is to start waiving it for select groups like cops and veterans.

As James Tomsheck, the former Assistant Commissioner of CBP for Internal Affairs, recently explained, there is no sound reason to waive the polygraph requirement for these groups:

Nor do these groups present a lesser risk of integrity violations: they have been involved in some of the most serious CBP corruption activity and excessive force incidents. Importantly, very few members of the military take polygraphs or have comprehensive background checks, and the quality of state or local law enforcement polygraphs varies widely. Past service in these capacities is by no means a proxy for proper, thorough vetting by CBP.

Tomsheck goes on to point out that the Department of Homeland Security’s own CBP Integrity Advisory Panel actually recommended expanding the polygraph requirement given the rampant corruption that still exists.

The Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act, which passed 282 to 137 on Wednesday, will do the opposite of what its title suggests: rather than curbing corruption, it will open the floodgates for it.

Every Republican present voted for it, and 51 Democrats joined them.

Who were the 51 Democrats?

Joyce Beatty (OH-03)

Ami Bera (CA-07)

Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL)

Cheri Bustos (IL-17)

Matt Cartwright (PA-17)

Kathy Castor (FL-14)

Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)

Jim Cooper (TN-05)

Jim Costa (CA-16)

Joe Courtney (CT-02)

Henry Cuellar (TX-28)

John Delaney (MD-06)

Val Demings (FL-10)

Marcia Fudge (OH-11)

Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15)

Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05)

Gene Green (TX-29)

Brian Higgins (NY-26)

Bill Keating (MA-09)

Ron Kind (WI-03)

Annie Kuster (NH-02)

Jim Langevin (RI-02)

John Larson (CT-01)

Al Lawson (FL-05)

Dan Lipinski (IL-03)

Bill Loebsack (IA-02)

Stephen Lynch (MA-08)

Sean Maloney (NY-18)

Don McEachin (VA-04)

Gregory Meeks (NY-05)

Stephanie Murphy (FL-07)

Rick Nolan (MN-08)

Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)

Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)

Scott Peters (CA-52)

Collin Peterson (MN-07)

Chellie Pingree (ME-01)

Kathleen Rice (NY-04)

Cedric Richmond (LA-02)

Jacky Rosen (NV-03)

Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)

Kurt Schrader (OR-05)

Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

Tom Suozzi (NY-04)

Eric Swalwell (CA-15)

Bennie Thompson (MS-02)

Dina Titus (NV-01)

Marc Veasey (TX-33)

Filemon Vela (TX-34)

Tm Walz (MN-01)

Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12)

Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) offered an amendment to prohibit the bill from going into effect until (1) the CBP completes its evaluation and pilot program of the Test for Espionage, Sabotage, and Corruption (TES-C) which is then certified by the DHS Inspector General and reported to Congress and (2) the DHS Inspector General completes a risk assessment of the population that could receive waivers and certifies to Congress that providing waivers to these individuals would not endanger national security, undermine workforce integrity, or increase corruption in the agency.

It failed 179 to 238.

Three Republicans — Justin Amash (MI-03), Ted Poe (TX-02), and Chris Smith (NJ-04) — joined Democrats in voting for it. And 11 Democrats joined the GOP in voting against it.

Here are the 11 Democrats:

Jim Costa (CA-16)

Henry Cuellar (TX-28)

Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15)

Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05)

Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)

Stephanie Murphy (FL-07)

Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)

Collin Peterson (MN-07)

Jacky Rosen (NV-03)

Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)

Filemon Vela (TX-34)

Like what you read? Give Jonathan Cohn a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.