Why I Voted in Support of the Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2213)

Rep. Beto O'Rourke
Jun 8, 2017 · 2 min read


383 days: that is how long it takes on average for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to fill one job, which involves 12 different steps such as an entrance exam, background check, and a polygraph exam. At the current hiring rate, CBP vets 150–200 applicants just to hire one officer or agent, and the agency is currently short 1,000 officers at our ports of entry and 1,800 agents. If we want to capitalize on our relationship with Mexico and Canada, increase trade, reduce wait times and improve quality of life for people who live along our country’s borders we need to make sure that CBP has the tools it needs to hire efficiently and effectively.

That is why I voted in support of the Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2213), which gives the CBP Commissioner authority to waive the polygraph exam on a case-by-case basis for certain applicants. For example, if a veteran with 3 years of honorable service previously held a security clearance and passed a background check during time in the military, the CBP Commissioner could on a case-by-case basis opt to waive the polygraph test for the position. The veteran would still be subject to 11 other hiring requirements. The Commissioner could also do this for local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel who meet high standards of service and have passed background checks throughout their careers. This should help speed up the hiring process and provide the CBP Commissioner additional authorities to recruit and hire quality CBP officers and Border Patrol agents.

I voted for this bill which passed the House by a vote of 282–137.

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