The hole in border security

We can put 100,000 new agents out to protect the border, but if there are not honest, competent people, it’s not really going to make much difference. The Post ran a fascinating profile (read it, seriously; go on, click the link) about a US Border Agent who worked with Mexican drug cartels to facilitate the smuggling of drugs and humans until she was finally brought down in a story that resembles a classic Cold War espionage tale.  This aspect of the story really stuck out to me:

Homeland Security statistics suggest the rush to fill thousands of border enforcement jobs has translated into lower hiring standards. Barely 15 percent of Customs and Border Protection applicants undergo polygraph tests and of those, 60 percent were rejected by the agency because they failed the polygraph or were not qualified for the job, said Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), who oversees a Senate subcommittee on homeland security.

Yikes, if I read that right, that means there’s probably also 60% of that 85% non-polygraphed group that is likewise unqualified, but hired anyway. Does not exactly give a lot of confidence in our efforts to stop illegal immigration or drug smuggling.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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