Background Investigations

Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010

On December 21, 2010 Congress passed the 2010 Anti-Border Corruption Act (S. 3243 [Enrolled]) affecting polygraph examinations and periodic reinvestigations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) law enforcement officers (LEO).

The bill made the following findings:

  • Since 2003, 129 CBP officials have been arrested on corruption charges
  • During 2009, 576 investigations were opened on allegations of improper conduct by CBP officials.
  • CBP policy requires all applicants for LEO positions to receive a polygraph examination and a background investigation before being offered employment and a periodic reinvestigation every 5 years.
  • In 2009, less than 15 percent of applicants for CBP LEO positions received polygraph examinations.
  • As of March 2010, CBP had a backlog of approximately 10,000 periodic reinvestigations.
  • Without additional resources, by the end of fiscal year 2010, the backlog of periodic reinvestigations will increase to approximately 19,000.

Without providing any additional funding, the bill requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that within 2 years all applicants for LEO positions in CBP receive polygraph examinations before being hired and that within 180 days periodic reinvestigations be initiated on CBP LEO personnel as required.

The bill itself is a scant 2 pages, but the report that accompanies the bill is longer and provides background on the corruption problems CBP has encounter due to rapid growth and targeting by Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs).  The report indicates that:

  • CBP has stated that they want to administer the [polygraph] exam to all applicants, but they have not been given the resources necessary to accomplish this. Of those applicants who do take a polygraph test, CBP finds 60 percent of them ineligible for employment, primarily due to prior drug use or a criminal history that the applicant had not previously disclosed.
  • Mexican DTOs supply illicit narcotics to 230 U.S. cities, and they utilize a broad range of tactics to ensure the successful transport of their narcotics. These tactics include bribery and intimidation of U.S. law enforcement personnel, particularly those charged with securing the border and interdicting contraband.
  • DTOs have been attempting to infiltrate [CBP] by sending drug traffickers to take the entrance examination.

Comment Archive

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    Now, if they would only treat the criminals and drug cartels that come across the border that way, we may actually get somewhere!!!!

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    This is not the only agency not doing checks before hiring.

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    I am currently doing PSI for Kroll. Will Homeland Security or Border Patrol investigators be hired directly by Dept of H.S. or CBP in the future.

    I am aware it has been done prior.

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    I have not heard anything like that. Seems as if the contract companies are still bidding the work. I’m not sure the agencies want the gorilla on their backs.