Congress waives lie detector tests to address border patrol agent shortage

WASHINGTON D.C. (KUSI) — Things could be changing in a big way down at the border. 

Right now, there is a massive shortage of border patrol agents, but members of Congress have a plan to change all that.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee Wednesday approved a bill that intends to change the hiring process by grandfathering in longtime military troops and law enforcement officers who have already passed prior background checks.

According to The Washington Times, the "Boots on the Border Act" allows officers in any federal, state or local law enforcement departments to waive the requirement of a polygraph test, as long as they’ve served for a continuous four years.

The act, written by Sen. John McCain, speeds up the hiring process, as the polygraph test can be a long, drawn out hurdle. 

“It’s crazy to say to somebody who has served their time in the military that they’ve got to wait 18 months to get their clearance,” Mr. McCain said.

But opponents to the bill say now is not the time to lessen the requirements for CBP officers.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) warned that the bill supports President Trump’s immigration agenda, including large-scale deportations and the construction of a wall along the Mexican border.

"Anyone who votes for this bill is voting to support and implement Donald Trump’s views on immigration, his desire to militarize our southern border, and his fantasy of a massive deportation force," Gutierrez said during House floor debate. 

"There are many ways to secure the nation. But watering down the hiring standards of our men and women in uniform should not be one of them."

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