Border Patrol Corruption Concerns

AFL-CIO group warns the border patrol is cutting corners to boost numbers.

The National Border Patrol Council of the American Federation of Government Employees AFL-CIO has sounded another alarm about U.S. enforcement policy – this time sharply criticizing the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agency’s new strategy to increase the force pronto, in part by truncating background checks.

On Jan. 18, CPB issued a notice on fedagent.com, which rolled out the expedited hiring program. Applicants may “jump-start the process” of becoming border patrol agents, taking just 30 days to complete certification and training, according to the notice. It breathlessly entices applicants: “Test results are available the same day the exam is taken. Applicants who pass the test go to Dallas for an accelerated, 2-day hiring process, which includes a background check, polygraph exam, medical and fitness testing, and oral interview.” However, the agents union issued an immediate rejoinder via its website, which states: “The Union predicts this policy [incomplete background checks] will cause the agency more grief than it’s worth. The hiring of criminals, illegal aliens, and unqualified applicants will go through the roof.”

Apparently, the union’s detailed testimony on the subject, entitled “Ensuring We Have Well-Trained Boots on the Ground at the Border,” which was delivered June 19, 2007, before the U.S. Senate by NBPC President T.J. Donner, had little effect. Donner had cautioned: “Every sizeable law enforcement agency that has ever engaged in an overambitious recruitment program has suffered the inevitable consequences of increased corruption and attrition … with a resultant loss of public confidence.” In the past, the union has opposed relying on barriers and deploying the military at the border, to name a few disputes. A clearinghouse for articles on border corruption may be found at here.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

U.S.-Mexico Border, Border Patrol, T.J. Donner

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