Mi Familia Vota: Lowering Hiring Standards for Largest Law Enforcement Agency in the Country Would be Disastrous



May 16, 2017



Anna Castro | annac@mifamiliavota.org | 619.228.5332

Mi Familia Vota: Lowering Hiring Standards for Largest Law Enforcement Agency in the Country Would be Disastrous

Trump’s mass deportation agenda would require lowering hiring standards for agency frequently under legal scrutiny for civil rights abuses

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In order to enact President Donald Trump’s Constitutionally fraught mass deportation agenda, Congress is considering a set of bills that would lower hiring standards for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The House is considering H.R. 2213, a bill to waive polygraph tests for certain CBP applicants, which will be voted on tomorrow. The Senate is marking up a similar bill in the Homeland Security Committee.

What Congress is considering flies in the face of the facts presented to them by countless advocates and through costly litigation. Advocates have been working to hold CBP agents accountable since the last hiring surge and this would be a tremendous step backward in upholding the rights promised to all under the U.S. Constitution.

The following is a statement by Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota:

“Law enforcement agents are charged with upholding the law. They reflect not only the values of our country, but are also meant to be trusted members of our communities.

“CBP, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, is instead known for its culture of impunity. Almost 200 current or former CBP employees have been arrested or indicted since October 2004 for corruption-related activities, including the smuggling of immigrants and drugs. As of October 2012, 125 had been convicted. From January 2010, more than 50 people have died in encounters with CBP agents. With a track record like this, Congress should increase oversight and accountability of CBP, not water down standards.

“Lowering polygraph standards when it is known that hundreds have admitted to serious criminal activity during the screening process is irresponsible and sends the message that Trump’s mass deportation agenda is more important than upholding our values and what we know to be right. The conservative-majority Congress has a choice to make: score cheap political points or look at the facts and hold this lawless agency accountable. They must vote against these bills – the nation’s conscience is on the line.”