Polygraph exemptions for CBP Hiring for Veterans who served Honorably. Period.
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This problem has affected the majority of American citizens, specifically Veterans like myself, who have applied for positions under the Department of Homeland Security. Currently, as a result to battle widespread corruption within the Department in the past, Customs and Border Protection implemented a polygraph examination in the applicant hiring process to keep criminal elements from applying. While keeping criminals from positions that protect the United States are important, the polygraph examination also alienates hundreds, if not thousands, of potential applicants, who served their country honorably and have clean records, free of criminal history, from getting hired with CBP and other agencies under DHS. Currently, the Trump administration wants to add thousands of potential agents for Customs and Border Patrol but currently there is an 80% plus failure rate resulting from flawed polygraph examinations which are keeping CBP from reaching even their current hire mark of 2000 agents. This has affected me personally because I recently took the polygraph exam and was told that my results were unfavorable because I refused to confess to a criminal past that never occurred. After four hours of answering the same five questions from an interviewer who accused me of being a drug abuser, my application to CBP was withdrawn and closed. I was also informed that my results could not be appealed at all and that I would have to wait two more years before re-applying to any job under DHS due to a bad polygraph result. I did not fail this exam and I find this to be unjustified and the situation mishandled because I currently hold an active TS/SCI security clearance and have a passing polygraph that was taken last year. I recently learned of a law that allows Veterans with security clearances could waive the polygraph portion of the applicant process. However, because CBP claims that, because it was recently implemented and enacted, they have no idea how to implement it into the hiring process for applicants that meet this requirement. This waiver was passed last year under H.R. 4909, "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017", Sec. 1097; "Waiver of Certain Polygraph Examination Requirements" and enacted into law at the beginning of 2017. I feel that DHS, specifically CBP, in their negligence and failure to inform notice of the new addition to the law to current polygraph examiners, and in turn, to potential applicants, specifically Veterans with high security clearances, need to review this flawed hiring standard and re-evaluate its merits. The Department of Homeland Security needs to either exempt all Veterans who have served Honorably, regardless of security clearance level, or get rid of the polygraph exam portion all together for all applicants from the applicant hiring process. There are many good and law-abiding American citizens, who want to serve and protect their country, paying the price of being denied employment because of the illicit actions of a few criminal elements. They should have been weeded out by capable background investigators and not a mechanical device that is designed to fail by polygraph examiners who are rated on how many applicants they can disqualify from the application process. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security should not rely on such an outdated system, a system which is prohibited in the hiring practices of civilian employers and whose results are not admissible in a court of law, to define the character and integrity of law-abiding American citizens who want to serve their country honorably.
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