DHS OIG Report Finds Waste in Administering Polygraph Exams to CBP Job Applicants

DHS OIG Report Finds Waste in Administering Polygraph Exams to CBP Job Applicants

Sarah Jackson No Comments
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DHS OIG Report Finds Waste in Administering Polygraph Exams to CBP Job Applicants

On August 10, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report showing that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spent more than $5,000,000 on polygraph exams for job applicants who had already admitted to disqualifying criminal acts and/or drug use prior to the polygraph exams [PDF version].

The DHS OIG analyzed 380 polygraph exams administered to applicants between 2013-2016. Nearly 20-percent of those who were administered the polygraph exams had previously admitted to criminal activity or drug use that disqualified them from being hired at CBP, regardless of the results of the polygraph exams. The CBP’s own data indicated that approximately 2,300 applicants who took polygraph exams admitted to disqualifying offenses or factors prior to their exams, including:

  • Illegal drug use;
  • Drug smuggling;
  • Human trafficking; and
  • Having close personal relationships with people who commit such crimes.

DHS OIG

The DHS OIG noted that each polygraph exam costs taxpayers $2,200, thus explaining the estimated high cost associated with the useless exams.

The DHS OIG attributed the problem to the CBP’s failure to consistently use its on-call adjudication process, which allows examiners to determine prior to administering the polygraph exam whether the job applicant had already made admissions that rendered him or her un-hirable by the CBP.

In response to the findings, the CBP implemented the OIG’s recommendation to immediately contact adjudicators when an applicant admits to wrongdoing. Upon the determination of an adjudicator that the applicant is unsuitable based on his or her admissions, the examiner ends the test and the applicant is removed from the hiring process. Additionally, the CBP implemented a pilot program for a new polygraph format. The DHS OIG stated that the CBP’s implementation of its recommendations has both improved efficiency and allowed the CBP to focus on suitable candidates who are more likely to pass the polygraph and meet the requirements for the position.

Analysis

Although $5 million dollars is a miniscule amount of the DHS’s budget, the report is nevertheless troubling for two reasons.

Firstly, although the amount is small in the grand scheme of DHS funding, it is still an egregious waste of taxpayer money on polygraph exams for persons patently unsuitable for work at the CBP. The government has a fundamental obligation to not waste taxpayers’ money.

Secondly, the Trump Administration has requested significant amounts of new funding for the DHS in order to facilitate hiring and new initiatives regarding immigration enforcement. Unsurprisingly, the Trump Administration has thus far had difficulty securing its desired funding from Congress, and it will likely continue to have such difficulty going forward. In the meantime, it is important for the DHS to carefully study how it spends the money that it already receives. The OIG pointed to a similar issue in the summary of the report, namely, the on-going difficulty in completing the CBP hiring surge ordered by President Trump:

“Given its plans to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol Agents, it is important that CBP focus its resources on the most qualified and suitable applicants.”

Regarding both money and resource allocation, the DHS’s favorable response to the OIG report is certainly encouraging. We can only hope that the reforms will fully resolve the scourge of frivolous polygraph examinations.

Published at Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:53:00 +0000

Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

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Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

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Published at Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:14:00 +0000

Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

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Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

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Published at Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:14:00 +0000

Here’s What Taking the Bar Exam Is Really Like

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Here’s What Taking the Bar Exam Is Really Like

(Bloomberg Law) — Bloomberg Law dropped in on Manhattan’s Javits Center on July 24, 2012 to ask dozens of people taking New York’s bar exam how they prepared and what it was like to take the test alongside thousands of would-be lawyers.

Produced, Shot, and Edited by: Josh Block
Follow: @JoshBlockNYC

Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

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Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

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Published at Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:14:00 +0000

EB-1A vs EB-1B | Advantages, Requirements, Priority Dates

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EB-1A vs EB-1B | Advantages, Requirements, Priority Dates

EB-1A vs EB-1B

As the most prestigious levels of the employment-based green cards, the EB-1A and EB-1B immigrant visas share many advantages. However, they do differ in some key areas. Find out which green card is the right fit for your situation through the differences in requirements and benefits.

The EB-1A Breakdown

The EB-1A visa is designed for people with extraordinary ability. On the outset, this category may seem broad or vague. However, the USCIS has a strict definition of what qualifies as “extraordinary”.

For the most part, the EB-1A has a variety of fields that are available for eligibility including business, art, education, athletics, and science. This allows a broad spectrum of people from a variety of backgrounds to apply. However, meeting the high standards for qualification can be very difficult.

One of the major benefits of the EB-1A in comparison to the EB-1B is the former allows applicants to self-petition without the need of a job offer or employer. This gives EB-1A holders substantial freedom in the nature of their work in the U.S.

Requirements

The greatest difference between the EB-1A and EB-1B green cards is the list of requirements. For the EB-1A, you need to meet one of two major requirements.

  1. You must present evidence of an internationally-recognized prize or award such as a Nobel Prize, Grammy, or Pulitzer Prize. or;
  2. You must have evidence of three of the following examples of your extraordinary ability:
    • Having authored scholarly articles in your field that have been published in distinguished professional journals.
    • Lesser prizes and awards on a national or international scale in your field
    • Having published material that mentions you in a major trade publication
    • Participation as a judge in an individual or panel situation in which you critique the work of your peers
    • Membership in a distinguished organization or association that requires extraordinary ability in order to be a member.
    • Significant scholarly, business, or scientific contributions to your field
    • Having your work displayed at a distinguished exhibit
    • Commercial success in the arts
    • A large salary indicating your extraordinary ability
    • Having a critical or leading role in a reputable organization

As you can see, producing the evidence to qualify for the EB-1A green card is not something that many applicants can accomplish. All told, you must demonstrate that you are in a top percentile of professionals in your field. If you can prove this but your evidence does not fall into the above categories, ask your immigration attorney if it can be submitted.

The EB-1B Breakdown

The EB-1B green card, on the other hand, is for outstanding researchers and professors. Again, the word “outstanding” can be interpreted many ways. However, the USCIS provides a defined list of evidence that can be submitted to prove that you are eligible for this green card.

Compared to the EB-1A, the EB-1B has a relatively limited scope of professions that can qualify. Where the EB-1A allows for extraordinary people from the fields of business, art, education, science, and athletics to apply, the EB-1B is only given to researchers and professors.

Unlike the EB-1A, you cannot self-petition for an EB-1B green card. In order to apply, you must have a job offer from a sponsoring U.S. employer who will file a petition on your behalf. While this means that your employer will absorb the I-140 filing fee, it does limit the work you can do in the U.S.

Requirements

To be considered eligible, you must have at least 3 years of experience in your field and be coming to the U.S. with the intention of gaining tenure or the equivalent in a research position. In addition, you need to present evidence of two of the following:

  • Recognized prizes or awards for your abilities
  • Having officially judged the work of your peers on a panel or on an individual level.
  • Being the author of scholarly books or articles published in distinguished journals related to your field
  • Published material that is written about your work by others in a reputable publication.
  • Having made significant contributions to your field
  • Membership in an organization or association that requires outstanding achievement for entry.

At its core, this list aims to prove to the USCIS that you have “outstanding achievements in a particular academic field”. If you have evidence that supports this idea that is not listed, work with your immigration attorney to see if it qualifies as appropriate evidence.

Processing Times

Because the EB-1A and EB-1B green cards are in the same preference level, there is no difference in their processing times according to the regulations. However, this does not mean that each petition’s processing time will not differ. Each service center has a unique caseload which can cause the waiting time to vary widely. On average, however, the I-140 petition takes about 6 months to process.

Priority Dates

Once your I-140 has been approved, you will need to wait until your priority date is current. If you are not familiar with priority dates, here is a quick rundown:

The date that the USCIS receives your petition will become your official priority date. You will need to compare this date with the final action dates given by the Department of State in their monthly visa bulletin. These final action dates are broken up according to green card preference level and country of origin.

When your priority date matches or passes the final action date in your level and country, your priority date ill be considered current, allowing you to adjust your status if you are already in the U.S. or begin consular processing if you are abroad.

Usually, all of the dates for the EB-1 preference level are current, meaning that you would be able to adjust your status as soon as your I-140 was approved. However, as of the June 2017 visa bulletin, a backlog of several years has built up for nationals of China and India.

Premium Processing

A question that we get often in our office is this: can I use premium processing for my petition? The answer, in this case, is yes. Premium processing an optional service that shortens your petition’s waiting time from a 6-month average to 15 calendar days for an additional fee. This fee can be paid either by you or your employer.

If the USCIS does not process your petition within that time frame, then you will receive a refund of your premium processing fee. This is one of the few circumstances where the USCS will issue a refund.

This service is available to all visas and green cards that use the I-140 or I-129 petitions in their application processes. The only exception to this is the EB-1C green card for multinational managers and executives.

Conclusion: EB-1A vs EB-1B

In the end, it all depends on your qualifications. If you are one of the rare individuals that qualify for both the EB-1A and EB-1B green cards, then you may want to consider pursuing the former for the advantages that it holds.

Not needing an employer and job offer can be very liberating depending on the kind of work that you wish to do in the U.S. The EB-1A also encompasses a greater variety of fields and is more inclusive for extraordinary individuals. In addition, the EB-1B requires applicants to have at least 3 years of experience and strictly defines what your intentions must be while the EB-1A does not have such requirements.

In either case, the processing time and fees will generally be the same. If you self-petition, however, you will be responsible for the I-140 filing fee, which essentially makes the EB-1B the less expensive option.

In any case, it is important never to make a large decision like this one without the help of an experienced expert. Just like it’s not a good idea to navigate real estate without an agent, you should always have an immigration attorney in your corner in the world of immigration law.

How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help

Now that you know the differences between the EB-1A and EB-1B green cards, you are better informed to make a decision concerning which path you wish to take. However, the application process is difficult and must be done correctly to ensure that you have the best chances for approval.

Hiring an immigration attorney can help you address issues before they arise. When it comes to gathering the right evidence, filing forms, paying fees, and communicating with the USCIS, it pays to have an experienced attorney by your side.

Here at SGM Law Group, our employment immigration lawyers have years of experience helping extraordinary and outstanding professionals gain lawful permanent residence in the U.S. To get in touch with one of our attorneys, you can fill out this contact form and schedule your comprehensive consultation today.

Published at Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:00:23 +0000

Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

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Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

If you need an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration, deportation, or immigration appeals attorney, please call our toll-free number at:

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Published at Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:14:00 +0000

Find New York’s Best Startup Business Lawyer | Call 201-446-9643

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Find New York’s Best Startup Business Lawyer | Call 201-446-9643

Looking, Searching, Choosing, Need To, Trying To Find, Hire, Pick, The Best, Top Rated, Expert, Leading, Experienced, Smart, Skilled, Business Corporate Startup Lawyer Attorney in New York, New York City, NYC, Upstate New York, Westchester County, Rockland County, Orange County, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Albany, Syracuse, Suffolk County, Nassau County, Bronx, and Staten Island.

201-446-9643 | www.njbusiness-attorney.com

Andrew S. Bosin, Esq. provides legal advice to startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs on business incorporation, Delaware Corporations, Founders Agreements, LLC’s, contracts, agreements, website and internet agreements, mobile software Apps developers, mobile app development, app development agreements, app development contracts, software development agreements, video game app development, iphone app development, iOS app development, android app development, website terms and conditions, privacy policies, website development, IPR, source code, intellectual property and website development and agreements.

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Christopher Wray Confirmed as 8th FBI Director

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Christopher Wray Confirmed as 8th FBI Director

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Published at Wed, 02 Aug 2017 00:14:00 +0000

Christopher Wray Confirmed as 8th FBI Director

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Christopher Wray Confirmed as 8th FBI Director

If you need an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration, deportation, or immigration appeals attorney, please call our toll-free number at:

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Published at Wed, 02 Aug 2017 00:14:00 +0000