Not only did Marco Antonio De la Garza Jr. work for the department for six years before being exposed, but officials fear thousands were directed to infiltrate the agency.
James Tomscheck, who served as head of CBP’s internal affairs division for eight years under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, said the screening process is very deeply flawed.
“We certainly believe that to be the case,” Tomscheck said. “We do know that in the thousands of polygraph exams that we administered after the background investigation, more than half of those persons that cleared that background investigation failed the polygraph exam.”
He added: “We did a study; [a] group of more than 1,000 were persons who admitted that they were infiltrators, that they worked for a drug trafficking organization, either on the US side of the border or the Mexican side of the border, who had been directed to infiltrate CBP and compromise what they do there.”
Tomscheck explained that thousands of drug traffickers, cartel members, and other Mexican nationals were hired as CBP agents because they couldn’t adequately screen the applicants.
That is absolutely terrifying, and it explains how Garza Jr. was able to infiltrate the country and exploit the system.
Federal prosecutors charged the 37-year-old for lying about claiming he was born in Texas and being a legal U.S. citizen on his CBP application.
He also lied on a U.S. passport application about his status.
Officials became aware of Garza Jr.’s illegal status after a required background check update in October.
After the background check came back and an internal investigation was launched, CBP officials arrested the Mexican national Feb. 22.
But more importantly, officials are working to answer the most important question: why did he pose as a border patrol agent for six years and did he help Mexican cartels infiltrate the country?