A Mexican national reportedly claimed to be a U.S. citizen in order to become a Border Patrol agent. The man worked for six years before the discovery.
Federal prosecutors charged Marco Antonio De la Garza Jr, 37, for allegedly telling U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials he was born in Texas and therefore a U.S. citizen when he applied for his position as a Border Patrol agent, the Daily Mail reported.
The Mexican national also allegedly lied on a U.S. passport application.
The matter came to light following a background check update conducted by CBP in October. The update was required in connection with his job. It is not clear how the discrepancy was missed during his initial background investigation when he was hired.
CBP officials stated they arrested De la Garza on February 22.
Prosecutors claim De la Garza claimed to be born in Brownsville, Texas, when he appears to have actually been born across the river in Matamoros, Mexico. Officials also obtained school documents where his parents used Mexican birth records for enrollment, the news outlet reported.
A midwife also claimed De la Garza was born in Brownsville. However, she has a conviction for conspiring to make false statements on a birth certificate dating back to 1984, the article states.
CBP officials confirmed they hired the man in 2012 but had no further comment on the case, which appears to reflect on the agency’s pre-employment screening process. CBP did not comment on the agent’s current status or how he was hired.
Almost a year ago, Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson asked how CBP could hire 15,000 new agents and properly screen them, Breitbart Texas reported. James Tomscheck appeared as a guest on the show. He previously served as head of CBP internal affairs for eight years during the Bush and Obama Administrations. During that time frame, he faced the challenge of hiring and properly screening 10,000 people between 2006 and 2008.
Attkisson asked the former head of internal affairs about drug dealers and cartel members being hired inadvertently during the surge.
“We certainly believe that to be the case,” Tomscheck replied. “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 and provided detailed admissions as to why it was they failed the exam; included in that study 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.”
“What we found in those first 100+ exams was genuinely shocking,” Tomscheck explained. “We found persons failing the polygraph at a higher rate than other agencies, but not dramatically so. What was dramatically different was the nature of the admissions obtained from those persons who had failed. They had included many persons who were actively involved in smuggling, persons who very frequently used drugs were currently using controlled substances and included persons involved in significant serious felony crimes.”