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US Border Screeners Miss 1 In 10 Illegals

From the open borders lobby at the Washington Post:

Border Security Falls Short In Audit

GAO Criticizes Staffing, Training

By Spencer S. Hsu
Tuesday, November 6, 2007; A12

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers failed to stop roughly 1 in 10 illegal immigrants and serious drug and weapons violators from entering the United States through airports and official land border crossings last year, according to a new congressional review.

While screeners turned back more than 200,000 foreigners in 2006, random audits indicate that they missed another 20,000 violators. The Government Accountability Office, Congress’s audit arm, blamed failures by officers and supervisors along with inadequate training and staffing. A Customs and Border Protection study this summer concluded that the agency needs 1,600 to 4,000 more officers and agricultural specialists at the nation’s air, land and sea ports, or a boost of 7 to 25 percent, the GAO reported.

The federal government has embarked on a costly buildup to guard remote stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border, doubling the Border Patrol ranks to 18,000 agents between 2000 and 2008, planning to add 570 miles of fencing and vehicle barriers and 200 miles of sensors by then, and boosting spending on border security to $9 billion last year.

But experts say as many as half of the United States’ estimated 12 million illegal immigrants entered the country not by sneaking across the border but by evading detection at the 326 legal ports of entry or by overstaying visas.

“The more [money] that you pour into the Border Patrol and into enforcement between ports of entry . . . the more pressure there is for people to misuse the system that gets them through the legal ports of entry. It’s important to have a balance of resources between both,” said Doris Meissner, former commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the agency that preceded Customs and Border Protection… 

In its report, the GAO cited officers’ mistakes — captured by the CBP in 2006 for a 15-minute training video — in waving through vehicles without required interviews and letting traffic pass as officers changed shifts and logged on to their computers.

GAO testers conducting checks at eight sites found individual cases of officers waving on a pedestrian without looking up from the computer, clearing another by asking from 10 feet away if he was a U.S. citizen and leaving an inspection booth unattended for three or four minutes.

Auditors also found officers with morale problems, fatigue, lack of backup and safety concerns.

“We owe the brave men and women charged with keeping terrorists, illegal drugs, and other dangerous people and items out of the country much better training and working conditions,” Senate homeland security committee member Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) said in a written statement. Akaka is among those who requested the GAO probe.

Of course this is a pretty transparent excuse to try to defund the border fence and put the money into “beefing up” security at airports and other officials points of entry into the US. (Read higher salaries and more members for the union.)

But who do they think they are kidding? Why can’t we do both? We certainly should be doing both.

If you have a leaking boat, you have to plug up all of the leaks. And it is probably a good idea to start with the largest one.

Which in this case is obviously the illegals coming across the Mexican border.

And let’s look at the math. We are told that the CPB let 1 out of 10 illegal aliens slip through. We are further informed that half of the (very low estimate of) 12 million illegal aliens now in the US came through this way.

So we are supposed to believe that 60 million illegal aliens have tried to enter the US through airports and border crossings?

If find that rather hard to believe. But if it is true, why not do something to penalize these perps right at the border? Wouldn’t that discourage this massive flow?

But nice try, Mr. Akaka. We know you have the best interests of the United States at heart.

Meanwhile, it is reassuring to note that the Department Of Homeland Security has the assets to investigate “offensive” costumes at Halloween parties.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, November 6th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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