Past Features

November 2, 2012

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

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Glenn Spencer, American Border Patrol -- November 2, 2014   

Arizona Republic
Jeff Flake, AZ I See It
   The U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona appears to have ordered that prosecutions cease for first-time illegal border crossers unless they have a criminal history beyond their initial illegal crossing or are otherwise a threat to public safety.
    In response to a September letter I wrote with Sen. John McCain seeking details (read excerpts below), Attorney General Eric Holder refused to confirm that any new guidance has been issued. Some have suggested, however, that the goal is to make the Yuma sector more closely mirror the Tucson sector when it comes to prosecutions.
    For those of us in Arizona, that's bad news.
    When it comes to gains in border security, the Yuma sector is one of the few bright spots. The area has gone from crowds of illegal entrants rushing the border to overwhelm patrol agents to a mere trickle of illegal traffic. These gains are a result of a combination of factors, including increased manpower, technology implementation and the consequences of programs such as Operation Streamline.

    Sen. Flake failed to mention that Operation Streamline was possible only because new fencing at Yuma reduced the number of apprehensions to a point where it was feasible to prosecute the remaining few who broke through - thus providing a final measure of deterrence.
    According to the National Academy of Sciences, DHS will not release data on apprehensions by individual Border Patrol station - only by sector. (DHS does not want the public to see what really works and what doesn't.) We know about the success of the fence at Yuma because new fencing had an impact on the entire sector. (Most of the eastern section is nearly impassible on foot.)
    There is little fencing in most of the Tucson Sector (See this) and (this). and, as a result, Operation Streamline would not be feasible --- too many to prosecute.
    Senator Flake should have said that we need fencing in the Tucson Sector similar to Yuma to reduce apprehensions so Operation Streamline would work. He should also have said that Obama is using his own failure to justify further lawlessness.