January 28, 2015
Lauren Fox -- National Journal -- January 27, 2015
Rep. Michael McCaul's Secure Our Borders First Act will be voted on in the House next week, and it requires the Homeland Security Department to construct 400 miles of new roads and more than 100 miles of new border fences. It deploys new technology such as a biometric exit system at ports of entry and directs more air power to track migrants. It also requires DHS to disclose more data on how safe the border is.
But as the House risks putting divisions within its own ranks on display and goes head-to-head with the Obama administration, it's worth asking: How secure are the 2,000 miles that stretch from California to Texas today to begin with?
There's only one problem --- nobody can tell you. [...]
Under the law, DHS officials would have to disclose the rate of drug seizures, response rates, and a border-crossing rate. But the metrics will not be used just to measure progress. The numbers will also be used to assert "operational control" of the border. That means the data would be used to hold DHS accountable if the Border Patrol had not prevented "all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics and other contraband" within five years.
Without knowing where we are now, many border experts say it's not a realistic goal. In fact, it may never be possible.
"Anytime you talk about the border now, you have to compare it to what it used to be. It is in good shape, and it always needs to get better," says David Aguilar, deputy commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who now serves as a partner at Global Security and Intelligence Strategies. "This bill calls for operational control of the border. It is not practical to do that under its current definition.".....Read More
Aquilar Wrong Again
David Aguilar is the guy who said "We will be able to identify, detect and classify more than 95 percent of illegal entries with the virtual wall." -- The virtual wall was a virtual failure --- just as I predicted. -- Now he says it is not practical to achieve operational control of the border, i.e., prevention of all unlawful entries. -- But, is it possible to measure how close we are to that objective? Yes --- but he doesn't want you to know that.