Past Features

July 20, 2015

What is Operational Control of the Border?
The "prevention of all unlawful entries"

Glenn Spencer -- American Border Patrol -- July 20, 2015   
Demand Border Accountability
    Last year, DHS a $145 million contract awarded for new border cameras - and John McCain applauded:
    “If this technology is developed, integrated and fielded correctly, these Integrated Fixed Towers [IFT] in southern Arizona, coupled with the tremendous work of the Border Patrol, will give our agents the ability to detect, evaluate, and respond to all illegal entries crossing our border.”
    In order to detect everyone crossing the Arizona/Mexico border we would need 92 IFT towers at a total cost of $1.1 billion. The $145 million was just a down payment.
    Even then, the job of securing the border won't have been accomplished.
    What is the job? The Secure Fence Act of 2006 defines the job of the Department of Homeland security as “the prevention of all unlawful entries.” The IFT system will fail to do the job --- just like the Boeing virtual fence failed before it.
    To make matters worse, the IFT contract that the good senator applauded, was thrown out by the GAO.
    Voters should demand accountability of the DHS -- and of politicians --- especially those whose districts are right on the border.
    John McCain says the new IFT system will "respond to all illegal entries crossing our border.” Senator McCain: They shouldn't have been allowed to cross the border in the first place. The job of the DHS, Senator McCain, is prevention - not chasing.
    The first step toward achieving Operational Control of the border is to install an accounting system that will measure it.
    It is time for the media and politicians to stop talking around it and debate the real border issue --- accountability. Once the problem is properly defined, solutions will easily follow.