Past Features

October 16, 2015

ACLU: DHS Not Forthcoming
Accountability needed

ABC News -- October 15, 2015
Border Patrol Makes Few Immigrant Arrests at Checkpoints
    Less than one percent of immigrant arrests made by the U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona happen at the various inland checkpoints, according to a new report.
    The figures obtained by the ACLU following a lawsuit raise questions about the efficacy of the checkpoints and come amid growing opposition to them.
    Critics say the checkpoints result in racial profiling and abuse of power by agents. The Border Patrol says they are crucial to catching human and drug smugglers who cross illegally into the United States.
    But very few arrests are made at checkpoints. For example, only about 800 of the 120,939 immigrant apprehensions made by the Border Patrol in the Tucson Sector in fiscal year 2013 were made at checkpoints. That's 0.67 percent.
    The checkpoints can be within 100 air miles of the country's border and are usually located on highways and small roads. People who drive through a checkpoint are asked to reveal whether they are U.S. citizens.
    James Lyall, an ACLU attorney who focuses on the Arizona border with Mexico, said the data show why the Border Patrol has been less than forthcoming with arrest and seizure statistics from checkpoints.
    "If policy makers and the public are able to get complete and accurate information from the agency, it may be a lot harder for the Border Patrol to justify these operations with the usual blanket claims that they're efficient and effective," Lyall said.

Glenn Spencer -- American Border Patrol
Shake Up GAO
    The ACLU hits the nail on the head when it claims that the public and policy makers are not able to get complete and and accurate information from Customs and Border Patrol. This is by design.
    It is a policy at the highest level of the Department of Homeland Security to avoid accountability.
    It is the job of the Government Accountability Office to report to Congress on the performance of DHS/CBP. Yet, in recent years there seems to have been a slacking off of this responsibility.
    One of the first jobs of the new administration that will take office in less than 16 months should be to name a new Comptroller General who will shake up the GAO.