U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, today made the following statement upon the conclusion of her hearing, "What Does a Secure Border Looks Like?" Miller said:
"It is the duty of the Congress to make certain that the executive branch is giving the American people the secure border that they are demanding. Border security agencies must be able to deter, or apprehend the overwhelming majority who cross the border illegally and possess the ability to interdict drugs and other contraband destined for American cities. For the last several years, I have been conducting vigorous oversight of our border security agencies and demanding that some criteria be established that answers a simple question "What does a secure border look like?' At today's hearing, for the first time the U.S. Border Patrol agreed that 90% effectiveness will be their goal in high traffic areas along the border, which is a positive development.
"All of the Department of Homeland Security's components with a responsibility to protect our border must be held accountable for success or failure -- progress or not. They must show the American people that the resources, personnel, and technology being put into the field at and along our borders are being used effectively and give us the security we need. Since the Department made the decision to move away from "operational control' as a metric to describe border security, the Department must now develop and implement a comprehensive plan, with verifiable metrics, that will lay out the way forward to secure the border.
"The border is a dynamic place; once we have secured a section, it is by no means is secured forever. Therefore, how we address the border should reflect that reality. Broad proclamations that the border is more secure than ever is not a substitute for cold, hard, and verifiable facts. This why we need to continue to examine the effectiveness and push for a risk-based, outcome oriented approach to border security. I intend to continue my oversight of the Department on this issue and pursue legislation to see that we make tangible progress on the border."