Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona's Sixth District, today introduced with Congresswoman Candice Miller of Michigan the Mandatory Operational Control Reporting and Performance Measures Act of 2012. The bill would require the Department of Homeland Security to report to Congress the number of miles of the northern and southern United States borders under Operational Control as well as a host of other immigration and border security performance measures.
Although previously reported by the Administration, the 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan recently released by DHS makes no reference to operational control. Instead, the Administration has been relying on incomplete metrics to evaluate border security, while waiting for the so-called ""border condition index'' that has yet to be deployed.
"Operational control is the most effective measurement of border security we've got, so it's unacceptable that DHS has abandoned it," said Flake. "Since the Administration cannot demonstrate that they are achieving operational control, it seems to be more convenient for them to simply abandon the definition."
"Since 2010, the Department of Homeland Security failed to provide Congress, whose job it is to conduct oversight, a measure to determine the status of border security," Miller said. "It has now been more than two years since the Government Accountability Office reported that only 44 percent of the southwest border was under operational control and less than two percent of the northern border under control. Since the Department has yet to produce a new border security measurement system, but yet claims that the border is more secure than ever, it is well past time that the Department resumes reporting the number of miles under Operational Control until a new measure is completed and independently verified. It boils down to trust, but verify."
Congressman Flake first urged DHS to return to reporting operational control by successfully inserting language into the FY2013 Homeland Security Appropriations bill report which directed the Department to resume utilizing the number of border miles under operational
control to evaluate border security.