U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairman Candice Miller (R-MI) today sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security regarding recent reports of large gaps in our border security efforts.
The chairs questioned how the Department backs up its claim that the border is more secure than ever given the revelation that U.S. Border Patrol is missing more than half of illegal border crossers in some sectors.
The text of the letter can be read below:
Dear Secretary Napolitano:
Recent reports indicate that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is apprehending less than half of illegal border crossers in certain sectors and that aerial technology has revealed huge gaps in our border security efforts. These revelations are in stark contrast to the Administration's declaration that the border is more secure than ever due to greater resources having been deployed to the region, and that lower rates of apprehensions signify fewer individuals are crossing. Therefore, we are writing to request the data behind the Administration's assertion.
Since the creation of the DHS, Congress has provided significant funding for increases in the number of Border Patrol agents, the building of nearly 700 miles of fencing and the deployment of advanced technologies to increase the nation's ability to monitor the border. However, we do not know if additional resources have produced better results.
In the short duration of the 113th Congress, the Homeland Security Committee's oversight has revealed that while the Administration touts its success, it has been unable to answer the fundamental question: How effective are we at keeping illegal immigrants, drug smugglers and potential terrorists out of our country given this enormous investment?
A recent Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security hearing revealed that DHS still has not created a measure for Congress to be able to verify pronouncements of unprecedented border security. As Congress considers reforms to our immigration laws, we request you provide the evidence to back up your assessment that the border is more secure than ever.
We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.
The letter is also available in PDF format: