The number of individuals apprehended by the Border Patrol for illegally crossing the border went up slightly in fiscal 2012 but still remains historically low. Customs and Border Protection statistics show (.pdf) that the Border Patrol apprehended 364,678 individuals--a number that apart from the previous fiscal year's total of 340,252, is the lowest since 1972, when the Border Patrol apprehended 396,495 illegal crossers.
Provisions for nonimmigrant visas will be the focus of immigration reform efforts when the Senate Judiciary Committee resumes its consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act on May 14. On May 9, the committee voted on amendments to the border-security section of the bill.
The Border Patrol no longer believe that persistent surveillance across the entirety of the southwestern border is necessary to border control, a change from the prevalent thinking of a few years ago, Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher told a House panel April 17. There are sections along the southwestern border where "it's going to take you days to get to even a road," Fisher noted.
An immigration reform bill proposal unveiled April 17 by a bipartisan group of eight senators would tie a path to citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants to increased border security measures.
In a April 5 report (.pdf), the GAO notes that the DHS Office of Intergovernmental Affairs has a tribal desk designated as the lead for tribal relations and consultation. But, each departmental component is responsible for conducting its own tribal outreach, and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs lacks authority to track the effectiveness of that outreach.
Drug runners caught by the Border Patrol along the southwestern border more often than not are U.S. citizens, concludes an investigation based on Freedom of Information Act-supplied data conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Furloughs would happen over seven two-week pay periods until the end of September, when the current fiscal year ends, with employees likely to be told not to come to work for two days during each of those pay periods, according to the statement. The DoD is still working to figure out which employees would be exempt from furloughs.
A metric called the border condition index is unlikely to satisfy congressional Republicans' calls for a way to measure border security as a precondition for comprehensive immigration reform, Mark Borkowski of Customs and Border Protection told a House panel March 20.
Rocks, power cords, and support structures are among the hazards in illegal cross-border tunnels that can trip up the robots used to explore them, a technology that has struggled to meet the tunnel challenge, Kevin Hecht of the Border Patrol said March 13.
Border security can't be measured with a single, mile-by-mile metric, Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher told a Feb. 26 House panel. "Assessing security along the border one linear mile at a time is the wrong approach," Fisher told a House Homeland Security subcommittee. Border regions are too complex, and the threats to security are too dynamic to permit any single metric to effectively assess border security, Fisher said.