oversight

Border Patrol: Key Elements of New Strategic Plan Not Yet in Place to Inform Border Security Status and Resource Needs

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2012-12-10.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                United States Government Accountability Office

GAO             Report to Congressional Requesters




                BORDER PATROL
December 2012




                Key Elements of New
                Strategic Plan Not Yet
                in Place to Inform
                Border Security Status
                and Resource Needs




GAO-13-25
                                            December 2012

                                            BORDER PATROL
                                            Key Elements of New Strategic Plan Not Yet in Place
                                            to Inform Border Security Status and Resource
Highlights of GAO-13-25, a report to
                                            Needs
congressional requesters




Why GAO Did This Study                      What GAO Found
Within DHS, U.S. Customs and Border         In fiscal year 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported data
Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol has        meeting its goal to secure the land border with a decrease in apprehensions; our
primary responsibility for securing the     data analysis showed that apprehensions decreased within each southwest
border between ports of entry, and          border sector and by 68 percent in the Tucson sector from fiscal years 2006 to
reported that with its 18,500 agents it     2011, due in part to changes in the U.S. economy and achievement of Border
apprehended over 327,000 illegal            Patrol strategic objectives. These data generally mirrored the decrease in
entrants at the southwest border in         estimated known illegal entries across locations. Other data are used by Border
fiscal year 2011. Across Border             Patrol sector management to assess efforts in securing the border against the
Patrol’s nine southwest border sectors,
                                            threat of illegal migration, drug smuggling, and terrorism; and Border Patrol may
most apprehensions occurred in the
                                            use these data to assess border security at the national level as the agency
Tucson sector in Arizona. GAO was
asked to review how Border Patrol
                                            transitions to a new strategic plan. Our analysis of these data indicated that in the
manages resources at the southwest          Tucson sector, there was little change in the percentage of estimated known
border. This report examines                illegal entrants apprehended by Border Patrol over the past 5 fiscal years, and
(1) apprehension and other data             the percentage of individuals apprehended who repeatedly crossed the border
Border Patrol collects to inform            illegally declined across the southwest border by 6 percent from fiscal years 2008
changes in border security for the          to 2011. Additionally, the number of drug seizures increased from 10,321 in fiscal
southwest border and the Tucson             year 2006 to 18,898 in fiscal year 2011, and apprehensions of aliens from
sector, in particular; (2) how the          countries determined to be at an increased risk of sponsoring terrorism increased
Tucson sector compares with other           from 239 in fiscal year 2006 to 309 in fiscal year 2010, but decreased to 253 in
sectors in scheduling agent                 fiscal year 2011.
deployment and to what extent data
show that deployments have been
                                            The Tucson sector scheduled more agent workdays in fiscal year 2011 for
effective; and (3) the extent to which      enforcement activities related to patrolling the border than other sectors;
Border Patrol has identified                however, data limitations preclude comparison of overall effectiveness in how
mechanisms to assess resource needs         each sector has deployed resources to secure the border. In fiscal year 2011 the
under its new strategic plan. GAO           Tucson sector scheduled 73 percent of agent workdays for enforcement
analyzed DHS documents and data             activities, and of these activities, 71 percent were scheduled for patrolling within
from fiscal years 2006 to 2011, and         25 miles of the border. Other sectors scheduled from 44 to 70 percent of agent
interviewed officials in headquarters       enforcement workdays for patrolling the border. Border Patrol sectors assess
and five southwest border sectors           how effectively they use resources to secure the border, but differences in how
selected based on cross-border illegal      sectors collect and report the data preclude comparing results. Border Patrol
activity, among other things. Results       issued guidance in September 2012 to improve the consistency of sector data
cannot be generalized across the            collection and reporting, which may allow future comparison of performance.
southwest border, but provided insights
into Border Patrol operations.              Border Patrol is developing key elements of its 2012-2016 Strategic Plan needed
                                            to define border security and the resources necessary to achieve it, but has not
                                            identified milestones and time frames for developing and implementing
What GAO Recommends                         performance goals and measures in accordance with standard practices in
GAO recommends that CBP ensure              program management. Border Patrol officials stated that performance goals and
Border Patrol develops milestones           measures are in development for assessing the progress of agency efforts to
and time frames for developing              secure the border between the ports of entry, and since fiscal year 2011, DHS
border security goals and measures          has used the number of apprehensions on the southwest border as an interim
to assess progress made and                 goal and measure. However, as GAO previously testified, this interim measure
resource needs. DHS concurred with          does not inform program results and therefore limits DHS and congressional
these recommendations.                      oversight and accountability. Milestones and time frames could assist Border
                                            Patrol in monitoring progress in developing goals and measures necessary to
View GAO-13-25. For more information,       assess the status of border security and the extent to which existing resources
contact Rebecca Gambler at (202) 512-8777
or gamblerr@gao.gov.
                                            and capabilities are appropriate and sufficient. Border Patrol expects to
                                            implement other key elements of its strategic plan over the next 2 fiscal years.
                                                                                     United States Government Accountability Office
Contents


Letter                                                                                      1
               Background                                                                    6
               Apprehensions Have Decreased across the Southwest Border;
                 However, Other Data on Illegal Migration, Drug Seizures, and
                 Terrorism Also Provide Insights into Border Security                      11
               Southwest Border Sectors Scheduled Agents Differently across
                 Border Zones and Enforcement Activities; Data Limitations
                 Preclude Comparison of Overall Effectiveness                              24
               Border Patrol Has Not Yet Developed Goals and Measures for
                 Assessing Efforts and Identifying Resource Needs under the
                 New Strategic Plan                                                        31
               Conclusions                                                                 39
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                        40
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                          40

Appendix I     Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                          42



Appendix II    General Information about Border Patrol Sectors along the
               Southwest Border                                                            50



Appendix III   General Information about Border Patrol Stations and
               Zones in the Tucson Sector                                                  54



Appendix IV    Comparison of Border Patrol’s 2004 Strategy and 2012-2016
               Strategic Plan                                                              59



Appendix V     Border Patrol Estimated Known Illegal Entries and
               Apprehensions by Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal
               Years 2006 through 2011                                                     60




               Page i                                    GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VI     Apprehensions by Southwest Border Patrol Sectors and
                Distance from the Border, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011                         70



Appendix VII    Border Patrol Nonenforcement Activities by Southwest
                Border Sector, Fiscal Year 2011                                              72



Appendix VIII   Estimated Illegal Entries by Data Element (Apprehensions,
                Estimated Turn Backs, and Estimated Got Aways) by Border
                Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011                                74



Appendix IX     Identification Sources for Turn Backs and Got Aways by
                Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Year 2011                            83



Appendix X      Comments from the Department of Homeland Security                            85



Appendix XI     GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                        87



Tables
                Table 1: Southwest Border Patrol Sectors and Stations Visited by
                         GAO, by Border Patrol Sector                                        44
                Table 2: Description of Border Patrol Sectors along the Southwest
                         Border, Including Border Miles and Size, Terrain, and
                         Stations                                                            50
                Table 3: Descriptions of Border Patrol Stations and Zones in the
                         Tucson Sector, including Border Mileage and Size, Terrain,
                         and Number of Zones by Distance from the Border                     54


Figures
                Figure 1: Border Patrol Sectors along the Southwest Border                     7



                Page ii                                    GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Figure 2: Border Patrol Stations and Zones in Tucson Sector, as of
         April 2012                                                            9
Figure 3: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known
         Illegal Entries in Tucson Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through
         2011                                                                12
Figure 4: Number and Percentage of Border Patrol Apprehensions
         by Distance from the Border in the Tucson Sector, Fiscal
         Years 2010 and 2011                                                 15
Figure 5: Recidivism Numbers and Percentages for Border Patrol
         Apprehensions across Southwest Border Patrol Sectors,
         Fiscal Year 2011                                                    17
Figure 6: Number and Percentage of Seizures of Drugs and Other
         Contraband across Southwest Border Patrol Sectors,
         Fiscal Year 2011                                                    19
Figure 7: Number and Percentage of Seizures across Southwest
         Border Patrol Sectors by Distance from the Border, Fiscal
         Year 2011                                                           20
Figure 8: Number of Aliens from Special Interest Countries
         Apprehended across Southwest Border Patrol Sectors,
         Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011                                          21
Figure 9: Number and Percentage of Aliens from Special Interest
         Countries Apprehended across Southwest Border Patrol
         Sectors by Distance from the Border, Fiscal Year 2011               23
Figure 10: Border Patrol Agent Workdays Deployed to Border
         Zones and Interior Zones across Southwest Border
         Sectors, Fiscal Year 2011                                           26
Figure 11: Border Patrol Agent Workdays Scheduled across
         Enforcement Activities across Southwest Border Sectors,
         Fiscal Year 2011                                                    27
Figure 12: Number of Tucson Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions,
         Turn Backs, and Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated
         Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011               29
Figure 13: Example of Terrain in the Yuma Sector                             52
Figure 14: Example of Terrain in the Tucson Sector                           52
Figure 15: Example of Terrain in the El Paso Sector, with the
         United States on the Left of the Border Fence and Mexico
         on the Right                                                        53
Figure 16: Example of Terrain in the Rio Grande Valley Sector                53
Figure 17: Example of Terrain in the Ajo Station Area of
         Responsibility                                                      55




Page iii                                   GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Figure 18: Example of Terrain in the Casa Grande Station Area of
         Responsibility, with the United States on the Right Side of
         the Border Fence and Mexico on the Left                             56
Figure 19: Example of Terrain in the Tucson Station Area of
         Responsibility                                                      56
Figure 20: Example of Terrain within the Nogales Station Area of
         Responsibility, with the United States on the Left Side of
         the Border Fence and Mexico on the Right                            57
Figure 21: Example of Terrain in the Sonoita Station Area of
         Responsibility near the U.S. Border with Mexico                     57
Figure 22: Example of Terrain in the Naco Station Area of
         Responsibility near the U.S. Border with Mexico                     58
Figure 23: Example of Terrain in the Douglas Station Area of
         Responsibility with the United States on the Left Side of
         the Border Fence and Mexico on the Right                            58
Figure 24: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known
         Illegal Entries in the San Diego Sector, Fiscal Years 2006
         through 2011                                                        61
Figure 25: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known
         Illegal Entries in the El Centro Sector, Fiscal Years 2006
         through 2011                                                        62
Figure 26: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known
         Illegal Entries in the Yuma Sector, Fiscal Years 2006
         through 2011                                                        63
Figure 27: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known
         Illegal Entries in the Tucson Sector, Fiscal Years 2006
         through 2011                                                        64
Figure 28: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known
         Illegal Entries in the El Paso Sector, Fiscal Years 2006
         through 2011                                                        65
Figure 29: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known
         Illegal Entries in the Big Bend Sector, Fiscal Years 2006
         through 2011                                                        66
Figure 30: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known
         Illegal Entries in the Del Rio Sector, Fiscal Years 2006
         through 2011                                                        67
Figure 31: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known
         Illegal Entries in the Laredo Sector, Fiscal Years 2006
         through 2011                                                        68
Figure 32: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known
         Illegal Entries in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, Fiscal
         Years 2006 through 2011                                             69



Page iv                                    GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Figure 33: Number and Percentage of Apprehensions across
         Southwest Border Patrol Sectors by Distance from the
         Border, Fiscal Year 2010                                          70
Figure 34: Number and Percentage of Apprehensions across
         Southwest Border Patrol Sectors by Distance from the
         Border, Fiscal Year 2011                                          71
Figure 35: Percentage of Border Patrol Agent Nonenforcement
         Workdays Scheduled for Nonenforcement Activities
         across Southwest Border Sectors, Fiscal Year 2011                 73
Figure 36: Number of San Diego Sector Border Patrol
         Apprehensions, Turn Backs, and Got Aways as a
         Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal
         Years 2006 through 2011                                           74
Figure 37: Number of El Centro Sector Border Patrol
         Apprehensions, Turn Backs, and Got Aways as a
         Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal
         Years 2006 through 2011                                           75
Figure 38: Number of Yuma Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions,
         Turn Backs, and Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated
         Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011             76
Figure 39: Number of Tucson Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions,
         Turn Backs, and Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated
         Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011             77
Figure 40: Number of El Paso Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions,
         Turn Backs, and Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated
         Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011             78
Figure 41: Number of Big Bend Sector Border Patrol
         Apprehensions, Turn Backs, and Got Aways as a
         Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal
         Years 2006 through 2011                                           79
Figure 42: Number of Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions,
         Turn Backs, and Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated
         Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011             80
Figure 43: Number of Laredo Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions,
         Turn Backs, and Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated
         Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011             81
Figure 44: Number of Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol
         Apprehensions, Turn Backs, and Got Aways as a
         Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal
         Years 2006 through 2011                                           82




Page v                                   GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Figure 45: Source of Data Collection for Turn Back and Got Away
         Data across Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Year
         2011                                                                             84




Abbreviations
ASIC         aliens from special interest countries
BPETS        Border Patrol Enforcement Tracking System
CBP          U.S. Customs and Border Protection
DHS          Department of Homeland Security
EID          Enforcement Integrated Database
IMAT         Integrated Mission Analysis Tool
OIP          Operational Implementation Plan
POE          port of entry
SBI          Secure Border Initiative

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Page vi                                             GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   December 10, 2012

                                   The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson
                                   Ranking Member
                                   Committee on Homeland Security
                                   House of Representatives

                                   The Honorable Ron Barber
                                   House of Representatives

                                   In fiscal year 2011, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S.
                                   Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported spending over $4 billion
                                   to secure the U.S. border with Mexico. 1 Border Patrol, within CBP, is the
                                   federal agency with primary responsibility for securing the national
                                   borders between the designated U.S. land border ports of entry (POE). 2
                                   In fiscal year 2011, Border Patrol reported apprehending over 327,000
                                   illegal entrants and making over 17,150 seizures of drugs along the
                                   southwest border, with Border Patrol’s Tucson sector accounting for the
                                   greatest percentage of apprehensions and drug seizures. 3 The Tucson
                                   sector, which has primary responsibility for addressing cross-border
                                   illegal activity in Arizona, reported making over 38 percent of
                                   apprehensions and more than 28 percent of all drug seizures reported
                                   across Border Patrol’s nine southwest border sectors in fiscal year 2011.

                                   Border Patrol is moving to implement a new strategy for securing the
                                   border. Border Patrol’s 2004 National Border Patrol Strategy (2004
                                   Strategy) focused on improving border security by increasing resources—


                                   1
                                    This figure represents the estimated percentage of net costs applied to the southwest
                                   border for CBP’s Border Security and Control Between the Ports of Entry and Border
                                   Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology programs.
                                   2
                                    Ports of entry are officially designated places that provide for the arrival at, or departure
                                   from, the United States.
                                   3
                                    CBP has divided geographic responsibility for border security operations along the
                                   southwest border among nine sectors, each of which has a headquarters with
                                   management personnel; these sectors are further divided geographically into varying
                                   numbers of stations, with agents assigned to patrol defined geographic areas. Border
                                   Patrol’s Yuma sector is also responsible for patrolling portions of Arizona and California;
                                   however, the majority of enforcement statistics for Arizona are reported by the Tucson
                                   sector, which reported apprehending over 124,000 illegal entries and making over 4,800
                                   seizures of drugs in fiscal year 2011.




                                   Page 1                                                  GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
including personnel, infrastructure, and technology—and deploying these
resources using an approach that provided for several layers of Border
Patrol agents at the immediate border and in other areas up to 100 miles
(referred to as defense in depth). 4 In May 2012 the Border Patrol issued
the 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan (2012-2016 Strategic Plan).
Citing the buildup in border resources and the need to use these
enhanced capabilities most effectively, this new strategic plan
emphasizes using intelligence information to inform risk relative to threats
of cross-border terrorism, drug smuggling, and illegal migration across
locations; integrating border security operations with other law
enforcement partners to address threats; and developing rapid response
capabilities to deploy the resources appropriate to changes in threat.

You asked us to review the approach used by Border Patrol to deploy and
manage resources along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona compared
with approaches used at other southwest border locations. This report
addresses the following questions: (1) What do data show about
apprehensions across the southwest border, and in the Tucson sector in
particular, and what other types of data, if any, does Border Patrol collect
that inform changes in the status of border security? (2) How does the
Tucson sector schedule agent deployment compared with deployment in
other southwest border sectors and to what extent do the data show
these deployments have been effective in securing the border? (3) To
what extent has Border Patrol developed mechanisms to identify
resources needed to secure the border under its new strategic plan?

In conducting our work, we analyzed agency data related to Border Patrol
performance and cross-border threats, planning documents, sector
operational assessments, reports, guidance, and agency strategic plans,
and held discussions with relevant headquarters and field officials
concerning border strategy, border enforcement operations, the
deployment of resources—personnel, technology, and infrastructure—



4
 Border Patrol operates under several statutes and regulations that set forth the powers of
immigration and customs officers. For example, Border Patrol agents have the authority,
without a warrant, to enter private lands (but not dwellings) within 25 miles of the border to
prevent the illegal entry of aliens into the United States and to search a railway car,
aircraft, or vehicle for aliens within 100 miles of the border. See 8 U.S.C. § 1357(a)(3),
8 C.F.R. § 287.1(a)(2); for additional authorities, including those not specifically limited by
distance from the border, see 8 U.S.C. §§ 1225, 1357; 19 U.S.C. §§ 482, 1581, 1589a,
1595(b); 8 C.F.R. § 287.1.




Page 2                                                 GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
and data used to assess the status of border security. 5 We obtained
relevant data from DHS and Border Patrol databases for fiscal years 2006
through 2011. We chose this time period because fiscal year 2006 was
the first full year for which data were available following Border Patrol’s
implementation of its 2004 Strategy. To assess the reliability of these
data, we spoke with Border Patrol headquarters officials who oversee the
maintenance and analyses of the data and with selected sector and
station officials regarding guidance and processes for collecting and
reporting data in regard to apprehensions of illegal entrants, seizures of
drugs and other contraband, and scheduling the deployment of agents
tracked in Border Patrol databases. We determined that these data were
sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this report. We conducted visits
and observed station and checkpoint operations within five Border Patrol
sectors on the southwest border: San Diego sector, California; Yuma
sector, Arizona; Tucson sector, Arizona; El Paso sector, Texas; and Rio
Grande Valley sector, Texas. We selected these sectors based on a
range of factors, including (1) threat level, (2) agency priorities for
resource deployment, (3) the use of enforcement strategies deemed
successful by Border Patrol in reducing cross-border illegal activity, and
(4) varied terrain and operational conditions. Among these five sectors,
we selected 21 Border Patrol stations to visit based on factors such as
the level of cross-border illegal activity as defined by Border Patrol data
and unique characteristics, such as terrain. While the results from our
visits are not representative of operations and conditions across the
southwest border, they provided us with an overall understanding of
Border Patrol operations.

To assess trends in apprehensions and other types of data used by
Border Patrol to inform changes in the status of border security across the
southwest border, and Tucson sector in particular, we obtained relevant
data from DHS and Border Patrol databases for fiscal years 2006 through
2011. We analyzed data on apprehensions, seizures, apprehensions of
repeat offenders (recidivist rates), and apprehensions of aliens from
special interest countries (ASIC) by sector to obtain an overall view of




5
 Border Patrol sectors biannually develop operational assessments that identify and justify
requests for additional resources to maintain or increase security in their areas of
responsibility. These assessments are part of Border Patrol’s Operational Requirements
Based Budget Process, a standardized national planning process that links sector- and
station-level planning, operations, and budgets.




Page 3                                               GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
changes in cross-border illegal activity. 6 For fiscal years 2010 and 2011,
we also analyzed data for apprehensions, seizures, and apprehensions of
ASICs by location, in terms of distance from the border. 7 Further, we
analyzed data used by Border Patrol to estimate the number of known
illegal entries by sector. 8 Although estimated known illegal entry data can
be compared within a sector over time, these data cannot be compared or
combined across sectors, as discussed later in this report. We also spoke
or corresponded with 13 ranchers who operated in the Tucson sector at
the time of our review to discuss border security issues. We selected
these ranchers based on input from various entities, including Border
Patrol and select organizations that are knowledgeable about border
security issues. While the views of these individuals are not
representative of those of all ranchers within the Tucson sector, they
provided us with insights on ranchers’ perspectives.

To determine how the Tucson sector scheduled agent deployment
compared with deployment in other southwest border sectors and the
extent to which the data showed these deployments had been effective in


6
  For the purposes of this report, apprehensions data include only individuals arrested and
identified as deportable aliens, in keeping with Border Patrol’s definition. The data do not
include individuals arrested for illegally crossing the border but determined to be
nondeportable. Special interest countries are countries determined to represent a potential
terrorist threat to the United States. While people from these countries may not have ties
to terrorist activities, Border Patrol agents detain aliens from special interest countries if
they are in the United States illegally and report these encounters to the local sector
intelligence agent and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force,
among others, for further questioning and screening. Apprehension and seizure data for
fiscal years 2006 through 2009 were queried (i.e., obtained from relevant databases) as of
April 2012, and data for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 were queried as of March 2012.
Border Patrol officials stated that any differences in our apprehension and seizure
numbers and those of Border Patrol are due to variances in when the data were
reported—i.e., Border Patrol reports apprehension and other data on an “end-of-year”
basis, and therefore agency data do not reflect adjustments or corrections made after that
reporting date.
7
 Fiscal year 2010 was the first full year Border Patrol mandated that the latitude and
longitude of each apprehension and seizure be recorded.
8
 Border Patrol defines estimated illegal entries as the total number of deportable aliens
who were apprehended, in addition to the number of entrants who illegally crossed the
border but were not apprehended either because they crossed back to Mexico—”turn
backs”—or continued traveling to the U.S. interior and Border Patrol was no longer
actively pursuing them—”got aways.” We defined these illegal entries as estimated
“known” illegal entries to clarify that the estimates do not include illegal entrants for which
Border Patrol does not have reasonable indications of cross-border illegal activity. Turn
back and got away data for fiscal years 2006 through 2011 were queried as of April 2012.




Page 4                                                  GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
securing the border, we analyzed data on Border Patrol’s scheduled
deployment of agents, by sector, from fiscal years 2006 through 2011,
including the scheduling of agents near the border and the percentage of
workdays scheduled for enforcement-related activities. 9 We interviewed
Border Patrol headquarters officials regarding agency guidance and
practices for deploying resources and conducted interviews with Border
Patrol sector and station officials regarding the processes used and
factors considered when determining the deployment and redeployment
of resources. We also analyzed data Border Patrol uses to calculate
overall effectiveness within sectors to determine if the appropriate mix of
assets is being deployed and used effectively and efficiently. 10

To assess to what extent Border Patrol had developed mechanisms to
identify resources needed to secure the border under its new 2012-2016
Strategic Plan, we interviewed Border Patrol headquarters officials from
the Planning, Analysis, and Enforcement Systems Branches, and
analyzed relevant documents, such as Border Patrol planning and policy
documents, necessary to gain an understanding of Border Patrol’s
processes for developing and implementing key elements of the strategic
plan necessary to inform resource requirements for securing the border.
We compared these processes with standard practices in program
management for documenting the scope of a project, including the need
for milestones or time frames for project completion and
implementation. 11 To assess to what extent Border Patrol sectors and
stations had identified the need for additional resources, we analyzed
southwest border sector operational assessments for fiscal years 2010
and 2012 and interviewed sector and station officials.

We conducted this performance audit from June 2011 to December 2012
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain


9
 Border Patrol has a database to track the scheduling of agent deployment in the field,
which is to be updated to reflect the most recent deployment changes. Scheduled
deployment data for fiscal year 2011 were queried as of March 2012, and data for fiscal
years 2006 through 2010 were queried as of April 2012.
10
  Border Patrol’s formula for calculating overall effectiveness adds the number of
apprehensions and turns backs in a specific sector and divides this total by the total
number of estimated known illegal entries.
11
 For example, see the Project Management Institute, The Standard for Program
Management © (Newtown Square, Penn., 2006).




Page 5                                                GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
             sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
             findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
             the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
             conclusions based on our audit objectives. Appendix I provides further
             details on our scope and methodology.


             CBP has divided geographic responsibility for the southwest border
Background   among nine Border Patrol sectors, as shown in figure 1 (see app. II for
             general information about Border Patrol sectors). Each sector has a
             varying number of stations, with agents responsible for patrolling within
             defined geographic areas. Within these areas, Border Patrol has reported
             that its primary mission is to prevent terrorists and weapons of terrorism
             from entering the United States and also to detect, interdict, and
             apprehend those who attempt to illegally enter or smuggle any person or
             contraband across the nation’s borders.




             Page 6                                     GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
 Interactive graphic Figure 1: Border Patrol Sectors along the Southwest Border

Move mouse over the sector name to learn more about the sector.

         California            Nevada
                                                         Arizona                   New Mexico                                               Oklahoma
                                                                                                                          Texas
                      El Centro

      San Diego                       Yuma
                                                       Tucson                          El Paso
                                                                                                                      Big Bend
                 Oceanside
                  San Diego              Yuma
                     Tijuana                                  Tucson                      Las Cruces

                                                                                 El Paso
                                                                                                          Van Home                Del Rio         Laredo
                                                              Nogales         Fort Hancock

                                                                                                             Alpine
                                                                                                           Marfa
                                                                                                                                  Del Rio
                                                                                                                                                  Rio Grande Valley
                                                                                                                    Eagle Pass

                                                                                                                                                    Corpus Christi
                                                                                                                              Laredo            Kingsville


                                                                                                                           Rio Grande City
                                                Legend                                                                                            Brownsville
                                                           Sector boundry

                                                           State line
                                                Sector name
                                                State names

                                                Source: GAO (analysis and photos), Mapinfo (map), Border Patrol (data).




                                                Page 6                                                                     GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Each Border Patrol sector is further divided into stations. For example,
the Tucson sector has divided geographic responsibility across eight
stations, seven of which have responsibility for miles of land directly on
the U.S.-Mexico border. Within the station areas Border Patrol refers to
“border zones”—those having international border miles—and “interior
zones”—those without international border miles. According to Border
Patrol officials, zones allow sectors to more effectively analyze border
conditions, including terrain, when planning how to deploy agents. Zone
dimensions are largely determined by geography and topographical
features, and zone size can vary significantly. See figure 2 for Tucson
sector station and zone boundaries (see app. III for general information
about the Tucson sector stations).




Page 8                                      GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
 Interactive graphic Figure 2: Border Patrol Stations and Zones in Tucson Sector, as of April 2012

Move mouse over the station name to learn more about the station.




                                                                         Casa Grande
                                                                         station                                      Willcox
                                                                                                                      station




                                                           Ajo
                                                           station




                                                                                                 Tucson
                                                                                                 station



                                                                                                                   Naco     Douglas
                                                                                                                   stationa station
                                                                                Nogales
                                                                                station                   Sonoita
                                                     Legend
                                                                                                          station
                                                                Zone boundry

                                                                Station boundry

                                                                25 miles from border
                                                                                                      0                              100.0
                                                                Border zone
                                                                                                                     miles
                                                                Interior zone

                                                 Source: GAO (analysis and photos), Border Patrol (data and photo), Mapinfo (map).

                                                 In May 2012 Naco Station was renamed the “Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station” (Brian A. Terry
                                                 a

                                                 Memorial Act, Pub. L. No 112-113, 126 Stat. 334 (2012)).



                                                Page 9                                                                    GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Border Patrol collects and analyzes various data on the number and
types of entrants who illegally cross the southwest border between the
land border POEs, including collecting estimates on the total number of
identified—or “known”—illegal entries. 12 Border Patrol collects these data
composed of the total number of apprehensions, turn backs, and got
aways as an indicator of the potential border threat across locations.

Border Patrol developed its 2004 Strategy following the terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001, as a framework for the agency’s new priority
mission of preventing terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the
United States and to support its traditional mission of preventing aliens,
smugglers, narcotics, and other contraband from crossing U.S. borders
illegally. The 2004 Strategy was designed to facilitate the buildup and
deployment of agency and border resources with a focus on ensuring the
agency had the right mix of personnel, technology, and infrastructure
across locations to secure the border. From fiscal years 2004 through
2011, the number of Border Patrol agents on the southwest border nearly
doubled, from about 9,500 to about 18,500; and DHS reported that since
fiscal year 2006, about $4.4 billion has been invested in southwest border
technology and infrastructure. Through fiscal year 2010, these resources
were used to support DHS’s goal to achieve “operational control” of the
nation’s borders by reducing cross-border illegal activity. The extent of
operational control—also referred to as effective control—was defined as
the number of border miles where Border Patrol had the capability to
detect, respond to, and interdict cross-border illegal activity. At the end of
fiscal year 2010, Border Patrol reported that across the nearly 2,000
southwest border miles, resources were in place to apprehend illegal
activity at the immediate border for 129 southwest border miles, or at
some distance from the border for an additional 744 southwest border
miles. 13 At the beginning of fiscal year 2011, DHS transitioned from using
operational control as its goal and outcome measure for border security in



12
  Indications of illegal crossings are obtained through various sources such as direct
agent observation, referrals from credible sources (such as residents), camera monitoring,
and detection of physical evidence left on the environment from animal or human
crossings.
13
  Border Patrol reported that for nearly two-thirds of the remaining 1,120 southwest border
miles, resources were in place to achieve a high probability to detect illegal activity, but
the ability to respond may be compromised by insufficient resources or inaccessible
terrain; while for the remaining border miles, insufficient resources or infrastructure
inhibited detection or apprehension of illegal activity.




Page 10                                              GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                            its Fiscal Year 2010-2012 Annual Performance Report. DHS established
                            an interim performance measure until a new border control goal and
                            measure could be developed.

                            Border Patrol issued its new 2012-2016 Strategic Plan in May 2012,
                            stating that the buildup of its resource base and the operations conducted
                            over the past two decades would enable the Border Patrol to focus on
                            mitigating risk rather than increasing resources to secure the border. In
                            contrast to the 2004 Strategy, which also recognized the importance of
                            rapid mobility, the leveraging of partnerships, and accurate and useful
                            intelligence, the new strategic plan places a greater emphasis on the
                            integration of partner resources into operational planning and
                            enforcement efforts, particularly partners external to DHS. (See app. IV
                            for strategic goals and objectives presented in Border Patrol’s 2004
                            Strategy and 2012-2016 Strategic Plan.)


                            Border Patrol apprehensions have decreased in the Tucson sector and
Apprehensions Have          across the southwest border, and DHS has reported data meeting its goal
Decreased across the        to secure the land border with a decrease in apprehensions. The
                            decrease in apprehensions mirrored the decrease in estimated known
Southwest Border;           illegal entries within each southwest border sector. Border Patrol officials
However, Other Data         attributed the decrease in apprehensions and estimated known illegal
                            entries within southwest border sectors to multiple factors, including
on Illegal Migration,       changes in the U.S. economy. While changes in apprehension levels
Drug Seizures, and          provide useful insight on activity levels, other types of data may also
                            inform changes in the status of border security, including changes in the
Terrorism Also              percentage of estimated known illegal entries who are apprehended and
Provide Insights into       who repeatedly cross the border illegally (recidivist rate), increases in
                            seizures of drugs and other contraband, and increases in apprehensions
Border Security             of aliens from special interest countries (ASIC) that have been
                            determined to be at a potential increased risk of sponsoring terrorism.


Apprehensions Decreased     Since fiscal year 2011, DHS has used changes in the number of
at about the Same Rate as   apprehensions on the southwest border between POEs as an interim
Estimated Known Illegal     measure for border security as reported in its Annual Performance
                            Report. In fiscal year 2011, DHS reported data meeting its goal to secure
Entries in the Tucson       the land border with a decrease in apprehensions. These data show that
Sector and across the       Border Patrol apprehensions within each southwest Border Patrol sector
Southwest Border            decreased from fiscal years 2006 to 2011, generally mirroring the
                            decrease in estimated known illegal entries within each sector. In the
                            Tucson sector, our analysis of Border Patrol data showed that


                            Page 11                                     GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
apprehensions decreased by 68 percent from fiscal years 2006 to 2011,
compared with a 69 percent decrease in estimated known illegal entries,
as shown in figure 3. (See app. V for additional information.)

Figure 3: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known Illegal Entries in
Tucson Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Border Patrol officials attributed the decrease in apprehensions and
estimated known illegal entries within southwest border sectors to
multiple factors, including changes in the U.S. economy and successful
achievement of its strategic objectives. 14 Border Patrol’s ability to address
objectives laid out in the 2004 Strategy was strengthened by increases in



14
  Specifically, objectives to (1) deter illegal entries through improved enforcement—
defined as increasing the certainty of apprehensions through the proper mix of assets and
implementing prosecution strategies that establish a deterrent effect in targeted
locations—and (2) leverage “smart border” technology to multiply the effect of
enforcement personnel. Border Patrol defines “smart border” technology to include
camera systems for day/night/infrared operations, sensors, aerial platforms, and other
systems.




Page 12                                             GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                             personnel and technology, and infrastructure enhancements, according to
                             Border Patrol officials. For example, Tucson sector Border Patrol officials
                             said that the sector increased manpower over the past 5 years through an
                             increase in Border Patrol agents that was augmented by National Guard
                             personnel, and that CBP’s Secure Border Initiative (SBI) provided border
                             fencing and other infrastructure, as well as technology enhancements. 15
                             Border Patrol officials also attributed decreases in estimated known illegal
                             entries and apprehensions to the deterrence effect of CBP consequence
                             programs—programs intended to deter repeated illegal border crossings
                             by ensuring the most efficient consequence or penalty for individuals who
                             illegally enter the United States. One such multiagency initiative,
                             Streamline, is a criminal prosecutions program targeting aliens who
                             illegally enter the United States through designated geographic
                             locations. 16


Other Border Patrol Data     Border Patrol collects other types of data that are used by sector
Provide a Broader            management to help inform assessment of its efforts to secure the border
Perspective on Changes in    against the threats of illegal migration, smuggling of drugs and other
                             contraband, and terrorism. These data show changes in the (1)
Border Security Related to   percentage of estimated known illegal entrants who are apprehended, (2)
Illegal Migration,           percentage of estimated known illegal entrants who are apprehended
Smuggling of Drugs and       more than once (repeat offenders), (3) number of seizures of drugs and
Other Contraband, and        other contraband, and (4) number of apprehensions of persons from
                             countries at an increased risk of sponsoring terrorism. In addition,
Terrorism                    apprehension and seizure data can be analyzed in terms of where they
                             occurred relative to distance from the border as an indicator of progress
                             in Border Patrol enforcement efforts. Border Patrol officials at sectors we
                             visited, and our review of fiscal years 2010 and 2012 sector operational
                             assessments, indicated that sectors have historically used these types of


                             15
                                The number of Border Patrol agents in Tucson sector increased from nearly 2,600 in
                             fiscal year 2006 to about 4,200 in fiscal year 2011, augmented by 9,000 National Guard
                             personnel deployed periodically from June 2006 through July 2008 under Operation Jump
                             Start. Under SBI, CBP expended approximately $850 million on technology in Arizona
                             such as wide-area and mobile surveillance systems, to augment Tucson sector
                             operations. Other infrastructure as of March 2012 included installation of 352 miles of
                             pedestrian fencing and 299 miles of vehicle fencing along the southwest border, for a
                             combined total of 651 miles of fencing.
                             16
                               Federal entities participating in Streamline are CBP, the U.S. Attorneys’ Office, the U.S.
                             Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of
                             Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review.




                             Page 13                                               GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                              data to inform tactical deployment of personnel and technology to
                              address cross-border threats; however, the agency has not analyzed
                              these data at the national level to inform strategic decision making,
                              according to Border Patrol headquarters officials. These officials stated
                              that greater use of these data in assessing border security at the national
                              level may occur as the agency transitions to the new strategic plan.

Apprehensions Compared with   The 2004 Strategy recognized that factors in addition to apprehensions
Estimated Known Illegal       can be used to assess changes in Border Patrol’s enforcement efforts to
Entries                       secure the border, including changes in the percentage of estimated
                              known illegal entrants who are apprehended (apprehensions as a
                              percentage of estimated known illegal entrants), and changes in the
                              number and percentage of apprehensions made closer to the border. 17
                              Border Patrol headquarters officials said that the percentage of estimated
                              known illegal entrants who are apprehended is primarily used to
                              determine the effectiveness of border security operations at the tactical—
                              or zone—level but can also affect strategic decision making. The data are
                              also used to inform overall situational awareness at the border, which
                              directly supports field planning and redeployment of resources.

                              Our analysis of Border Patrol data for the Tucson sector showed little
                              change in the percentage of estimated known illegal entrants who were
                              apprehended by the Border Patrol over the past 5 fiscal years.
                              Specifically, our analysis showed that of the total number of estimated
                              known aliens who illegally crossed the Tucson sector border from Mexico
                              each year, Border Patrol apprehended 62 percent in fiscal year 2006
                              compared with 64 percent in fiscal year 2011, an increase of about 2
                              percentage points. Results varied across other southwest border sectors,
                              as shown in appendix V.

                              Over the last fiscal year, however, Border Patrol apprehensions across
                              the southwest border and in the Tucson sector have occurred closer to
                              the border. In the Tucson sector, for example, the percentage of
                              apprehensions occurring more than 20 miles from the border was smaller
                              in fiscal year 2011 than in fiscal year 2010, while a greater percentage of



                              17
                                In February 2011 we testified that “number of apprehensions” is an output measure and
                              as such is a useful indicator of activity levels but does not necessarily reflect an
                              improvement in enforcement effectiveness. See GAO, Border Security: Preliminary
                              Observations on Border Control Measures for the Southwest Border, GAO-11-374T
                              (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 15, 2011).




                              Page 14                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
apprehensions in fiscal year 2011 occurred more than 5 to 20 miles from
the border, as shown in figure 4. There was little change in the
percentage of apprehensions within 1 mile of the border. Similarly,
apprehensions across the southwest border have also moved closer to
the border over time, with the greatest percentage of apprehensions
occurring more than 5 to 20 miles from the border in fiscal year 2011.
(See app. VI for additional information.)

Figure 4: Number and Percentage of Border Patrol Apprehensions by Distance from
the Border in the Tucson Sector, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011




Of the 13 ranchers we spoke or corresponded with in the Tucson sector,
6 said they would like to see Border Patrol enforce closer to the border to
prevent illegal entry and trespass on their properties. Generally, these
ranchers indicated that the level of illegal migrants coming across their
properties had declined, but said the level of drug smuggling had
remained constant. They were most concerned about safety, but cited
considerable property damage and concerns that illegal trafficking had
affected land values and driven up costs in the ranching industry. Border
Patrol officials in the Tucson sector said that some factors precluding
greater border presence included terrain that was inaccessible or created



Page 15                                       GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                   a tactical disadvantage, the distance from Border Patrol stations to the
                   border, and access to ranches and lands that were federally protected
                   and environmentally sensitive. Border Patrol officials also said they have
                   taken steps to address factors that prevent closer access to the border,
                   such as establishing forward operating bases—permanent facilities in
                   remote locations near the border—and substations closer to the border,
                   and working with ranchers and the federal government to ensure access
                   to protected lands.

Repeat Offenders   The 2004 Strategy stated that changes in the percentage of persons
                   apprehended who have repeatedly crossed the border illegally (referred
                   to as the recidivism rate) is a factor that Border Patrol considers in
                   assessing its ability to deter individuals from attempting to illegally cross
                   the border. Our analysis of Border Patrol apprehension data showed that
                   the recidivism rate has declined across the southwest border by about 6
                   percentage points from fiscal year 2008 to 2011 in regard to the number
                   of apprehended aliens who had repeatedly crossed the border in the prior
                   3 years. 18 Specifically, our analysis showed that the recidivism rate
                   across the overall southwest border was about 42 percent in fiscal year
                   2008 compared with about 36 percent in fiscal year 2011. 19 The Tucson
                   sector had the third highest recidivism rate across the southwest border in
                   fiscal year 2011, while the highest rate of recidivism occurred in El Centro
                   sector, as shown in figure 5. According to Border Patrol headquarters
                   officials, the agency has implemented various initiatives designed to




                   18
                     We used a rolling 3-fiscal year time period to determine the percentage of
                   apprehensions of deportable aliens in a given year who had previously been apprehended
                   for illegally crossing the border in any of the previous 3 years, at any southwest border
                   location. We used four rolling 3-fiscal year time periods because our analysis covered a 5-
                   year period and required comparable time periods to assess recidivism in each fiscal year.
                   Using a single time period would result in a bias given that some apprehensions in earlier
                   years would be incorrectly classified as nonrecidivist.
                   19
                    Changes in the recidivism rate could be due to factors other than the deterrent effect of
                   Border Patrol’s enforcement activities, such as changes in the U.S. economy.




                   Page 16                                              GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                              address recidivism through increased prosecution of individuals
                              apprehended for crossing the border illegally. 20

                              Figure 5: Recidivism Numbers and Percentages for Border Patrol Apprehensions
                              across Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Year 2011




Seizures of Drugs and Other   The 2004 Strategy identifies the detection, apprehension, and deterrence
Contraband                    of smugglers of drugs, humans, and other contraband as a primary
                              objective. Border Patrol headquarters officials said that data regarding
                              seizures of drugs and other contraband are good indicators of the
                              effectiveness of targeted enforcement operations, and are used to identify
                              trends in the smuggling threat and as indicators of overall cross-border


                              20
                                 Border Patrol’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan emphasizes the importance of the application
                              of appropriate consequences to illegal entrants. As previously discussed, Border Patrol
                              has developed a new Consequence Delivery System that guides management and agents
                              in evaluating each individual apprehended and identifying the ideal consequence to break
                              the smuggling cycle. Consequences delivered under the system include administrative,
                              criminal prosecution, and programmatic elements that are designed to stem the flow of
                              illegal activity.




                              Page 17                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
illegal activity, in addition to potential gaps in border coverage, risk, and
enforcement operations. However, these officials stated that these data
are not used as a performance measure for overall border security
because while the agency has a mission to secure the border against the
smuggling threat, most smuggling is related to illegal drugs, and that drug
smuggling is the primary responsibility of other federal agencies, such as
the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations. 21

Our analysis of Border Patrol data indicated that across southwest border
sectors, seizures of drugs and other contraband increased 83 percent
over the past 5 fiscal years, with drug seizures accounting for the vast
majority of all contraband seizures. Specifically, the number of drug and
contraband seizures increased from 10,321 in fiscal year 2006 to 18,898
in fiscal year 2011. Most seizures of drugs and other contraband occurred
in the Tucson sector, with about 28 percent, or 5,299, of the 18,898
southwest border seizures occurring in the sector in fiscal year 2011, as
shown in figure 6. 22




21
   According to Border Patrol headquarters officials, increasing and sustaining certainty of
arrest is critical to the success of Border Patrol’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan, as it places
emphasis on applying capabilities against the greatest risk. By managing risk, the agency
can better respond to transnational criminal organizations and their efforts. A key objective
is to increase and sustain certainty of arrest of illegal border crossers regardless of their
intent or cargo.
22
  Drugs accounted for the vast majority of all contraband seizures. Although drug seizures
increased 81 percent from fiscal years 2006 through 2011, the percentage of all
contraband seizures that were drug seizures compared with the percentage of all
contraband seizures remained nearly constant, averaging about 93 percent over this time
period.




Page 18                                               GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Figure 6: Number and Percentage of Seizures of Drugs and Other Contraband
across Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Year 2011




Further analysis of these data in the Tucson sector showed that the
percentage of drugs and other contraband seized closer to the border—
5 miles or less—decreased slightly from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year
2011. Specifically, the Tucson sector made 42 percent of drug and other
contraband seizures within 5 miles of the border in fiscal year 2010, and
38 percent within 5 miles of the border in fiscal year 2011. Across other
southwest border sectors, the distance from the border where seizures
occurred varied, as shown in figure 7. For example, about 49 percent of
the seizures in the El Centro sector occurred within 1 mile of the border in
fiscal year 2011 compared with less than 7 percent of seizures within 1
mile of the border in the El Paso sector. Border Patrol headquarters
officials stated that variances in data across sectors reflect geographical
and structural differences among Border Patrol sectors—each sector is
characterized by varying topography, unique ingress and egress routes,
land access issues, and differing technology and infrastructure
deployments, all of which affect how a sector operates and therefore the
ability to make seizures at or near the border.




Page 19                                       GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Figure 7: Number and Percentage of Seizures across Southwest Border Patrol Sectors by Distance from the Border, Fiscal
Year 2011




Apprehensions of Aliens Posing          The 2004 Strategy identified the detection and prevention of terrorists and
a Potential Increased Risk for          their weapons from entering the United States between the ports of entry
Terrorism                               as a primary objective. ASICs are considered to pose a greater potential
                                        risk for terrorism than other aliens, and Border Patrol headquarters
                                        officials said that they collect data on the number of ASIC apprehensions
                                        in accordance with the reporting and documentation procedures outlined
                                        in policy and guidance. However, Border Patrol headquarters officials
                                        stated that they did not consider changes in the number of ASICs
                                        apprehended in their assessment of border security because until
                                        recently, they had been primarily focused on reducing the overall number
                                        of illegal entries, and that terrorism was addressed by multiple agencies
                                        besides the Border Patrol, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation
                                        within the Department of Justice.



                                        Page 20                                        GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Our analysis of Border Patrol data showed that apprehensions of ASICs
across the southwest border increased each fiscal year from 239 in fiscal
2006 to 399 in fiscal year 2010, but dropped to 253 in fiscal year 2011.
The Rio Grande Valley sector had more than half of all ASIC
apprehensions across the southwest border in both fiscal years 2010 and
2011, as shown in figure 8.

Figure 8: Number of Aliens from Special Interest Countries Apprehended across
Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011




Page 21                                        GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Further analysis of these data showed differences in progress to
apprehend ASICs closer to the border in support of Border Patrol’s overall
intention to prevent potential terrorist threats from crossing U.S. borders.
For example, Rio Grande Valley sector nearly doubled the percentage of
ASICs apprehended within 1 mile of the border from the preceding fiscal
year, from 26 percent in fiscal year 2010 to 48 percent in fiscal year 2011.
In contrast, ASIC apprehensions within 1 mile of the border in Tucson
sector decreased from 26 percent in fiscal 2010 to 8 percent in fiscal year
2011. 23 Across the southwest border, the greatest percentage of ASICs
was apprehended more than 20 miles from the border in fiscal year 2011,
as shown in figure 9. Border Patrol headquarters officials said they are
transitioning to a new methodology to identify the potential terrorist risk in
fiscal year 2013. This new methodology will replace the use of a country-
specific list with a range of other factors to identify persons posing an
increased risk for terrorism when processing deportable aliens.




23
  Most—85 percent—of Tucson sector ASIC apprehensions occurred more than 20 miles
from the border.




Page 22                                        GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Figure 9: Number and Percentage of Aliens from Special Interest Countries Apprehended across Southwest Border Patrol
Sectors by Distance from the Border, Fiscal Year 2011




                                       Page 23                                        GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                               The Tucson sector scheduled a higher percentage of agent workdays to
Southwest Border               enforcement activities related to patrolling the border than other
Sectors Scheduled              southwest border sectors in fiscal year 2011. 24 However, until recently
                               sectors have differed in how they collect and report data that Border
Agents Differently             Patrol used to assess its overall effectiveness in using resources to
across Border Zones            secure the border, precluding comparison across sectors. In September
                               2012, Border Patrol issued new guidance on standardizing data collection
and Enforcement                and reporting practices that could increase data reliability and allow
Activities; Data               comparison across locations.
Limitations Preclude
Comparison of
Overall Effectiveness
Factors Affecting Agent
Deployment in Border           Border Patrol’s 2004 Strategy provided for increasing resources and
                               deploying these resources using an approach that provided for several
Zones Include Local            layers of Border Patrol agents at the immediate border and in other areas
Terrain, Infrastructure, and   100 miles or more away from the border (referred to as defense in depth).
Technology, but Most           According to CBP officials, as resources increased, Border Patrol sought
Sectors Schedule Agents to     to move enforcement closer to the border over time to better position the
Patrol the Border              agency to ensure the arrest of those trying to enter the country illegally. 25
                               Headquarters and field officials said station supervisors determine (1)
                               whether to deploy agents in border zones or interior zones, and (2) the
                               types of enforcement or nonenforcement activities agents are to perform.
                               Border Patrol officials from the five sectors we visited stated that they
                               used similar factors in making deployment decisions, such as intelligence
                               showing the presence of threat across locations, the nature of the threat,
                               and environmental factors including terrain and weather.



                               24
                                 Although the Border Patrol deployment database uses the term “manday” when referring
                               to the scheduled deployment of agents, for the purposes of this report we use the term
                               “agent workday.” Both refer to the measure of staff hours equal to those of an agent who
                               works a shift of 8 hours per day. Border Patrol has a database to track the scheduling of
                               agent deployment in the field, which is to be updated to reflect the most recent
                               deployment changes. Deployment figures referred to in this report therefore may be for
                               scheduled, not actual, agent deployment.
                               25
                                 According to Border Patrol officials, enforcement includes efforts of Border Patrol agents
                               to deter cross-border illegal activity, apprehend aliens who illegally cross the border, and
                               seize drugs and other contraband.




                               Page 24                                              GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Our analysis of Border Patrol data showed differences across sectors in
the percentage of agent workdays scheduled for border zones and
interior zones in fiscal year 2011. Specifically, our analysis showed that
while Tucson sector scheduled 43 percent of agent workdays to border
zones in fiscal year 2011, agent workdays scheduled for border zones by
other southwest border sectors ranged from 26 percent in the Yuma
sector to 53 percent in the El Centro sector, as shown in figure 10. 26
Border Patrol officials attributed the variation in border zone deployment
to differences in geographical factors among the southwest border
sectors—such as varying topography, ingress and egress routes, and
land access issues, and structural factors such as technology and
infrastructure deployments—and stated that these factors affect how
sectors operate and may preclude closer deployment to the border.
Additionally, many southwest border sectors have interior stations that
are responsible for operations at some distance from the border, such as
at interior checkpoints generally located 25 miles or more from the border,
which could also affect their percentage of agent workdays scheduled for
border zones.




26
  For the Tucson sector specifically, our analysis of Border Patrol data showed that there
had been a slight increase in the percentage of agent workdays scheduled for border
zones compared to interior zones in the last 5 fiscal years. Specifically, our analysis
showed that 43 percent of Tucson sector agent workdays were scheduled for deployment
in border zones in fiscal year 2011 compared with 39 percent in fiscal year 2006.




Page 25                                              GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Figure 10: Border Patrol Agent Workdays Deployed to Border Zones and Interior
Zones across Southwest Border Sectors, Fiscal Year 2011




Southwest border sectors scheduled most agent workdays for
enforcement activities during fiscal years 2006 to 2011 and the activity
related to patrolling the border accounted for a greater proportion of
enforcement activity workdays than any of the other activities. Sectors
schedule agent workdays across various activities categorized as
enforcement or nonenforcement. 27 Across enforcement activities, our
analysis of Border Patrol data showed that all sectors scheduled more
agent workdays for “patrolling the border”—activities defined to occur
within 25 miles of the border—than any other enforcement activity, as



27
  The percentage of total agent workdays scheduled for deployment across enforcement
activities compared to nonenforcement activities in fiscal year 2011 ranged from a low of
66 percent in the Yuma sector to a high of 81 percent in the Big Bend sector. The Tucson
sector scheduled 73 percent of agent workdays across enforcement activities in fiscal year
2011.




Page 26                                             GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
shown in figure 11.28 Border Patrol duties under this activity include
patrolling by vehicle, horse, and bike; patrolling with canines; performing
sign cutting; and performing special activities such as mobile search and
rescue. Other enforcement activities to which Border Patrol scheduled
agent workdays included conducting checkpoint duties, developing
intelligence, and performing aircraft operations. (See app. VII for a listing
of nonenforcement activities.)

Figure 11: Border Patrol Agent Workdays Scheduled across Enforcement Activities
across Southwest Border Sectors, Fiscal Year 2011




Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent because of rounding.




28
  Data on the extent to which these activities occurred at the immediate border were not
available.




Page 27                                                 GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Data Limitations Preclude   Border Patrol sectors and stations track changes in their overall
Comparing Effectiveness     effectiveness as a tool to determine if the appropriate mix and placement
of Resource Deployment      of personnel and assets are being deployed and used effectively and
                            efficiently, according to officials from Border Patrol headquarters. Border
across Locations            Patrol calculates an overall effectiveness rate using a formula in which it
                            adds the number of apprehensions and turn backs in a specific sector
                            and divides this total by the total estimated known illegal entries—
                            determined by adding the number of apprehensions, turn backs, and got
                            aways for the sector. 29 Border Patrol sectors and stations report this
                            overall effectiveness rate to headquarters. Border Patrol views its border
                            security efforts as increasing in effectiveness if the number of turn backs
                            as a percentage of estimated known illegal entries has increased and the
                            number of got aways as a percentage of estimated known illegal entries
                            has decreased.

                            Our analysis of Tucson sector apprehension, turn back, and got away
                            data from fiscal years 2006 through 2011 showed that while Tucson
                            sector apprehensions remained fairly constant at about 60 percent of
                            estimated known illegal entries, the percentage of reported turn backs
                            increased from about 5 percent to about 23 percent, while the percentage
                            of reported got aways decreased from about 33 percent to about 13
                            percent, as shown in figure 12. As a result of these changes in the mix of
                            turn backs and got aways, Border Patrol data showed that enforcement
                            effort, or the overall effectiveness rate for Tucson sector, improved 20
                            percentage points from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2011, from 67
                            percent to 87 percent. (See app. VIII for additional information.)




                            29
                              Border Patrol officials stated that only entrants who can be traced back to a cross-border
                            entry point in a border zone are to be reported as got aways. These officials also noted
                            that while the agency strives to minimize variance in the collection of these data by using
                            standard terminology and consistent collection and reporting methods, in many cases the
                            determination of a turn back or got away depends on agent judgment. Patrol agents-in-
                            charge are responsible for ensuring that Border Patrol agents are aware of the integrity of
                            data collection at their respective stations and field commanders must ensure the accurate
                            counting of got away data for reconciling possible inconsistencies in data between
                            operational boundaries.




                            Page 28                                              GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Figure 12: Number of Tucson Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, Turn Backs, and
Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006
through 2011




Border Patrol data showed that the effectiveness rate for eight of the nine
sectors on the southwest border improved from fiscal years 2006 through
2011. The exception was the Big Bend sector, which showed a decrease
in the overall effectiveness rate, from 86 percent to 68 percent, during this
time period. Border Patrol headquarters officials said that differences in
how sectors define, collect, and report turn back and got away data used
to calculate the overall effectiveness rate preclude comparing
performance results across sectors. Border Patrol headquarters officials
stated that until recently, each Border Patrol sector decided how it would
collect and report turn back and got away data, and as a result, practices
for collecting and reporting the data varied across sectors and stations
based on differences in agent experience and judgment, resources, and
terrain. In terms of defining and reporting turn back data, for example,
Border Patrol headquarters officials said that a turn back was to be
recorded only if it is perceived to be an “intended entry”—that is, the
reporting agent believed the entrant intended to stay in the United States,



Page 29                                       GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
but Border Patrol activities caused the individual to return to Mexico. 30
According to Border Patrol officials, it can be difficult to tell if an illegal
crossing should be recorded as a turn back, and sectors have different
procedures for reporting and classifying incidents. In terms of collecting
data, Border Patrol officials reported that sectors rely on a different mix of
cameras, sign cutting, credible sources, and visual observation to identify
and report the number of turn backs and got aways. 31 (See app. IX for
additional information.)

According to Border Patrol officials, the ability to obtain accurate or
consistent data using these identification sources depends on various
factors, such as terrain and weather. For example, data on turn backs
and got aways may be understated in areas with rugged mountains and
steep canyons that can hinder detection of illegal entries. In other cases,
data may be overstated—for example, in cases where the same turn back
identified by a camera is also identified by sign cutting. Double counting
may also occur when agents in one zone record as a got away an
individual who is apprehended and then reported as an apprehension in
another zone. As a result of these data limitations, Border Patrol
headquarters officials said that while they consider turn back and got
away data sufficiently reliable to assess each sector’s progress toward
border security and to inform sector decisions regarding resource
deployment, they do not consider the data sufficiently reliable to
compare—or externally report—results across sectors.

Border Patrol headquarters officials issued guidance in September 2012
to provide a more consistent, standardized approach for the collection
and reporting of turn back and got away data by Border Patrol sectors.
Each sector is to be individually responsible for monitoring adherence to
the guidance. According to Border Patrol officials, it is expected that once
the guidance is implemented, data reliability will improve. This new



30
  Officials said that sometimes illegal entrants can be “drop offs” or “decoys” to lure
agents away from a specific area so others can cross, such as smugglers returning to
Mexico to pick up another load, or an individual crossing the border to steal an item and
take it back to Mexico.
31
  “Camera” indicates that one of the remote cameras caught sight of an individual; “sign
cut” indicates that an agent encountered foot prints that led him/her to believe that an
unauthorized crossing took place; “credible source” indicates a report by a non-Border
Patrol witness, who could be a local law enforcement agent, a citizen, or a ground sensor;
“visual” indicates an agent actually witnessed an unauthorized crossing.




Page 30                                              GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                         guidance may allow for comparison of sector performance and inform
                         decisions regarding resource deployment for securing the southwest
                         border.


                         Border Patrol does not yet have performance goals and measures in
Border Patrol Has Not    place necessary to define border security and determine the resources
Yet Developed Goals      necessary to achieve it. Border Patrol officials said that they had planned
                         to establish such goals and measures by fiscal year 2012, but these
and Measures for         efforts have been delayed, and are contingent on developing and
Assessing Efforts and    implementing key elements of its strategic plan. Further, Border Patrol is
                         in the process of developing a plan for implementing key elements of the
Identifying Resource     2012-2016 Strategic Plan that may be used to inform resource needs
Needs under the New      across locations, and expects to begin developing a process for
                         assessing resource needs and informing deployment decisions across
Strategic Plan           the southwest border once key elements of its strategic plan have been
                         implemented in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.


Border Patrol Has Not    Border Patrol officials stated that the agency is in the process of
Established Milestones   developing performance goals and measures for assessing the progress
and Time Frames for      of its efforts to secure the border between POEs and for informing the
                         identification and allocation of resources needed to secure the border, but
Developing Performance   has not identified milestones and time frames for developing and
Goals and Measures       implementing them. Since fiscal year 2011, DHS has used the number of
                         apprehensions on the southwest border between POEs as an interim
                         performance goal and measure for border security as reported in its
                         Annual Performance Report. In February 2011, we testified that DHS
                         intended to use this indicator as an interim performance goal and
                         measure until it completed development of new border control
                         performance goals and measures, which DHS officials expected to be in
                         place by fiscal year 2012. 32 However, as of September 2012, DHS had
                         not yet issued new performance goals and measures for assessing
                         border security or identified revised milestones and time frames for
                         developing and implementing them.




                         32
                           See GAO, Border Security: Preliminary Observations on Border Control Measures for
                         the Southwest Border, GAO-11-374T (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 15, 2011).




                         Page 31                                           GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
We previously testified that the interim goal and measure of number of
apprehensions on the southwest border between POEs provides
information on activity levels, but it does not inform program results or
resource identification and allocation decisions, and therefore until new
goals and measures are developed, DHS and Congress could experience
reduced oversight and DHS accountability. 33 Further, studies
commissioned by CBP have documented that the number of
apprehensions bears little relationship to effectiveness because agency
officials do not compare these numbers with the amount of cross-border
illegal activity. 34

According to Border Patrol officials, establishing milestones and time
frames for the development of performance goals and measures is
contingent on the development of key elements of the 2012-2016
Strategic Plan, such as a risk assessment tool, and the agency’s time
frames for implementing these key elements—targeted for fiscal years
2013 and 2014—are subject to change. Specifically, under the 2012-2016
Strategic Plan, the Border Patrol plans to continuously evaluate border
security—and resource needs—by comparing changes in risk levels
against available resources across border locations. Border Patrol
officials stated the agency is in the process of identifying performance
goals and measures that can be linked to these new risk assessment
tools that will show progress and status in securing the border between
POEs, and determine needed resources, but has not established
milestones and time frames for developing and implementing goals and
measures because the agency’s time frames for implementing key
elements of the plan are subject to change. 35 Standard practices in
program management call for documenting the scope of a project as well
as milestones and time frames for timely completion and implementation




33
 See GAO, Border Patrol Strategy: Progress and Challenges in Implementation and
Assessment Efforts, GAO-12-688T (Washington, D.C.: May 8, 2012).
34
 For example, see Homeland Security Institute, Measuring the Effect of the Arizona
Border Control Initiative (Arlington, Va.: Oct. 18, 2005).
35
  Border Patrol officials stated that DHS and Border Patrol have established a
performance goal—linked to relevant measures—addressing border security that, as of
October 2012, was being used as an internal management indicator. However, a DHS
official said it has not been decided whether this goal and the associated measures will be
publicly reported or used as an overall performance goal and measures for border
security.




Page 32                                              GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                            to ensure results are achieved. 36 These standard practices also call for
                            project planning—such as identifying time frames—to be performed in the
                            early phases of a program and recognize that plans may need to be
                            adjusted along the way in response to unexpected circumstances. Time
                            frames for implementing key elements of the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan
                            can change; however, milestones and time frames for the development of
                            performance goals and measures could help ensure that goals and
                            measures are completed in a timely manner. Moreover, milestones and
                            time frames could better position CBP to monitor progress in developing
                            and implementing goals and measures, which would provide DHS and
                            Congress with information on the results of CBP efforts to secure the
                            border between POEs and the extent to which existing resources and
                            capabilities are appropriate and sufficient.


Border Patrol Is in the     Border Patrol headquarters officials stated that they were in the process
Process of Implementing     of developing a plan for implementing key elements of the 2012-2016
Key Elements of the         Strategic Plan that may be used to inform resource needs across
                            locations, and expect to begin developing a process for assessing
Strategic Plan and a        resource needs and informing deployment decisions across the
Process for Assessing       southwest border once those key elements have been implemented.
Resource Needs              Border Patrol officials said that they planned to develop and implement
                            key elements of the new strategic plan in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

Implementation of the New   According to Border Patrol officials, the Border Patrol 2012-2016
Strategic Plan              Strategic Plan identifies several key elements that are to inform agency
                            resource needs and deployment decisions. Border Patrol officials
                            reported in September 2012 that they were in the process of developing
                            an implementation plan that is to lay out how key elements of the new
                            strategic plan are to be implemented. Border Patrol officials reported that,
                            in general, key elements of the strategic plan are to be developed and
                            implemented during fiscal years 2013 and 2014. According to agency
                            officials, key strategic plan elements to be addressed by the
                            implementation plan that are to inform agency resource needs and
                            deployment decisions include (1) a process for identifying risk that is to
                            inform resource decisions, (2) the enhancement of mobile response
                            capabilities to redeploy resources to address the shifts in threat, and (3)



                            36
                             The Project Management Institute, The Standard for Program Management© (Newtown
                            Square, Penn., 2006).




                            Page 33                                        GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
an approach to integrate partner resources and contributions to enhance
Border Patrol capabilities (“whole-of-government” approach). 37 Border
Patrol officials told us that these elements are interdependent and must
be developed, refined, and disseminated to the field to strengthen the
effectiveness of the new strategic plan. According to these officials,
delays in the development of one element would likely affect the
development of others. For example, delays in implementing the new risk
assessment tools could affect sectors’ ability to identify appropriate
responses to changing levels of risk.

•   Risk assessment tools. In September 2012, Border Patrol officials
    said they were in the process of developing two tools that are to be
    used in the field to identify and manage risk under the agency’s new
    risk management approach. The first tool for assessing risk is the
    Operational Implementation Plan (OIP), a qualitative process that
    prioritizes sector evaluations of border security threats and identifies
    potential responses. Border Patrol is developing a second tool—a
    quantitative model called the Integrated Mission Analysis Tool
    (IMAT)—that is to, among other things, assess risk and capability by
    predicting and identifying the need for various courses of action, such
    as the rapid response of resources to the highest risks. Actions are to
    be assessed based on a comparison of agency capability with risk. In
    contrast to the OIP, the IMAT is to be completed at the zone level by
    stations; consolidated station outputs may then be used by sectors to
    inform the OIP process. The IMAT is to use data from various sources
    to develop a “Border Assessment of Threat” of known or potential
    threats by zone and compare that assessment with a point-in-time
    operational assessment of each sector’s capability to determine to
    what extent current capability—including resources—matches the




37
   Other key elements of the new strategic plan that might inform resource decision making
are “Change Detection Capability” (a tactical strategy to evaluate low-threat areas for
changes in threat levels and increase situational awareness), “Leverage Technology” (the
process whereby Border Patrol manages requirements for existing and emerging
technology based on mission and capability gaps), and “Targeted Enforcement” (the use
of intelligence and analysis to focus deployment of capabilities to prevent and disrupt
terrorist and transnational threats). According to Border Patrol officials, these elements are
to be developed through the application of multiple processes, such as the agency’s new
risk model and its overall process for assessing resource needs.




Page 34                                               GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
     perceived risk. 38 On the basis of the outcome, the station can then
     choose from various predetermined courses of action to address the
     perceived level of risk, such as reallocating resources or leveraging
     external—law enforcement partner—resources. 39 Once the IMAT is
     fully implemented, Border Patrol plans for the resulting outputs to be
     used to reassess and inform OIP decision making; information from
     both systems is to be used to inform resource needs and deployment
     decisions after the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan has been implemented.

     According to Border Patrol officials, both the OIP and the IMAT are to
     identify risk and potential responses at the sector level. However,
     these tools will not allow Border Patrol to assess and prioritize risks
     and response options across sectors. 40 Moreover, agency officials
     said that when the IMAT is fully deployed, in fiscal year 2014, it will
     not have the capacity to differentiate among threats related to
     terrorists and their weapons, drugs and other illegal contraband, and
     illegal migration (such as recidivism, in which individuals repeatedly
     cross the border illegally). Border Patrol officials said the agency
     plans to explore mechanisms for developing these capabilities—
     assessing risk across sectors and differentiating threat—once OIP
     and IMAT have been developed and implemented in fiscal year 2014.
     According to Border Patrol headquarters officials, as of August 2012,
     the agency was in the process of pilot testing the OIP and the IMAT in
     the field and expected to begin to initially implement the OIP and
     populate the IMAT through a web-based program that will record
     baseline data on threat and operational conditions throughout fiscal
     year 2013.




38
  According to Border Patrol officials, the IMAT is to be developed by surveying stations to
assess capabilities and assets. Once it is implemented, the field surveys are to be
updated once every quarter, or as needed, with threat intelligence and other data to
assess risk levels. CBP components and law enforcement partners are to be identified in
“partnership” assessments, and their resources and capabilities are to be considered but
not specifically assessed.
39
  For example, if risk is greater than sector capability, Border Patrol could choose to
deploy urgent solutions or develop new capabilities based on the nature of the risk.
40
  According to Border Patrol officials, the IMAT can aggregate risks and capabilities at the
station, sector, and agency levels, but zones, stations, and sectors must be adjacent to
one another to allow comparison.




Page 35                                               GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
•     Rapid deployment of resources. A second key element of the 2012-
      2016 Strategic Plan is to increase mobility and rapid deployment of
      personnel and resources to quickly counter and interdict threats
      based on shifts in smuggling routes and tactical intelligence. As we
      testified in May 2012, CBP reported expanding the training and
      response capabilities of the Border Patrol’s specialized response
      teams to support domestic and international intelligence-driven and
      antiterrorism efforts as well as other special operations. 41 Additionally,
      Border Patrol officials stated that in fiscal year 2011, Border Patrol
      allocated 500 agent positions to provide a national group of
      organized, trained, and equipped Border Patrol agents who are
      capable of rapid movement to regional and national incidents in
      support of high-priority CBP missions. However, we testified in May
      2012 that Border Patrol officials had not fully assessed to what extent
      the redeployment of existing resources would be sufficient to meet
      security needs, or when additional resources would need to be
      requested. 42 In September 2012, Border Patrol officials said they had
      not yet developed a process for assessing the need for, or
      implementation of, rapid deployment of existing resources to mitigate
      changing risk levels along the border, but expected to do so after
      programs and processes—key elements—identified in the strategic
      plan have been more fully developed. In the interim, deployment
      decisions—such as the redeployment of agents and mobile
      technology to border areas identified as having greater, or
      unacceptable, levels of risk—are to be made at the sector level.

•     Integrated partner resources. A third key element of the 2012-2016
      Strategic Plan is the capability of Border Patrol and federal, state,
      local, and international partners working together to quickly and
      appropriately respond to changing threats through the timely and
      effective use of personnel and other resources. 43 According to the


41
    GAO-12-688T.
42
  Our review of Border Patrol operational assessments showed that Border Patrol
reported difficulty maintaining border control in areas from which resources had been
redeployed. Border Patrol stations within six of the nine southwest border sectors reported
that agent deployment to other stations have affected their own deployment and
enforcement activities. See GAO-12-688T.
43
   Border Patrol officials stated that he 2012-2016 Strategic Plan is predicated on Border
Patrol and federal, state, local, tribal, and international partners working together to use a
risk-based approach to secure the border, and therefore an assessment of capability is to
include the leveraging of all partner resources, including CBP component resources.




Page 36                                                GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                                      new strategic plan, this “whole of government” approach will be
                                      achieved through various efforts, including the expansion of
                                      operational integration (the combining of best practices, capabilities
                                      and strategies among partners) and jointly planned targeted
                                      operations (the leveraging of combined partner assets to address
                                      risks), the development and fusion of intelligence, and the creation of
                                      integrated partnerships (the sharing of resources, plans, and
                                      operations among partners). In December 2010, we recommended
                                      that CBP develop policy and guidance necessary to identify, assess,
                                      and integrate available partner resources in its operational
                                      assessments and resource planning documents. 44 CBP concurred
                                      with this recommendation, but as of June 2012, Border Patrol had not
                                      yet required partner resources to be incorporated into operational
                                      assessments or into documents that inform the resource planning
                                      process. 45 Border Patrol headquarters officials said that the agency
                                      has yet to finalize interim milestones for integrating partner resources
                                      into Border Patrol operational assessments and resource planning
                                      documents because it is still in the process of determining how
                                      partner resources are to be integrated; however, Border Patrol plans
                                      to have a process in place for that purpose in fiscal year 2014.

Process for Assessing Resource   According to Border Patrol officials, since the beginning of fiscal year
Needs                            2011, as the agency began transitioning from the 2004 resource-based
                                 strategy to the 2012-2016 risk-based strategic plan, the Border Patrol has
                                 been using an interim process for assessing the need for additional
                                 personnel, infrastructure, and technology in agency sectors. Border Patrol
                                 officials said that resource needs using this interim process are intended
                                 to maintain the current status of border security, and will be used until key
                                 elements of the strategic plan—such as the OIP and the IMAT—that are
                                 necessary to develop a new process have been implemented in fiscal
                                 years 2013 and 2014. Under this interim process, Border Patrol has
                                 maintained, with some exceptions, personnel and resource levels




                                 44
                                   GAO, Border Security: Enhanced DHS Oversight and Assessment of Interagency
                                 Coordination Is Needed for the Northern Border, GAO-11-97 (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 17,
                                 2010).
                                 45
                                   According to Border Patrol officials, CBP components and law enforcement partners are
                                 identified in “partnership assessments”; partner resources and capabilities are taken into
                                 account, but not specifically assessed.




                                 Page 37                                             GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
established in fiscal year 2010, the last year in which operational control
was used as a performance goal and measure for border security. 46

According to Border Patrol officials, under the new risk management
approach, the need for additional resources will be determined in terms of
unacceptable levels of risk caused by illegal activity across border
locations. Moreover, in considering ways to mitigate elevated risk levels,
Border Patrol will look to mechanisms other than resource enhancement
for expanding capacity, such as the rapid redeployment of resources from
locations with lower risk levels and the leveraging of partner resources
(i.e., a “whole of government” approach). Border Patrol officials said that
use of the new risk assessment tools—the OIP and the IMAT—in making
decisions for resource requests will be made at the sector level. Until a
new process for identifying resource needs has been developed, sectors
will continue to use annual operational assessments to reflect specific
objectives and measures for accomplishing annual sector priorities, as
well as identifying minimum budgetary requirements necessary to
maintain the current status of border security in each sector.

Border Patrol headquarters officials said that the resource levels
established at the end of fiscal year 2012 are to serve as a baseline
against which future needs are assessed, and that the personnel and
infrastructure in place across the southwest border by the end of fiscal
year 2012 should be sufficient to support the agency’s transition to a risk-
based strategy for securing the border. Key elements—such as the OIP
and the IMAT—of the strategic plan are necessary to evaluate the need
for resources; until these elements are in place, Border Patrol sectors are
to continue to request resources they have identified as necessary to
maintain the current status of border security. However, our review of
Border Patrol’s fiscal year 2012 operational assessments showed that
sectors have continued to show concerns about resource availability. For
example, all nine southwest border sectors reported a need for new or
replacement technology to detect and track illegal activity, six southwest
border sectors reported a need for additional infrastructure (such as all-


46
  According to Border Patrol officials, in fiscal year 2011, some sectors received additional
resources that were allocated in prior years as part of Border Patrol’s plans to attain
operational control at the southwest border. Of these, Tucson sector was the largest
recipient, receiving an additional 500 agent positions and additional technology and border
infrastructure. Border Patrol officials said that beginning in fiscal year 2010, Tucson sector
was designated as a high-priority area, with an emphasis on reducing the high levels of
estimated known illegal entries, apprehensions, and seizures.




Page 38                                               GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
              weather roads), and eight southwest border sectors reported a need for
              additional agents to maintain or attain an acceptable level of border
              security. 47 Border Patrol officials stated that at the time these operational
              assessments were developed—in fiscal year 2011—the agency had yet
              to transition to the new risk-management approach under the 2012-2016
              Strategic Plan and sectors were continuing to assess resource needs
              according to the 2004 resource-based model. 48 According to these
              officials, Border Patrol has determined that for fiscal year 2013 resource
              levels for most of the southwest border will remain constant, with the
              exception of the Tucson and Rio Grande Valley sectors, because of
              budget constraints. Border Patrol officials stated that the agency
              recognizes the need to develop a new process for assessing resource
              needs under the new risk management focus of the 2012-2016 Strategic
              Plan and that this process will be different from the prior system, which
              focused on increasing resources and activities at the border rather than
              using existing resources to manage risk. As Border Patrol is in the initial
              stages of developing and implementing the key elements of its 2012-2016
              Strategic Plan, it is too early to assess how Border Patrol will identify the
              level of resources needed to secure the border under the new plan.


              Securing the nation’s borders against the evolving threat of terrorism and
Conclusions   transnational crime is essential to the protection of the nation.
              Recognizing the importance of establishing secure national borders, DHS
              has dramatically increased resources and activities at the southwest
              border over the past several years to deter illegal border crossings and
              secure the border.

              With increased levels of resources and activities now in place, Border
              Patrol intends to transition from a resource-based approach to securing
              the nation’s borders to a risk management approach that seeks to
              leverage existing resources to manage risk. Given the nation’s ongoing
              need to identify and balance competing demands for limited resources,
              linking necessary resource levels to desired outcomes is critical to


              47
                For example, one southwest border station reported a need for fixed and movable
              technology to secure the remote and rugged terrain, reporting that without this technology,
              rapid response was often impossible.
              48
                According to Border Patrol officials, under the operational control performance goal and
              measure, sector operational assessments were used to identify resources needed in the
              following fiscal year to attain operational control at the border.




              Page 39                                              GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                      informed decision making. Accordingly, milestones and time frames—
                      established as soon as possible—for the development of performance
                      goals that define the levels of security—or risk—to be achieved at the
                      border could help ensure that goals are developed in a timely manner.
                      The establishment of such goals could help guide future border
                      investment and resources decisions. Similarly, milestones and time
                      frames for developing and implementing performance measures under
                      the new strategic plan that are linked to the Border Patrol’s goal for
                      securing the border could better ensure accountability and oversight of
                      the agency’s programs by better positioning it to show progress in
                      completing its efforts. Once established, border security performance
                      goals and measures would also support Border Patrol’s efforts to assess
                      whether the key elements—programs and processes—of its new strategic
                      plan have brought the agency closer to its strategic goal of securing the
                      border.


                      To support the implementation of Border Patrol’s 2012-2016 Strategic
Recommendations for   Plan and identify the resources needed to achieve the nation’s strategic
Executive Action      goal for securing the border, we recommend that the Commissioner of
                      Customs and Border Protection ensure that the Chief of the Office of
                      Border Patrol establish milestones and time frames for developing

                      •   a performance goal, or goals, for border security between the POEs
                          that defines how border security is to be measured and

                      •   a performance measure, or measures—linked to a performance goal
                          or goals—for assessing progress made in securing the border
                          between POEs and informing resource identification and allocation
                          efforts.


                      We provided a draft of this report to DHS for review and comment. DHS
Agency Comments       provided written comments, which are reproduced in full in appendix X,
and Our Evaluation    and technical comments, which we incorporated as appropriate. DHS
                      concurred with our recommendations for the agency to establish
                      milestones and time frames for developing performance goals and
                      measures for border security between the POEs, and stated that it plans
                      to establish such milestones and time frames by November 30, 2013.
                      Establishing these milestones and time frames would meet the intent of
                      our recommendations, but doing so as soon as possible, as we reported,
                      would better position CBP to monitor progress in developing and
                      implementing goals and measures, which would provide DHS and


                      Page 40                                    GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Congress with information on the results of CBP efforts to secure the
border between POEs and the extent to which existing resources and
capabilities are appropriate and sufficient. Further, DHS indicated that
Border Patrol cannot unilaterally develop a performance goal for border
security and define how it is to be measured, but can develop
performance goals that will likely become key components of an
overarching goal for border security. Since our recommendations were
directed at Border Patrol establishing milestones and time frames for
developing such goals and measures focused on border security between
the POEs, we believe that DHS’s proposed actions for Border Patrol in
this area would meet the intent of our recommendations, as Border Patrol
has primary responsibility for securing the border between POEs. Such
actions would help provide oversight and accountability for border
security between the POEs, support the implementation of Border Patrol’s
2012-2016 Strategic Plan, and help identify the resources needed to
achieve the goal for securing the border.


As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents
earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days after its
issue date. At that time, we will send copies of this report to the Secretary
of Homeland Security and interested congressional committees, as
appropriate. The report will also be available at no charge on the GAO
website at http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact
me at (202) 512-8777 or gamblerr@gao.gov. Contact points for our
Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on
the last page of this report. Key contributors to this report are listed in
appendix XI.




Rebecca Gambler
Acting Director
Homeland Security and Justice Issues




Page 41                                       GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
              Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
              Methodology



Methodology

              The report addresses the following three questions:

              •   What do data show about apprehensions across the southwest
                  border, and in the Tucson sector in particular, and what other types of
                  data, if any, does Border Patrol collect that inform changes in the
                  status of border security?

              •   How does the Tucson sector schedule agent deployment compared
                  with deployment in other southwest border sectors and to what extent
                  do the data show these deployments have been effective in securing
                  the border?

              •   To what extent has Border Patrol developed mechanisms to identify
                  resources needed to secure the border under its new strategic plan?

              In conducting our work, we gathered information and interviewed officials
              from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Customs and
              Border Protection (CBP) and the Office of Border Patrol. Specifically, we
              analyzed agency data related to Border Patrol performance and cross-
              border threats; policy, planning, and budget documents; sector
              operational assessments; border security reports; operations manuals;
              and strategic plans provided by Border Patrol. 1 We interviewed Border
              Patrol headquarters officials regarding data collection and analysis
              procedures, strategic planning, operational assessments, and border
              security programs and activities. We obtained relevant data from DHS
              and Border Patrol databases for fiscal years 2006 through 2011. We
              chose this time period because fiscal year 2006 was the first full year for
              which data were available following Border Patrol’s implementation of its
              2004 National Border Patrol Strategy (2004 Strategy). To assess the
              reliability of these data, we spoke with Border Patrol headquarters
              officials who oversee the maintenance and analyses of the data and with
              select sector and station officials regarding guidance and processes for


              1
               According to Border Patrol officials, Border Patrol sectors biannually develop operational
              assessments that identify and justify requests for additional resources to maintain or
              increase security in their areas of responsibility. These assessments are part of Border
              Patrol’s Operational Requirements Based Budget Process, a standardized national
              planning process that links sector- and station-level planning, operations, and budgets.
              These assessments are developed by Border Patrol sectors; CBP has divided geographic
              responsibility for the southwest border—between land ports of entry (POE)—among nine
              Border Patrol sectors. Each sector has a headquarters staffed with management
              personnel and each includes a varying number of stations, with agents responsible for
              patrolling within defined geographic areas.




              Page 42                                              GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and
Methodology




collecting and reporting data in regard to apprehensions of illegal
entrants, seizures of drugs and other contraband, and scheduling the
deployment of agents tracked in a Border Patrol database. We
determined that these data were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of
this report.

We conducted visits to five of the nine Border Patrol sectors on the
southwest border—San Diego sector, California; Yuma sector, Arizona;
Tucson sector, Arizona; El Paso sector, Texas; and Rio Grande Valley
sector, Texas. We selected these sectors based on differences in (1) the
level of threat as defined by Border Patrol data, (2) agency priorities for
resource deployment, (3) the level of operational control achieved in fiscal
year 2010, (4) the use of enforcement strategies deemed successful by
the Border Patrol in reducing cross-border illegal activity, and (5) varied
terrain. 2 Within these sectors we selected 21 Border Patrol stations to
visit based on factors such as the level of cross-border illegal activity as
defined by Border Patrol data and unique characteristics such as terrain
and topography. We visited both “border stations”—those having
international border miles—and “interior stations”—those without
international border miles. Because Border Patrol officials identified the
Tucson sector as the highest-priority sector for resource deployment in
fiscal year 2011 and it had the highest level of cross-border illegal activity,
we conducted site visits to each of the eight stations. (See table 1 for the
Border Patrol sectors and stations we visited and the location of each
station relative to the border.) While we cannot generalize the conditions
we found at these Border Patrol sectors and stations to all southwest
border locations, they provided us with an overall understanding of the
range of operating conditions across the southwest border, as well as
differences in how sectors and stations assess border security and deploy
resources.




2
 From fiscal years 2005 through 2010, DHS used operational control as its performance
goal and outcome measure for assessing security of the border between the ports of
entry. The extent of operational control—also referred to as effective control—was defined
as the number of border miles where Border Patrol had the capability to detect, respond
to, and interdict cross-border illegal activity. We analyzed the operational control status for
each of the southwest border sectors as of the end of fiscal year 2010, the last year for
which DHS used operational control as a measure of border security.




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Table 1: Southwest Border Patrol Sectors and Stations Visited by GAO, by Border
Patrol Sector

    Sector                       Stations
    San Diego                    •   Chula Vista (border station)
                                 •   Brown Field (border station)
                                 •   San Clemente (interior station)
    Yuma                         •   Yuma (border station)
                                 •   Wellton (border station)
    Tucson                       •   Ajo (border station)
                                 •   Casa Grande (border station)
                                 •   Tucson (border station)
                                 •   Nogales (border station)
                                 •   Sonoita (border station)
                                 •   Naco (border station)a
                                 •   Douglas (border station)
                                 •   Willcox (interior station)
    El Paso                      •   Lordsburg (border station)
                                 •   El Paso (border station)
                                 •   Fabens (border station)
                                 •   Fort Hancock (border station)
    Rio Grande Valley            •   Rio Grande City (border station)
                                 •   McAllen (border station)
                                 •   Harlingen (border station)
                                 •   Brownsville (border station)
Source: GAO.
a
In May 2012 the Naco station was renamed the Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station (Brian A. Terry
Memorial Act, Pub. L. No 112-113, 126 Stat. 334 (2012)).


In each location we observed conditions, including the use of personnel,
technology, and infrastructure, and conducted semistructured interviews
with Border Patrol sector and station officials.




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To assess trends in apprehensions, 3 seizures, and other types of data
Border Patrol uses to inform changes in the status of border security
across the southwest border and in the Tucson sector, we obtained
Border Patrol data for fiscal years 2006 through 2011 from DHS and
Border Patrol databases—apprehensions and seizure data from the
Enforcement Integrated Database (EID) and estimated cross-border
illegal activity data from the Border Patrol Enforcement Tracking System
(BPETS). 4 Because of the complexity and amount of the data sets we
requested, Border Patrol queried apprehension and seizure data in two
groups, with different run dates. 5 We analyzed Border Patrol
apprehension and seizure data by sector for each fiscal year to obtain an
overall view of cross-border illegal activity over time and the types of
threats in each sector. In addition, we analyzed apprehension data to
identify the number of repeat offenders (recidivism rate) and aliens from
special interest countries (ASIC) apprehended across years by sector, as
indicators of the extent to which deportable aliens with increased levels of




3
 Although Border Patrol arrests both deportable aliens and nondeportable individuals
whom they encounter during patrol activities, for the purposes of this report we define
“apprehensions” to include only deportable aliens, in keeping with Border Patrol’s
definition. According to the Immigration and Nationalization Act, deportable aliens include
those who are inadmissible to the United States or present in violation of U.S. law, who
have failed to maintain their status or violated the terms of their admission, or who have
committed certain criminal offenses or engaged in terrorist activities, among others. (See
8 U.S.C. § 1227 for a complete list of the classes of deportable aliens.) In some cases,
Border Patrol apprehends a deportable alien but turns the individual over to another
agency prior to initiating a removal. Aliens with lawful immigration status and U.S. citizens
would be considered nondeportable.
4
 The EID is a DHS-shared common database repository for several DHS law enforcement
and homeland security applications. Data on apprehensions and seizures are held in the
EID; data on scheduled deployment of agents are held in BPETS.
5
  Fiscal years 2010 and 2011 apprehension and seizure data were queried as of March
2012; data for fiscal years 2006 through 2009 data were queried as of April 2012. Border
Patrol officials stated that any differences in our apprehension and seizure numbers and
those of Border Patrol are due to variances in when the data were “queried,” or reported—
i.e., Border Patrol reports apprehension and other data on an “end-of-year” basis, and
therefore agency data do not reflect adjustments or corrections made after that reporting
date.




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associated risk were apprehended. 6 For fiscal years 2010 and 2011, we
also analyzed data showing the location of apprehensions, seizures, and
apprehensions of ASICs relative to their distance from the border. 7

We also analyzed data Border Patrol uses to assess estimated known
illegal entries (cross-border illegal activity) within each sector. 8 Although
estimated known illegal entry data can be compared within a sector over
time, these data cannot be compared or combined across sectors as
discussed in this report. Because of the complexity and amount of data
we requested, Border Patrol provided these data in two queries, with
different run dates. 9 We also interviewed relevant Border Patrol


6
  Our measurement of recidivism, using a rolling 3-fiscal year time period, is the
percentage of apprehensions of deportable individuals in a given year who had previously
been apprehended for illegally crossing the border in any of the previous 3 years, at any
southwest border location. In contrast, Border Patrol calculates recidivism by dividing the
total number of recidivists (individuals who have two or more apprehensions during a
specified time period) by the total number of unique subjects (individuals who may
account for one or multiple apprehensions, but are counted only once within a specified
time period and location). We used four rolling 3-fiscal year time periods rather than
Border Patrol’s methodology because our analysis covered a 5-year period and required
comparable time periods to assess recidivism in each fiscal year. Using a single time
period would result in a bias given that some apprehensions in earlier years would be
incorrectly classified as nonrecidivist.
7
  Border Patrol began mandating the collection of longitude and latitude coordinates for all
apprehensions and seizures in May 2009, therefore fiscal year 2010 was the first full year
for which these data were available. We used these data to determine how far away from
the border apprehensions and seizures occurred within each southwest border sector in
fiscal years 2010 and 2011. To perform these analyses, we compared Border Patrol data
on the longitude and latitude of apprehensions and seizures with agency mapping data,
which allowed us to determine distance from the border. Although we determined that the
latitude and longitude coordinates for some apprehensions and seizures were invalid—
e.g., they were identified as occurring outside U.S. national boundaries—the numbers
were not significant and we determined that the data were sufficiently reliable for the
purposes of this report. Location data that were determined to be invalid were not included
in our analysis.
8
  Border Patrol’s estimate includes the number of deportable aliens who were apprehended
as well as the number of individuals who illegally crossed the border but were not
apprehended (individuals who either crossed back to Mexico—”turn backs”—or continued
traveling to the U.S. interior and Border Patrol was no longer actively pursuing them—”got
aways”). Border Patrol refers to these data as “estimated illegal entries”—it does not identify
the data as “known” entries because the agency does not estimate illegal entries for which it
does not have reasonable support (“unknown” entries). However, to clarify that these
estimates are based on what Border Patrol deems to be reasonable indications of cross-
border illegal activity, we refer to them as “estimated known illegal entries.”
9
 Apprehensions, turn back, and got away data for fiscal years 2006-2010 were queried on
April 9, 2012. These data for fiscal year 2011 were queried on April 20, 2012.




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headquarters and field officials regarding the maintenance of these data,
and how the agency analyzes the data to inform the status of border
security. In addition, we spoke or corresponded with 13 ranchers who
operated in the Tucson sector at the time of our review to discuss border
security issues. We selected these ranchers based on input from various
entities, including Border Patrol and select organizations that are
knowledgeable about border security issues. Because this selection of
ranchers was a nonprobability sample, the results from our discussions
cannot be generalized to other ranchers; however, what we learned from
the ranchers we contacted provided a useful perspective on the issues
addressed in this report.

To determine how the Tucson sector scheduled agent deployment
compared with other southwest border sectors and to what extent the data
showed these deployments had been effective in securing the border, we
analyzed Border Patrol BPETS data regarding the scheduled deployment
of agents, by sector, from fiscal years 2006 through 2011. We also
analyzed to what extent agents were scheduled for deployment in “border
zones”—those having international border miles—and “interior zones”—
those without international border miles. 10 Because of the complexity and
amount of the data sets we requested, Border Patrol queried deployment
data in two groups, with different run dates. 11

We also interviewed Border Patrol headquarters officials in the Planning,
Analysis, and Enforcement Systems Branches regarding agency guidance
and practices for allocating and deploying resources—personnel,
technology, and infrastructure. In addition, we conducted semistructured
interviews with Border Patrol sector and station officials regarding the
processes used and factors considered when determining the deployment
and redeployment of resources. Further, we analyzed data from fiscal
years 2006 through 2011 that Border Patrol uses to calculate overall
effectiveness within sectors and to determine if the appropriate mix of




10
 Border Patrol stations are geographically divided into border and interior zones.
11
  Border Patrol has a database to track the scheduling of agent deployment in the field,
which is to be updated to reflect the most recent deployment changes. Scheduled
deployment data for fiscal year 2011 were queried as of March 2012, and data for fiscal
years 2006 through 2010 were queried as of April 2012.




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assets is being deployed and used effectively and efficiently. 12 We also
interviewed Border Patrol headquarters and station officials regarding
agency practices for collecting and recording these data and how those
practices may vary across sectors. As previously discussed, because of
potential inconsistencies in how the data are collected, these data cannot
be compared across sectors but can be compared within a sector over time
as discussed in more detail in this report. In addition, we reviewed Border
Patrol guidance issued in September 2012 regarding the collection and
reporting of effectiveness data.

To assess to what extent Border Patrol has identified mechanisms for
assessing resource needs under the 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic
Plan (2012-2016 Strategic Plan), we analyzed key elements of the
strategic plan defined by Border Patrol. To gain a better understanding of
Border Patrol’s plans for developing and implementing key elements of
the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan, including processes for identifying resource
needs and the extent to which officials have identified interim milestones
and time frames, we interviewed Border Patrol headquarters officials from
the Planning and Analysis Branches, and analyzed relevant documents,
such as Border Patrol planning and policy documents. We also reviewed
standard practices in program management for documenting the scope of
a project, including milestones or time frames for project completion and
implementation. 13 To assess to what extent Border Patrol sectors and
stations had identified the need for additional resources, we interviewed
sector and station officials and analyzed southwest border sector
operational assessments for fiscal years 2010 and 2012. We analyzed
operational assessments for fiscal year 2010 because that was the last
fiscal year in which DHS used operational control as a performance goal
and measure, and for fiscal year 2012 because it was the most current
fiscal year available at the time we conducted our analysis.




12
  Border Patrol’s formula for calculating overall effectiveness adds the number of
apprehensions and turns backs in a specific sector and divides this total by the total
number of estimated known illegal entries, determined by adding total apprehensions,
turns backs, and got aways for the sector.
13
 For example, The Project Management Institute, The Standard for Program
Management© (Newtown Square, Penn., 2006).




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Methodology




We conducted this performance audit from June 2011 to December 2012
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
conclusions based on our audit objectives.




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Appendix II: General Information about
                                            Appendix II: General Information about Border
                                            Patrol Sectors along the Southwest Border



Border Patrol Sectors along the Southwest
Border
                                            Information in this appendix is also presented in figure 1. Table 2
                                            describes, for each of the nine sectors on the southwest border, the (1)
                                            number of border miles and size, in square miles; (2) type of terrain; and
                                            (3) number and type (border or interior) of stations. Figures 13 through 16
                                            illustrate the types of terrain that can be found in four of the nine sectors.


Table 2: Description of Border Patrol Sectors along the Southwest Border, Including Border Miles and Size, Terrain, and
Stations

Sector        Border miles and size          Terrain                                                      Stations
San Diego     About 60 land border miles     The San Diego sector contains one of the most densely        Eight Border Patrol stations
              and 114 coastal miles;         populated areas in the United States with more than 7        (six border and two interior)
              approximately 56,830           million people and includes the sixth largest city (San
              square miles                   Diego) in the nation. Sector terrain includes beaches,
                                             estuaries, coastal plains, steep canyons and ravines, high
                                             desert, mountains over 6,000 feet in elevation, and
                                             sparsely populated remote and rural wilderness areas.
                                             The sector also includes environmentally sensitive and
                                             protected areas.
El Centro     About 70 land border miles;    The El Centro sector contains many different                  Four Border Patrol stations
              approximately 107,750          environments from mountains on the west side to sand         (two border and two
              square miles                   dunes on the east side of the sector. Terrain is largely     interior)
                                             composed of rugged mountains, agricultural areas, and
                                             low-lying desert areas. In addition, the geography of the
                                             sector also Includes a designated wilderness area and
                                             several military reservations, as well as large areas of
                                             desert that have been designated as critical habitat for
                                             threatened species.
Yuma          About 126 land border          The Yuma sector contains sandy desert terrain,               Three Border Patrol
              miles; approximately           mountains, and river valleys, as shown in figure 13. There   stations (two border and
              181,670 square miles           are sand dunes and several mountain ranges with              one interior)
                                             elevations over 4,000 feet. In addition, large portions of
                                             the Yuma sector fall within federal land and military
                                             reservations. The federal land and military ranges are
                                             highly sensitive areas, because of environmental issues
                                             and range safety concerns. During the monsoon season
                                             in late summer and early fall, rains and flash flooding
                                             normally occur.
Tucson        About 260 land border          The Tucson sector contains many different environments,      Eight Border Patrol stations
              miles; approximately 90,500    including mountain ranges and valleys, as shown in figure    (seven border and one
              square miles                   14. Two major metropolitan areas exist within the sector’s   interior); one substation
                                             geography—Tucson and Phoenix. There are also several
                                             protected areas (federal lands) within the sector totaling
                                             approximately 12,080 square miles; some of these public
                                             lands are adjacent to the border (approximately 178
                                             miles). The sector also contains two American Indian
                                             reservations, with one that includes 63 miles of border
                                             with Mexico.




                                            Page 50                                              GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                                             Appendix II: General Information about Border
                                             Patrol Sectors along the Southwest Border




Sector       Border miles and size             Terrain                                                                 Stations
El Paso      About 268 border miles            The El Paso sector contains various types of terrain,                   Eleven Border Patrol
             (land and river border);          including mountains and arid desert—with canyons, rocky                 Stations (seven border and
             approximately 125,000             hills, and mountains—rivers and deep, swift-moving                      four interior)
             square miles                      irrigation canals and an urban metropolitan area, as
                                               shown in figure 15. The sector covers border miles in
                                               both New Mexico and Texas. The El Paso sector has
                                               responsibility for 88 miles of river border and 180 miles of
                                               land border. The washes and playas (dry lakebeds) in the
                                               sector are susceptible to flash flooding during the July-
                                               October monsoon season.
Big Bend     About 510 land border             The Big Bend sector contains terrain that varies from dry               Ten Border Patrol stations
             miles; approximately              sandy desert to cedar- and oak-covered hills and also                   (seven border and three
             165,150 square miles              includes remote and rugged mountainous terrain, ranging                 interior); two substations
                                               from elevations of 2,800 to 8,000 feet above sea level.                 (one border and one
                                               The sector also contains a border river area, which                     interior)
                                               includes areas of thick vegetation. The Big Bend sector
                                               contains the most border miles of all the Border Patrol
                                               sectors on the southwest border.
Del Rio      About 210 border miles            The Del Rio sector contains terrain that varies from                    Nine Border Patrol stations
             (river border); approximately     rugged canyons and steep hills to rolling hills and flatland.           (five border and four
             59,540 square miles               The Rio Grande cuts through deep canyons within the                     interior); one interior
                                               sector and the Rio Grande, which establishes the                        substation
                                               international boundary, is oriented predominantly north to
                                               south. The greater part of the Del Rio sector is sparsely
                                               populated and consists of mostly farms and ranches.
Laredo       About 171 border miles            The Laredo sector contains terrain that varies from rolling             Nine Border Patrol stations
             (river border); approximately     to steep hills, generally covered with brush. Elevations                (four border and five
             88,460 square miles               range from 400 feet at the international border to 900 feet             interior)
                                               in the northern part of the sector. Several deep arroyos,
                                               washouts, and creeks provide drainage into the Rio
                                               Grande, which runs along the international border. The
                                               area in the northern part of the sector—including the
                                               Dallas/Fort Worth area—is mostly an urban environment
                                               containing over 5 million inhabitants.
Rio Grande   About 316 border miles            The Rio Grande Valley sector contains terrain that varies               Nine Border Patrol stations
Valley       (river and coastal border);       from a mixture of rural farmland and ranchland to densely               (seven border and two
             approximately 18,580              populated metropolitan areas, as shown in figure 16. The                interior)
             square miles                      sector includes a large coastal shoreline, a large
                                               population base, and a well-established infrastructure on
                                               both sides of its international border. The Rio Grande
                                               Valley sector’s easternmost boundary is composed
                                               entirely of Gulf of Mexico shoreline.
                                             Source: GAO analysis of Border Patrol operational assessments.




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Appendix II: General Information about Border
Patrol Sectors along the Southwest Border




Figure 13: Example of Terrain in the Yuma Sector




Figure 14: Example of Terrain in the Tucson Sector




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Appendix II: General Information about Border
Patrol Sectors along the Southwest Border




Figure 15: Example of Terrain in the El Paso Sector, with the United States on the
Left of the Border Fence and Mexico on the Right




Figure 16: Example of Terrain in the Rio Grande Valley Sector




Page 53                                          GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix III: General Information about
                                            Appendix III: General Information about Border
                                            Patrol Stations and Zones in the Tucson
                                            Sector


Border Patrol Stations and Zones in the
Tucson Sector
                                            Information in this appendix is also presented in figure 2. Table 3
                                            describes, for each of the eight stations in the Tucson sector, the (1)
                                            number of border miles and size, in square miles; (2) type of terrain; and
                                            (3) number and type (border or interior) of zones, and their distance from
                                            the border. Figures 17 through 23 illustrate the types of terrain that can be
                                            found in seven of the eight stations in the Tucson sector.

Table 3: Descriptions of Border Patrol Stations and Zones in the Tucson Sector, including Border Mileage and Size, Terrain,
and Number of Zones by Distance from the Border

                                                                                                           Zones by distance from
Station        Border miles and size              Terrain                                                  the border
Ajo            About 68 border miles;             The Ajo station contains a vast desert with              Nine border zones; 0 to 68
               approximately 9,240 square         mountainous terrain with varying amounts of              miles from the border
               miles                              undergrowth, as shown in figure 17. The Ajo station      Three interior zones; 24 to
                                                  terrain also includes environmentally sensitive and      159 miles from the border
                                                  protected lands. Portions of the station area of
                                                  responsibility also include an American Indian
                                                  reservation.
Casa Grande    About 40 border miles;             The Casa Grande station contains terrain that varies     Six border zones; 0 to 37
               approximately 41,500 square        from rocky terrain and mountainous regions to flat       miles from the border
               miles                              desert, as shown in figure 18. There are only a few      Five interior zones; 17 to
                                                  small villages or ranches on both sides of the border.   392 miles from the border
                                                  The majority of the Casa Grande station area of
                                                  responsibility also includes an American Indian
                                                  reservation.
Tucson         About 24 border miles;             The Tucson station contains terrain that varies from     Three border zones; 0 to 42
               approximately 3,790 square         open valleys to rugged mountains and is covered          miles from the border
               miles                              with various forms of desert shrubs, as shown in         Four interior zones; 25 to 81
                                                  figure 19. The majority of the station area of           miles from the border
                                                  responsibility also contains federal lands and
                                                  portions of an American Indian reservation. A major
                                                  metropolitan area exists within the station’s
                                                  geography—Tucson.
Nogales        About 30 border miles;             The Nogales station contains terrain that varies from    Four border zones; 0 to 28
               approximately 1,800 square         high desert terrain with rugged mountains to rolling     miles from the border
               miles                              hills with numerous deep canyons, as shown in            One interior zone; 11 to 29
                                                  figure 20. The station area of responsibility also       miles from the border
                                                  includes small rural communities and individual
                                                  ranch houses with a significant portion of the
                                                  station’s area of responsibility on federal lands.
Sonoita        About 27 border miles;             The Sonoita station contains terrain that varies from    Four border zones; 0 to 37
               approximately 665 square miles     mountain ranges to hilly terrain, including a            miles from the border
                                                  grassland valley with many arroyos and creeks, as        No interior zones
                                                  shown in figure 21. The station’s area of
                                                  responsibility includes federal lands and the majority
                                                  of the land in the Sonoita area of responsibility is
                                                  under federal or private ownership.




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                                       Appendix III: General Information about Border
                                       Patrol Stations and Zones in the Tucson
                                       Sector




                                                                                                                         Zones by distance from
Station   Border miles and size                Terrain                                                                   the border
Nacoa     About 33 border miles;               The Naco station contains terrain that varies from                        Five border zones; 0 to 12
          approximately 1,175 square           deep desert washes that form an extensive drainage                        miles from the border
          miles                                network during monsoon season, to rugged                                  Three interior zones; 3 to 37
                                               mountains that consist of heavy brush and steep,                          miles from the border
                                               rocky canyons, and a mixture of sparse vegetation
                                               and desert grasslands, as shown in figure 22. The
                                               elevation within the station area of responsibility
                                               ranges from 3,600 feet to 9,466 feet.
Douglas   About 41 border miles;               The Douglas station contains terrain that includes                        Six border zones; 0 to 29
          approximately 1,385 square           rugged, steep, rocky, high-elevation desert terrain                       miles from the border
          miles                                and low-lying valleys of moderate vegetation, as                          Six interior zones; 3 to 37
                                               shown in figure 23. A large mountain range splits the                     miles from the border
                                               Douglas station area of responsibility in half. The
                                               station area of responsibility also includes the city of
                                               Douglas and rural areas where houses and ranches
                                               are present.
Willcox   No border miles; approximately       The Willcox station contains terrain that varies from                     No border zones
          33,600 square miles                  valleys to flat low-lying desert, to rugged and steep                     Four interior zones; 37 to
                                               mountain ranges. The Willcox station area of                              392 miles from the border
                                               responsibility is bordered on either side by mountain
                                               ranges.
                                       Source: GAO analysis of Border Patrol operational assessments and data.
                                       a
                                       In May 2012 Naco Station was renamed the “Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station” (Brian A. Terry
                                       Memorial Act, Pub. L. No 112-113, 126 Stat. 334 (2012)).



                                       Figure 17: Example of Terrain in the Ajo Station Area of Responsibility




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Patrol Stations and Zones in the Tucson
Sector




Figure 18: Example of Terrain in the Casa Grande Station Area of Responsibility,
with the United States on the Right Side of the Border Fence and Mexico on the Left




Figure 19: Example of Terrain in the Tucson Station Area of Responsibility




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Patrol Stations and Zones in the Tucson
Sector




Figure 20: Example of Terrain within the Nogales Station Area of Responsibility,
with the United States on the Left Side of the Border Fence and Mexico on the Right




Figure 21: Example of Terrain in the Sonoita Station Area of Responsibility near the
U.S. Border with Mexico




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Appendix III: General Information about Border
Patrol Stations and Zones in the Tucson
Sector




Figure 22: Example of Terrain in the Naco Station Area of Responsibility near the
U.S. Border with Mexico




Figure 23: Example of Terrain in the Douglas Station Area of Responsibility with the
United States on the Left Side of the Border Fence and Mexico on the Right




Page 58                                          GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix IV: Comparison of Border Patrol’s
                                             Appendix IV: Comparison of Border Patrol’s
                                             2004 Strategy and 2012-2016 Strategic Plan



2004 Strategy and 2012-2016 Strategic Plan


2004 National Border Patrol Strategy                                        2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Strategic goal 1: Establish and maintain operational control                Strategic goal 1: Secure America’s borders
of national borders
Objectives:                                                                 Objectives:
•   Establish substantial probability of apprehending terrorists            •   Prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the
    and their weapons                                                           United States between the ports of entry (POE) through
•   Deter illegal entries through improved enforcement with                     improved and focused intelligence-driven operations, and
    focus on priority areas identified by threat analysis                       operational integration, planning, and execution with law
                                                                                enforcement partners
•   Detect, apprehend, deter smugglers
                                                                            •   Manage risk through the introduction and expansion of
•   Leverage smart border technology as force multiplier                        sophisticated tactics, techniques, and procedures, such as
•   Reduce crime in border communities and improve quality                      increased mobile response
    of life and economic vitality through personnel                         •   Disrupt and degrade transnational criminal organizations by
    deployment and community outreach                                           targeting enforcement efforts against highest-priority threats
                                                                                and expanding programs that reduce smuggling and
                                                                                smuggling-related crimes
                                                                            •   Expand CBP’s situational awareness at and between POEs
                                                                                and employ a “whole of government” approach
                                                                            •   Increase community engagement by participating in
                                                                                community programs and engaging the public
Strategic goal 2: Not applicable                                            Strategic goal 2: Strengthen the Border Patrol
Objectives: Not applicable                                                  Objectives:
                                                                            •   Strengthen investment in people and capabilities through
                                                                                improved education, training, and support of personnel
                                                                            •   Reinforce employee support initiatives and programs that
                                                                                continue Border Patrol traditions
                                                                            •   Address threats to organizational integrity and remain vigilant
                                                                                in training and promoting anticorruption initiatives
                                                                            •   Improve organizational processes, systems, and doctrine by
                                                                                standardizing reporting and planning processes
                                                                            •   Introduce improved tools to collect and analyze data to
                                                                                develop outcome measures
                                                                            •   Enhance efficiency by improving planning, resource allocation,
                                                                                and acquisition processes
                                             Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Border Patrol documents.




                                             Page 59                                                       GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix V: Border Patrol Estimated Known Illegal
                Appendix V: Border Patrol Estimated Known
                Illegal Entries and Apprehensions by
                Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years

Entries and Apprehensions by Southwest Border
                2006 through 2011



Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011

                Border Patrol collects and analyzes various data on the number and
                types of entrants who illegally cross the southwest border between the
                land border ports of entry, including estimates on the total number of
                identified—or “known”—illegal entries. Border Patrol’s estimate of known
                illegal entries includes the number of illegal entrants who were
                apprehended as well as estimates of the number of entrants who illegally
                crossed the border but were not apprehended (individuals who either
                crossed back to Mexico—turn backs—or continued traveling to the U.S.
                interior and who Border Patrol ceased pursuing—got aways). These data
                are collectively referred to as known illegal entries because Border Patrol
                officials have what they deem to be a reasonable indication that the
                cross-border activity occurred. 1 Border Patrol uses the estimated known
                illegal entry data to inform tactical decision making within each of the nine
                southwest border sectors.

                Border Patrol apprehensions and estimated known illegal entries
                decreased significantly across all nine southwest border sectors from
                fiscal years 2006 through 2011, as shown in figures 24 through 32.
                Apprehensions decreased by 46 percent or more across all the southwest
                border sectors. Over this same time period, the number of estimated
                known illegal entries also decreased by 28 percent or more across all
                southwest border sectors. Apprehensions as a percentage of estimated
                known illegal entries increased for six sectors over this time period.




                1
                 Indications of illegal crossings are obtained through various sources such as direct agent
                observation, referrals from credible sources (such as residents), camera monitoring, and
                detection of physical evidence left on the environment from animal or human crossings.
                Border Patrol’s estimate of known illegal entries does not include estimates of illegal
                entries for which Border Patrol does not have reasonable support (collectively referred to
                as “unknown”), such as the number of illegal entries conducted through illicit cross-border
                tunnels. In such instances, no reasonable indication of an illegal crossing is identified.




                Page 60                                              GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix V: Border Patrol Estimated Known
Illegal Entries and Apprehensions by
Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years
2006 through 2011




Figure 24: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known Illegal Entries in the
San Diego Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Page 61                                         GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix V: Border Patrol Estimated Known
Illegal Entries and Apprehensions by
Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years
2006 through 2011




Figure 25: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known Illegal Entries in the
El Centro Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Page 62                                         GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix V: Border Patrol Estimated Known
Illegal Entries and Apprehensions by
Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years
2006 through 2011




Figure 26: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known Illegal Entries in the
Yuma Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Page 63                                         GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix V: Border Patrol Estimated Known
Illegal Entries and Apprehensions by
Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years
2006 through 2011




Figure 27: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known Illegal Entries in the
Tucson Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Page 64                                         GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix V: Border Patrol Estimated Known
Illegal Entries and Apprehensions by
Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years
2006 through 2011




Figure 28: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known Illegal Entries in the
El Paso Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Page 65                                         GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix V: Border Patrol Estimated Known
Illegal Entries and Apprehensions by
Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years
2006 through 2011




Figure 29: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known Illegal Entries in the
Big Bend Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Page 66                                         GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix V: Border Patrol Estimated Known
Illegal Entries and Apprehensions by
Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years
2006 through 2011




Figure 30: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known Illegal Entries in the
Del Rio Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Page 67                                         GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix V: Border Patrol Estimated Known
Illegal Entries and Apprehensions by
Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years
2006 through 2011




Figure 31: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known Illegal Entries in the
Laredo Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Page 68                                         GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix V: Border Patrol Estimated Known
Illegal Entries and Apprehensions by
Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years
2006 through 2011




Figure 32: Border Patrol Apprehensions and Estimated Known Illegal Entries in the
Rio Grande Valley Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Page 69                                         GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VI: Apprehensions by Southwest
                                       Appendix VI: Apprehensions by Southwest
                                       Border Patrol Sectors and Distance from the
                                       Border, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011


Border Patrol Sectors and Distance from the
Border, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011
                                       Border Patrol’s 2004 Strategy recognized that both apprehensions and
                                       apprehending individuals closer to the border affect border security. Our
                                       analysis of Border Patrol data showed that apprehensions across the
                                       southwest border decreased by 69 percent from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal
                                       year 2011. Across the southwest border, from fiscal year 2010 to 2011,
                                       apprehensions within 5 miles of the border increased slightly, from 54
                                       percent to 55 percent of total apprehensions. Apprehensions that
                                       occurred more than 20 miles from the border decreased slightly from
                                       fiscal year 2010 to 2011, from 28 percent to 26 percent across the
                                       southwest border. See figures 33 and 34 for apprehensions by southwest
                                       Border Patrol sector and distances from the border, for fiscal years 2010
                                       and 2011.

Figure 33: Number and Percentage of Apprehensions across Southwest Border Patrol Sectors by Distance from the Border,
Fiscal Year 2010




                                       Page 70                                        GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                                       Appendix VI: Apprehensions by Southwest
                                       Border Patrol Sectors and Distance from the
                                       Border, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011




Figure 34: Number and Percentage of Apprehensions across Southwest Border Patrol Sectors by Distance from the Border,
Fiscal Year 2011




                                       Page 71                                       GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VII: Border Patrol Nonenforcement
               Appendix VII: Border Patrol Nonenforcement
               Activities by Southwest Border Sector, Fiscal
               Year 2011


Activities by Southwest Border Sector, Fiscal
Year 2011
               Border Patrol schedules the deployment of agents to various activities,
               which are categorized as either enforcement or nonenforcement. 1 In fiscal
               year 2011 the percentage of agent workdays scheduled for
               nonenforcement activities varied by southwest border sector, from 19
               percent for the Big Bend sector to 34 percent for the Yuma sector. The
               percentage of nonenforcement agent workdays scheduled to individual
               activities in fiscal year 2011 varied across sectors, as shown in figure 35,
               with “administration” accounting for a greater proportion of agent
               workdays than any other nonenforcement activities across all southwest
               border sectors. Border Patrol officials stated that examples of
               administrative activities include remote-video surveillance, public and
               congressional affairs duties, asset forfeiture duties, and employee support
               duties. Agent workdays scheduled to administration ranged from about 39
               percent of all nonenforcement agent workdays in the Rio Grande Valley
               sector to almost 65 percent in the Laredo sector. Within the Tucson
               sector–our focus sector–training, intelligence support, and agent
               nonenforcement duties (defined to include duties such as brush removal;
               facility, fence, and vehicle maintenance; and video surveillance system
               operations) each accounted for a greater proportion of agent workdays
               than any other nonenforcement activity after administration. The
               percentage of agent workdays scheduled to these activities in other
               sectors varied, as shown in figure 35. “Other nonenforcement activities”
               includes duties such as litigation, camera operations, and public relations.




               1
                Border Patrol has a database to track the scheduling of agent deployment in the field,
               which is to be updated to reflect the most recent deployment changes. Deployment figures
               referred to in this report therefore may be for scheduled, not actual, agent deployment.
               Agents are assigned to activities in 8-hour shifts, referred to as agent workdays in this
               report. According to Border Patrol officials, agent activities are categorized as
               enforcement- or nonenforcement-related based on the subject matter expertise of
               headquarters officials.




               Page 72                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VII: Border Patrol Nonenforcement
Activities by Southwest Border Sector, Fiscal
Year 2011




Figure 35: Percentage of Border Patrol Agent Nonenforcement Workdays
Scheduled for Nonenforcement Activities across Southwest Border Sectors, Fiscal
Year 2011




Note: Percentages may not add to 100 percent because of rounding.




Page 73                                                 GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VIII: Estimated Illegal Entries by Data
                Appendix VIII: Estimated Illegal Entries by Data
                Element (Apprehensions, Estimated Turn
                Backs, and Estimated Got Aways) by Border

Element (Apprehensions, Estimated Turn Backs,
                Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011



and Estimated Got Aways) by Border Patrol Sector,
Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011
                Figures 36 through 44 show the number of apprehensions, turn backs,
                and got aways as percentages of total estimated known illegal entries for
                each southwest border sector, from fiscal years 2006 through 2011.

                Figure 36: Number of San Diego Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, Turn Backs,
                and Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years
                2006 through 2011




                Page 74                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VIII: Estimated Illegal Entries by Data
Element (Apprehensions, Estimated Turn
Backs, and Estimated Got Aways) by Border
Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Figure 37: Number of El Centro Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, Turn Backs,
and Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years
2006 through 2011




Page 75                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VIII: Estimated Illegal Entries by Data
Element (Apprehensions, Estimated Turn
Backs, and Estimated Got Aways) by Border
Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Figure 38: Number of Yuma Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, Turn Backs, and
Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006
through 2011




Page 76                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VIII: Estimated Illegal Entries by Data
Element (Apprehensions, Estimated Turn
Backs, and Estimated Got Aways) by Border
Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Figure 39: Number of Tucson Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, Turn Backs, and
Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006
through 2011




Page 77                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VIII: Estimated Illegal Entries by Data
Element (Apprehensions, Estimated Turn
Backs, and Estimated Got Aways) by Border
Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Figure 40: Number of El Paso Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, Turn Backs, and
Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006
through 2011




Page 78                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VIII: Estimated Illegal Entries by Data
Element (Apprehensions, Estimated Turn
Backs, and Estimated Got Aways) by Border
Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Figure 41: Number of Big Bend Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, Turn Backs,
and Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years
2006 through 2011




Page 79                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VIII: Estimated Illegal Entries by Data
Element (Apprehensions, Estimated Turn
Backs, and Estimated Got Aways) by Border
Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Figure 42: Number of Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, Turn Backs, and
Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006
through 2011




Page 80                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VIII: Estimated Illegal Entries by Data
Element (Apprehensions, Estimated Turn
Backs, and Estimated Got Aways) by Border
Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Figure 43: Number of Laredo Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, Turn Backs, and
Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal Years 2006
through 2011




Page 81                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix VIII: Estimated Illegal Entries by Data
Element (Apprehensions, Estimated Turn
Backs, and Estimated Got Aways) by Border
Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2011




Figure 44: Number of Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, Turn
Backs, and Got Aways as a Percentage of Estimated Known Illegal Entries, Fiscal
Years 2006 through 2011




Page 82                                            GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix IX: Identification Sources for Turn
               Appendix IX: Identification Sources for Turn
               Backs and Got Aways by Southwest Border
               Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Year 2011


Backs and Got Aways by Southwest Border
Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Year 2011
               Border Patrol sectors rely on a different mix of cameras, sign cutting,
               credible source, and visual observation to identify and report the number
               of turn backs and got aways used to determine the number of estimated
               known illegal entries across locations. Figure 45 shows the breakdown by
               source of data that sectors used to estimate got aways and turn backs in
               fiscal year 2011.




               Page 83                                        GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
                                        Appendix IX: Identification Sources for Turn
                                        Backs and Got Aways by Southwest Border
                                        Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Year 2011




Figure 45: Source of Data Collection for Turn Back and Got Away Data across Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Year
2011




                                        Page 84                                         GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix X: Comments from the Department
                   Appendix X: Comments from the Department
                   of Homeland Security



of Homeland Security




         Page 85                                       GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
          Appendix X: Comments from the Department
          of Homeland Security




Page 86                                       GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
Appendix XI: GAO Contact and Staff
                             Appendix XI: GAO Contact and
                             Staff Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  Rebecca Gambler, (202) 512-8777 or gamblerr@gao.gov
GAO Contact
                  In addition to the contact named above, Lacinda Ayers (Assistant
Staff             Director); Joshua S. Akery; Frances A. Cook; Barbara A. Guffy; Eric D.
Acknowledgments   Hauswirth; Stanley J. Kostyla; Brian J. Lipman; John W. Mingus, Jr.;
                  Jessica S. Orr; Susan A. Sachs; and Jerome T. Sandau made key
                  contributions to this report.




                  Page 87                                   GAO-13-25 Border Patrol Strategic Plan
(440977)
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