United States General Accounting Office GAO Report to Congressional Committees May 1999 ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION Status of Southwest Border Strategy Implementation GAO/GGD-99-44 GAO United States General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 General Government Division B-281961 May 19, 1999 The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch Chairman The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy Ranking Minority Member Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate The Honorable Henry J. Hyde Chairman The Honorable John Conyers, Jr. Ranking Minority Member Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives Illegal immigration is a long-standing problem, and it has been exacerbated by the pull of the strong domestic economy, economic and/or political turmoil in the developing world, and recent natural disasters in Central America. To address this continuing problem, the Attorney General in 1994 announced a broad, five-part strategy to strengthen the nation’s immigration laws including, among other things, strengthening border enforcement. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (1996 Act) requires us to track, monitor, and evaluate the Attorney General’s strategy and to report our findings to 1 Congress annually for 6 years. Our first report discussed the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s (INS) progress toward implementing the Attorney General’s strategy for reducing and deterring illegal entry along 2 the southwest border. This, our third report, provides additional information on the key issues raised in our first report. Specifically, this report addresses (1) INS’ progress in implementing the southwest border strategy during fiscal year 1998, (2) interim results of the strategy, and (3) actions taken on our recommendation that the Attorney General develop and implement a plan for a formal, cost-effective, comprehensive, and systematic evaluation of the strategy. 1 Illegal Immigration: Southwest Border Strategy Results Inconclusive; More Evaluation Needed (GAO/GGD-98-21, Dec. 11, 1997). 2 Our second report, Illegal Aliens: Significant Obstacles to Reducing Unauthorized Alien Employment Exist (GAO/GGD-99-33, April 2, 1999), focused on the strategy’s objective to enforce workplace immigration laws. Page 1 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 INS is continuing to implement its southwest border strategy. Although Results in Brief some of the expected interim results continue to occur, available data do not yet answer the fundamental question of how effective the strategy has been in preventing and deterring illegal entry. In fiscal year 1998, INS' Border Patrol transitioned into the second phase of its four-phased approach, which called for increasing Border Patrol agents and resources to sectors in Arizona and South Texas. Consistent with this planned approach, INS allocated 740 of 1,000 new agent positions authorized in fiscal year 1998 to sectors in these locations. INS also added 18 miles of fencing in California and Arizona, increased both the proportion and total amount of time Border Patrol agents at the southwest border spent collectively on border enforcement, and deployed additional technologies such as remote video surveillance cameras. In addition, in January 1999, INS was testing a resource and effectiveness model to help it determine the right mix of staffing, equipment, and technology for all of its Border Patrol sectors. To complement the Border Patrol's efforts between ports of entry, INS Inspections added 179 inspectors to southwest land-border ports of entry in fiscal year 1998 and undertook training and enforcement efforts in conjunction with other agencies located at these ports. INS also began testing an inspections program designed to measure how well it conducted inspections of travelers. Although evaluative data on the overall impact of the strategy continue to be limited, available data suggested that several anticipated interim effects of the strategy have occurred. For example, apprehensions of illegal aliens continued to shift from traditionally high entry points like San Diego and El Paso to other locations along the border, as resources were deployed. Also, southwest border ports of entry inspectors apprehended an increased number of persons attempting fraudulent entry and there were reports of higher fees being charged by smugglers, which INS said indicated an increased difficulty in illegal border crossing. However, data were not available on whether the other expected results--a decrease in attempted reentries by illegal aliens who previously have been apprehended and a reduction in border area crime--had occurred. Available information on the interim results of the strategy does not provide answers to the most fundamental questions surrounding INS’ enforcement efforts along the southwest border. That is, given the billions of dollars that INS has invested in implementing the strategy, how effective has the strategy been in preventing and deterring aliens from illegally Page 2 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 crossing the border? Pursuant to our 1997 report recommendation to conduct a comprehensive evaluation, INS contracted with private research firms in September 1998 for evaluative studies. As of April 1999, according to INS, one contractor was working on an evaluation design and analysis plan. INS could provide us with no other information on the contractor’s progress. Consequently, we do not know to what extent the contractor’s evaluation plan will provide the information needed to determine the extent to which the Attorney General's strategy has been effective. In February 1994, the Attorney General and INS Commissioner announced Background a five-part strategy to strengthen enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. The strategy’s first priority was to strengthen enforcement along the southwest border. The strategy to strengthen the border called for “prevention through deterrence,” that is, raising the risk of apprehension for illegal aliens to “make it so difficult and so costly to enter this country 3 illegally that fewer individuals even try.” The objectives of the strategy were to close off the routes most frequently used by smugglers and illegal aliens (generally through urban areas) and shift traffic through the ports of entry that inspect travelers or over areas that were more remote and difficult to cross. With the traditional routes disrupted, INS expected that illegal alien traffic would either be deterred or forced over terrain less suited for crossing, where INS believed it would have the tactical advantage. To carry out the strategy, the Border Patrol was to • concentrate personnel and resources in a four-phased approach starting 4 with the areas of highest illegal alien activity, • increase the time Border Patrol agents spend on border-control activities, • make maximum use of physical barriers, and • identify the appropriate quantity and mix of technology and personnel needed to control the border. To complement the Border Patrol’s efforts, the strategy called for INS Inspections to enhance efforts to deter illegal entry at the ports of entry and increase the use of technology to improve management of legal traffic and commerce. 3 Building A Comprehensive Southwest Border Enforcement Strategy (Washington, D.C.: Immigration and Naturalization Service, June 1996), p. 3. 4 Phases I, II, and III pertain to Border Patrol sectors on the southwest border; phase IV pertains to all other Border Patrol sectors. Page 3 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 INS’ Border Patrol and Inspections are the two components chiefly responsible for deterring illegal entry along the southwest border. These two components represented 28 percent of INS’ total budget of $3.8 billion in fiscal year 1998. INS also provides support for the strategy by allocating funds to other INS programs for computer automation, technology procurement, construction of facilities and barriers, and detention and removal of illegal aliens. INS’ Border Patrol is responsible for preventing and detecting illegal entry along the border between the nation’s ports of entry. The Border Patrol is divided into 21 sectors, 9 of which are along the southwest border. The Border Patrol’s budget for fiscal year 1998 was $877 million, a 20-percent increase over its fiscal year 1997 budget of $730 million. As of September 1998, there were about 8,000 Border Patrol agents nationwide. About 7,400, or 93 percent, were located in the 9 sectors along the southwest border. (App. I contains detailed staffing and selected workload data for the Border Patrol.) 5 INS Inspections and the U.S. Customs Service share responsibility for inspecting all applicants seeking admission at U.S. ports of entry. Among other things, these inspections are to prevent the entry of inadmissible applicants by detecting fraudulent documents, including those representing false claims to U.S. citizenship or permanent residence status. INS’ Inspections fiscal year 1998 budget for land-border inspections was about $171 million, a 12-percent increase over its fiscal year 1997 budget of about $152 million. As of September 30, 1998, Inspections had about 2,000 inspectors at land ports of entry nationwide, of which about 1,500 were located at the southwest border land ports of entry. In fiscal year 1998, INS and Customs inspectors along the southwest border inspected about 303 million people, including 213 million--or 70 percent--who were aliens, and 90 million--or 30 percent--who were U.S. citizens. (App. I contains detailed staffing and selected workload data for INS Inspections.) To determine the progress made in implementing the strategy during fiscal Scope and year 1998, we (1) analyzed INS staff allocations to determine if they were Methodology consistent with its strategy, (2) reviewed INS performance reviews of its fiscal year 1998 Priorities and Performance Management Plan, (3) analyzed INS’ budget and Border Patrol and Inspections workload data, and (4) interviewed INS Border Patrol and Inspections headquarters officials. 5 INS and Customs inspectors perform inspections at the primary inspection booths at land ports of entry. INS and Customs inspectors are cross-trained and cross-designated to carry out both agencies’ inspection responsibilities at U.S. land ports of entry. Page 4 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 Also, we reviewed a study commissioned by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which estimated the number of Border Patrol agents needed to control the southwest border. In addition, we reviewed a Department of Justice Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) report on INS’ implementation of its automated biometrics identification system (IDENT) along the southwest border. To determine the strategy’s interim effects, we analyzed INS data on apprehensions made along the southwest border and the number of persons apprehended while attempting to enter the United States illegally at the southwest border land ports of entry. We also reviewed sections from INS’ performance reviews of its fiscal year 1998 Priorities and Performance Management Plan that reported on the strategy’s interim effects. To determine what actions have been taken to implement our recommendation that INS develop and implement a comprehensive evaluation of the strategy, we obtained written comments on INS’ evaluation plans from INS’ Executive Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning; and we discussed the comments with an official from INS’ Office of Policy and Planning. We did not independently verify the validity of INS computer-generated 6 workload or apprehensions data. However, as we did for our first report, we discussed with INS officials their data validation efforts. These officials were confident that the data could be used to accurately portray trends over time. We conducted our work between August 1998 and February 1999 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. We requested written comments on a draft of this report from the Attorney General. The Attorney General did not provide comments but instead requested INS to respond to our request. INS’ oral comments are discussed on page 28. During fiscal year 1998, INS continued to make progress toward INS Continued to implementing the Attorney General’s strategy. As called for in the strategy, Implement the INS allocated its new Border Patrol agent positions according to its four- Attorney General’s phased approach and increased the amount of time agents spent on border enforcement activities. INS constructed additional fencing along the Strategy southwest border and continued to deploy technologies such as night 6 GAO/GGD-98-21, p. 10. Page 5 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 vision devices and remote video surveillance systems. Further, INS was testing a computer model designed to determine the appropriate mix of staffing, equipment, and technology in Border Patrol sectors. New Agents Allocated During fiscal year 1998, INS completed phase I of its strategy, which called for concentrating resources in the San Diego, CA, and El Paso, TX, sectors, According to Strategy and transitioned to phase II, which called for increasing resources in the Tucson, AZ, sector and three sectors in south Texas—Del Rio, Laredo, and McAllen, according to INS officials. Consistent with the strategy, INS allocated 740 (74 percent) of the additional 1,000 Border Patrol agent positions authorized in fiscal year 1998 to phase II sectors in Arizona and Texas. The strategy was designed to allow for flexibility in responding to unexpected changes in the illegal immigration flow. To address an increase in the number of apprehensions of illegal aliens in the El Centro, CA; Yuma, AZ; and Marfa, TX, sectors, INS allocated 215 agents authorized in fiscal year 1998 to these sectors, even though these sectors were not originally scheduled to receive resources until phase III of the strategy. As a result of these and previous staff increases, the number of agents along the southwest border increased from 3,389 as of October 1993 to 6,315 as of September 1997 to 7,357 as of September 1998, an increase of 117 percent between October 1993 and September 1998. Figures 1, 2, and 3 show the increase in the number of agents in sectors along the southwest border during this period. Page 6 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 Figure 1: Number of On-Board Border Patrol Agents Increased in Phase I Sectors Between October 1993 and September 1998 Source: INS. Page 7 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 Figure 2: Number of On-Board Border Patrol Agents Increased in Phase II Sectors Between October 1993 and September 1998 Source: INS. Page 8 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 Figure 3: Number of On-Board Border Patrol Agents Increased in Phase III Sectors Between October 1993 and September 1998 Source: INS. To accommodate the increased number of Border Patrol staff, INS budgeted almost $29 million in fiscal year 1998 for the expansion and replacement of older Border Patrol facilities. INS’ hiring of Border Patrol agents is slowing, despite congressional direction that INS continue hiring and a study that estimated that the Border Patrol may need substantially 7 more agents along the southwest border. The 1996 Act states that the Border Patrol shall hire 1,000 agents each year for fiscal years 1997 through 2001. In addition, a study commissioned by ONDCP estimated that the Border Patrol would need about 16,100 agents in the 9 southwest 8 border sectors to control and deter unauthorized crossings. This number 7 P.L. 104-208, sec.101. 8 F. Bean, R. Capps, and C.W. Haynes, An Estimate of the Number of Border Patrol Personnel Necessary to Control the Southwest Border (Austin, TX: Center for U.S.-Mexico Border and Migration Research, University of Texas), July 1998. Page 9 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 is more than twice the 7,357 agents on board along the southwest border as of September 1998. INS does not expect to meet Congress’ requirement that it hire 1,000 Border Patrol agents each year. INS brought on board 449 new Border Patrol agents between the end of September 1998 and the middle of March 1999. However, INS lost 377 agents during the same time period, resulting in a net gain of 72 agents. An INS headquarters official said that INS expects to fall short of its fiscal year 1999 Border Patrol agent hiring goal by 600 to 800 agents. In addition, the administration’s fiscal year 2000 budget does not request any additional Border Patrol agent positions. In 9 March 1999, the INS Commissioner testified that nearly 48 percent of the Border Patrol agents had less than 3 years of experience, and law enforcement experts had indicated that it is risky to allow an agency’s overall ratio of inexperienced to experienced officers to exceed 30 percent. Also, according to an INS official, INS lacks adequate facilities to support the increased number of agents along the southwest border. Therefore, according to INS, maintaining staffing at the fiscal year 1999 level will give INS time to develop more experienced agents and allow INS to allocate the funds it needs to improve facilities. Amount of Time Spent on The strategy also called for the Border Patrol to increase the amount of time agents spend on border enforcement activities, as opposed to Border Enforcement program support activities--such as processing aliens who have been Activities Has Increased apprehended—supervision, and training. During fiscal year 1998, agents in the nine sectors along the southwest border collectively spent 66 percent of their total time on border enforcement activities, 6 percent more than the 60 percent spent in fiscal year 1997. Due to the increase in the number of on-board agents, INS also has increased the total amount of time agents spend on border enforcement activities. The fiscal year 1998 Priorities Implementation Plan set a goal that 8.1 million hours nationwide should be devoted to border enforcement 10 activities. According to INS data, the Border Patrol spent about 9 million hours on border enforcement in fiscal year 1998, exceeding its goal by about 11 percent and representing a 32 percent increase over the 6.8 million hours spent on border enforcement in fiscal year 1997. 9 Testimony of Commissioner Doris Meissner, Immigration and Naturalization Service Concerning the President’s FY 2000 Budget Request before the Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, State, and the Judiciary, United States Senate, March 16, 1999. 10 Border enforcement operations include activities such as, patrolling the immediate border areas, examining vehicles at traffic checkpoints, and boat and air patrol. Page 10 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 New Barriers and The strategy called for “maximum utilization of lighting, fencing, and other 11 barriers” to deter illegal entry. In our 1997 report, we stated that as of Technology Deployed Along July 1997, INS had about 46 miles of fencing in place and another 23 miles the Border under construction. A Border Patrol official told us that between August 1997 and September 1998, INS constructed about 18 miles of fencing in the 12 Yuma, Tucson, and San Diego sectors. INS also built barriers between the ports of entry to prevent vehicles from driving across the border illegally. It is not clear how much additional fencing and other barriers INS plans to build. The House report accompanying INS’ fiscal year 1999 13 appropriations required INS to prepare a report by November 15, 1998, on its plans for road and fencing improvements along the New Mexico border. 14 INS reported to Congress on February 12, 1999, that it is developing initial assessments of border fence and road improvements for New Mexico and other border areas for archaeological and other environmental considerations. INS expects to complete these assessments in the summer 15 of 1999. According to an INS headquarters official, the final report will include an integrated plan for lighting and technology in urban corridors along the southwest border and will be phased in over a 3 to 5 year period. Two specific border projects are currently scheduled for fiscal year 1999 in New Mexico. Both projects were funded with military engineering support 16 funds. With respect to automation and technology, INS received $47 million in 17 fiscal year 1998 for increases in these areas at the border. Of these funds, 11 GAO/GGD-98-21. 12 The San Diego sector built 9 miles of fencing (including 3 miles of secondary fencing), Tucson built 5 miles, and Yuma built 4 miles. 13 H.R. 105-636 at 34 (1998). 14 According to an INS official, INS was granted an extension to February l5, 1999. 15 INS is performing these assessments as part of an update to a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement done in 1994 for projects along the entire southwest border, in order to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. 16 Department of Defense (DOD) engineers provide engineering and construction services to construct roads and fences along U.S. borders as authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991, sec. 1004. DOD assistance is provided to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, such as the Border Patrol, which may request assistance in controlling the flow of illegal drugs across the southwest border. 17 The House report accompanying INS’ fiscal year 1999 appropriations required INS to develop and submit a plan by December 1, 1998, on its long-term modernization plan “for the development, testing, and deployment of all current technologies, as well as any other additional technologies that the INS is pursuing.” The report also directed “that this plan address INS’s plans to train Border Patrol agents in Page 11 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 18 19 INS spent $16.2 million to expand IDENT and ENFORCE, systems designed to track and identify illegal crossers and criminal aliens, $7.5 million to purchase 26 remote video surveillance systems, $3 million to upgrade its integrated sensor and mapping system, and $1 million to purchase additional sensors. INS also used its automation and technology funds for the Border Patrol to initiate, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) project. The goal of the GIS project is to develop a computerized mapping system for the Border Patrol 20 nationwide, adapting technology originally designed for military use. The Border Patrol anticipates that GIS will be used for such purposes as (1) displaying where apprehensions are made, (2) displaying where agents or ground sensors are deployed, (3) analyzing intelligence data, and (4) displaying the terrain agents will be patrolling to help ensure officer safety. The first of three phases of GIS—developing system requirements—began in January 1999 at a cost of $800,000. INS Is Testing a Model to To identify the appropriate quantity and mix of personnel, equipment, and technology needed to control the border, in January 1999, INS Help Identify Appropriate headquarters was testing a Resource and Effectiveness Model designed to Resource Mix measure how changes in resources affect the Border Patrol’s effectiveness in apprehending illegal aliens and seizing narcotics. In fiscal years 1997 and 1998, INS spent approximately $1.37 million on contractor costs to develop the computer model, according to a Border Patrol official. At the time of our review, the model was not yet operational in any of the southwest border sectors. The Border Patrol official stated that INS plans to issue another contract to deploy the model to sectors at a cost of $700,000 in fiscal year 1999. the use of these technologies and how current operational doctrine would need to be adjusted to effectively utilize the information gathered with high technology systems” (H.R. 105-36 at 34). INS submitted its report to Congress on February 19, 1999. 18 IDENT is an automated fingerprinting system that uses a personal computer, camera, and single fingerprint scanner. IDENT captures left and right index fingerprints, photographs, and basic apprehension data for illegal aliens apprehended by INS. 19 ENFORCE is a computer-based system, which standardizes INS processing forms into one centralized database. ENFORCE is intended to provide the full range of case-tracking information from arrest processing through deportation. 20 The Del Rio, Laredo, Tucson, and San Diego sectors developed independent mapping applications, and did not use standardized data or formats. The GIS project proposes to use field experiences to develop a standardized nationwide system. Page 12 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 The model uses data such as the number of apprehensions; the amount of technology and equipment--such as lighting, fencing, and barriers--used to deter and detect aliens; and the number of agents. In addition, the model is to include an estimate of the number of aliens who eluded INS apprehension. The model is designed to help identify the appropriate mix of personnel and technology by measuring the impact that any changes in either of these factors would have on the level of effectiveness, with effectiveness defined as the proportion of the estimated number of illegal aliens who had entered the United States and were apprehended. We did not review the model; therefore, we cannot assess how well it is likely to measure the Border Patrol’s effectiveness. However, one of the factors in the model--an estimate of the number of aliens who eluded apprehension--historically has not been amenable to reliable measurement. Inspections Activities The strategy postulated that increased enforcement between the ports of entry would cause an increase in port-of-entry activity, including increased Continued to Support attempts to enter through fraudulent means. Since March 1997, INS added Strategy 179 inspectors to ports along the southwest border to handle this anticipated increased activity, bringing its inspector staffing level to 1,454 as of September 1998, just short of the 1,485 inspectors that were authorized. These land ports of entry are under the jurisdiction of five INS district offices located along the southwest border. (See fig. 4 for the number of inspectors in southwest border districts.) Page 13 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 Figure 4: Number of On-Board Inspectors Increased at Land Ports of Entry in INS District Offices Along the Southwest Border Between September 1994 and September 1998 Source: INS. According to an INS official, during fiscal year 1997, INS and Customs officials began discussing the level of staffing necessary to conduct primary inspections along the southwest border. As of April 1999, no staffing decisions had been made. Consequently, INS did not request any additional southwest land-border inspector positions in its fiscal year 1998 and 1999 budgets. According to INS’ fiscal year 1998 review of its Priorities and Performance Management Plan, at land-border crossings, INS Inspections has concentrated on increasing the use of technology to facilitate the entry of Page 14 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 legal traffic into the United States. One such effort has been the construction of dedicated commuter lanes that use technology to automatically identify vehicles and validate the identity of occupants who 21 have passed a preclearance process. The goal of the dedicated commuter lanes is to reduce the time it takes to complete an inspection at ports of entry by segregating high frequency, low-risk, prescreened travelers from other traffic. Construction delays prevented INS from adding two dedicated commuter lanes at the San Ysidro, CA, port of entry as originally planned. INS plans to complete these two lanes and a new lane in El Paso, 22 TX, during fiscal year 1999. To increase enforcement efforts, southwest border ports continued activities such as using joint enforcement teams to inspect travelers and conducting multiagency cross-training, according to INS reports. To improve its effectiveness in deterring illegal entry, in July and August 1998, INS conducted a 2-month test of the Inspections Travelers’ Examinations (INTEX) process. INTEX consists of reinspecting a randomly selected number of travelers to determine if the primary 23 inspector made the correct decision. The INTEX test included 10 air and 10 land ports of entry. Of the 3,511 travelers inspected during the INTEX test, 3,452 people, or 98 percent, were correctly admitted into the United States by the primary inspector. Primary inspectors incorrectly admitted 59 people or about 2 percent. According to an INS official, while the preliminary INTEX test was satisfactory, the sample was too small for INS to be able to project the results to the universe of nearly 500 million inspections INS conducts yearly. By the end of fiscal year 1999, INS plans to have conducted enough random inspections to be able to project the results. Contingent on INS’ appropriations, INS plans to expand INTEX to 65 additional ports in fiscal year 2000, bring the total number of ports using INTEX to 85 ports. INTEX is to be used to suggest how the inspection process can be improved as well as help INS comply with the Government Performance and Results 21 The Secure Electronic Network for Travelers’ Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) program is an interagency initiative that uses automated technology to process individuals who have been prescreened for the program. The automated photo identification and card system is designed to allow registered vehicles and occupants to pass through the port of entry quickly. 22 A dedicated commuter lane is operational in the Otay Mesa port of entry in the San Diego sector. 23 A primary inspector can either admit the traveler or refer the traveler to “secondary,” where other inspectors conduct a more detailed inspection. Page 15 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 24 Act of 1993, which requires agencies to establish systems for measuring program performance. As the strategy along the southwest border is carried out, the Attorney Interim Effects of the General has anticipated the following interim effects: (1) an initial Strategy increase in the number of illegal aliens apprehended in locations receiving an infusion of Border Patrol resources, followed by a decrease in apprehensions; (2) a shift in the flow of illegal alien traffic from sectors that traditionally accounted for most illegal immigration to other sectors; (3) increased attempts by aliens to enter the United States illegally at the ports of entry; (4) increased fees charged by alien smugglers and the use of more sophisticated smuggling tactics; (5) an eventual decrease in attempted reentries by illegal aliens who previously have been apprehended; and (6) reduced violence at the border. Although evaluative data continue to be limited, available data indicated that some of the anticipated effects continued to occur since our last report. INS’ apprehension data indicated a continued shift in illegal alien traffic from traditionally high illegal entry points to other areas as INS resources were deployed according to the planned approach. Such shifts in apprehensions have been associated with a change in the causes and locations of alien deaths along the border, leading INS to initiate a Border Safety Initiative in cooperation with the Mexican government. Inspectors at southwest border ports of entry apprehended an increased number of persons attempting fraudulent entry and, according to an INS report, smugglers in the Tucson sector were charging higher fees. However, data are inconclusive or lacking on certain key aspects of the strategy. For example, INS has not analyzed data on whether the strategy's prediction of an initial increase in apprehensions followed by a decrease, as resources are applied, has occurred in sectors receiving resources in phase II of the strategy. Further, data were unavailable on whether there has been a decrease in attempted reentries made by illegal aliens who previously have been apprehended. In addition, crime data being collected do not appear to be useful for gauging the strategy’s impact on reducing border violence. 24 P.L. 103-62 (1993). Page 16 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 Changes in Illegal Alien The strategy anticipated an initial increase in the number of apprehensions of illegal aliens in locations that had received an infusion of Border Patrol Apprehensions resources, followed by a decrease in the number of apprehensions when a “decisive level of resources” had been achieved, indicating that illegal aliens were being deterred from entering. INS had not defined the criteria for achieving a “decisive level of resources” in a particular area, so the timing of such changes in apprehension levels remains unclear. In addition, INS had not analyzed apprehension data over time to determine if the predicted pattern of increases followed by decreases had occurred in the phase II sectors that received resources in fiscal year 1998. Figures 5 through 7 present data on apprehensions by Border Patrol sector and strategy phase. It is difficult to determine the meaning of these numbers at this time, because INS is still implementing phase II of the strategy. Apprehension levels in fiscal years 1997 and 1998 in the two phase I sectors (San Diego and El Paso) were considerably lower than they were in fiscal year 1993. (See fig. 5.) Page 17 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 Figure 5: Number of Apprehensions Decreased in Phase I Border Patrol Sectors Between Fiscal Years 1993 and 1998 Source: INS. In two of the phase II sectors (Tucson and Del Rio), apprehension levels increased in both fiscal years 1997 and 1998. In the other two phase II sectors (Laredo and McAllen), apprehension levels increased between fiscal years 1993 and 1997, then decreased in fiscal year 1998. However in fiscal year 1998, apprehension levels in these two sectors were still higher than in fiscal year 1993. (See fig. 6.) Page 18 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 Figure 6: Number of Apprehensions Increased in Phase II Border Patrol Sectors Between Fiscal Years 1993 and 1998 Source: INS. In two of the three phase III sectors (El Centro and Yuma), apprehension levels increased in both fiscal years 1997 and 1998, as compared with fiscal year 1993, whereas in Marfa apprehension levels have remained relatively constant during these 3 years. (See fig. 7.) Page 19 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 Figure 7: Number of Apprehensions Increased in Two of Three Phase III Border Patrol Sectors Between Fiscal Years 1993 and 1998 Source: INS. Shift in Illegal Alien The strategy also anticipated a shift in the flow of illegal alien traffic from sectors that had traditionally accounted for most illegal immigration Apprehensions activity to other sectors as well as shifts within sectors from urban areas, where the enforcement posture is greater, to rural areas. Our analysis of INS apprehension data indicated, since our previous report, that such a shift continued to occur. We found that apprehensions in San Diego and El Paso—sectors that had traditionally accounted for the most illegal alien traffic—decreased 9 percent, from 408,265 apprehensions in fiscal year 1997 to 373,127 apprehensions in fiscal year 1998. As a percentage of all southwest border apprehensions, apprehensions in El Paso and San Diego decreased from 68 percent in fiscal year 1993 to 30 percent in fiscal year 1997 to 24 percent in fiscal year 1998. (See fig. 8.) Page 20 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 Figure 8: Percentage of Southwest Border Apprehensions Decreased in San Diego and El Paso Border Patrol Sectors Between Fiscal Years 1993 and 1998 a Other sectors include El Centro, Yuma, Tuscon, Marfa, Del Rio, Laredo, and McAllen. Source: GAO analysis of INS data. The percentage of southwest border apprehensions increased significantly in some sectors. For example, the Tucson sector’s percentage of all southwest border apprehensions increased from 8 percent in fiscal year 1993 to 26 percent in fiscal year 1998. Similarly, the percentage in the El Centro sector, east of San Diego, increased from 2 percent of all southwest border apprehensions to 15 percent over the same time period. Some data indicated that preventing illegal entry in certain traditional entry points along the southwest border and shifting illegal alien traffic to areas that are more remote and difficult to cross has resulted in an unanticipated effect--that is, a change in the causes and locations of the deaths of some illegal aliens who attempt to cross the border at these remote border areas. A 1998 University of Houston study estimated the number of undocumented migrant deaths at more than 1,600 between 1993 Page 21 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 25 and 1997. Although the study did not find that the overall number of migrant deaths had increased significantly over the 5-year period, it concluded that the causes and locations of the deaths had changed markedly. Death from environmental causes, such as hypothermia and dehydration, increased in California and Texas, as did deaths from drowning in the All-American Canal in Imperial County, CA. Deaths from automobile/pedestrian accidents, homicides, and drowning in the San Diego area decreased. According to INS officials, reports of migrant deaths prompted the INS Commissioner to announce, in June 1998, a Border Safety Initiative designed to reduce injuries and prevent fatalities along the southwest border. INS developed the initiative in cooperation with the Mexican government and state and local officials in border communities to (1) prevent deaths and injuries by informing and warning potential illegal aliens of the realities and dangers of crossing the border at particular routes, (2) target search and rescue operations in hazardous areas, and (3) establish procedures and resources to help local officials identify the bodies of persons who have died while attempting to cross the border. INS developed a methodology to track migrant deaths in 40 counties that are contiguous to the border or have historically been known for migrant deaths due to routes of travel and environmental conditions. INS estimated that 254 migrants died while trying to cross the border in fiscal year 1998. INS was also developing a model to track Border Patrol rescues along the border, beginning in fiscal year 1999. Increases in Fraudulent The strategy postulated that there would be increased attempts by illegal aliens to enter the United States illegally at the ports of entry as it became Entries more difficult to enter between the ports. No direct indicators of the number of illegal entry attempts currently exist. However, land ports of entry along the southwest border experienced a 17-percent increase in the number of fraudulent documents intercepted, from 70,155 in fiscal year 1997 to 82,101 in fiscal year 1998. These ports of entry also had a 4-percent increase in the number of false claims to United States citizenship, from 19,667 in fiscal year 1997 to 20,496 in fiscal year 1998. It is difficult to determine whether the increases in the number of fraudulent documents intercepted and false claims to U.S. citizenship were a result of actual increases in illegal entry attempts at the ports and/or a result of greater efforts made to detect fraud. 25 K. Eschbach, J. Hagan, N. Rodriguez, R. Hernandez-Leon, and S. Bailey, Death at the Border (Houston: Center for Immigration Research, University of Houston), October 1998. Page 22 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 Some Evidence of Increased As it became more difficult to cross the border illegally, INS anticipated an increase in fees charged by alien smugglers and the use of more Smuggling Fees sophisticated smuggling tactics. There is some evidence that these interim effects have occurred. For example, a January 1999 report by the Tucson Border Patrol sector indicates the cost of smuggling and the sophistication 26 of smuggling techniques through that sector increased. According to this report, based on interviews with apprehended illegal aliens conducted by personnel from Tucson’s Anti-Smuggling Unit, the cost of being smuggled from the border to the interior of the United States had increased. For example, the cost of being smuggled 1,000 miles reportedly increased from about $1,000 in fiscal year 1996 to an estimated $1,350 in fiscal year 1998. At the same time, the Tucson report also stated that alien smugglers were using more sophisticated smuggling tactics. The report attributed these changes to the increase in Tucson sector personnel that resulted from the implementation of the border strategy. Currently, INS is expanding data collection on smuggling fees across the entire southwest border. In fiscal year 1998, the El Paso Intelligence 27 Center collected baseline data for a 2-month period, on fees charged for smuggling Central American and Mexican aliens from the southwest border to secondary staging areas and final destination points or work locations. A summary of the findings in INS’ fiscal year 1998 Priorities and Performance Management Plan review stated that smuggling fees from border areas to various cities in the interior of the United States, such as New York and Los Angeles, ranged from $600 to $1,200. Although the review stated that “the quantity and quality of the data were not 28 comprehensive,” INS intends to refine its data collection efforts in fiscal year 1999. INS officials also cited concerns that INS’ collection and analysis of intelligence data on alien smuggling is limited because some INS offices do not have full-time intelligence officers. INS Beginning to Measure The strategy postulated that there would be a decrease in recidivism--that is, in attempted reentries by illegal aliens who previously had been Attempted Reentries apprehended--as control was gained in particular locations. According to INS, this would be an indicator that the strategy was deterring illegal alien 26 Managing the U.S. Attorney General’s Strategy for Controlling Illegal Immigration in the Tucson Sector Area of Operations (Tucson, AZ: Tucson Sector Strategy Response to the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA)), January 1999. 27 The El Paso Intelligence Center is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence information related to drug, alien, and weapons smuggling. 28 Fiscal Year 1998 Fourth Quarter Performance Review: Border Enforcement (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service), December 1998, p. 7. Page 23 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 entry. INS planned to use IDENT, its automated fingerprinting system, to identify recidivists and analyze their crossing patterns along the southwest border. In our 1997 report, we stated that computer problems had affected the usefulness of IDENT data and INS’ ability to track recidivism over several 29 years. At that time, INS officials told us that although IDENT data gathered since January 1996 were reliable and accurate, they had not done any analysis to examine trends in recidivism. In April 1999, INS officials told us that since IDENT began as a prototype in October 1994, several modifications have been made to the system’s hardware and software, which have resulted in improved matching and data accuracy. In addition, the proportion of apprehended aliens enrolled in IDENT has been increasing as more Border Patrol sectors have begun using IDENT. For example, during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1998, 85 percent of the illegal aliens apprehended by southwest border sectors were enrolled in the IDENT system compared with 56 percent during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1997. As a result, INS determined that IDENT data beginning in October 1997 were sufficiently complete and reliable for internal analysis. INS officials said that, as of April 1999, INS’ Statistics Branch was analyzing this more recent IDENT data. An INS official stated that the contractor currently evaluating the southwest border strategy for INS (see page 26 for a discussion of this evaluation) is also using recent IDENT data as part of its report. Data continue to be limited on the strategy’s effects on decreasing attempted reentries by illegal aliens. A March 1998 review of IDENT implementation on the southwest border by Justice’s OIG found that less than two-thirds of apprehended illegal aliens were being enrolled in 30 IDENT. The OIG reported that, although IDENT and related biometrics technologies could be useful in many INS operations, “INS is not yet making consistent and effective use of IDENT as a tool for border enforcement.” The report said that (1) not all apprehended aliens were enrolled in IDENT, (2) INS was not entering the fingerprints of all deported 29 GAO/GGD-98-21, p. 43. 30 Review of the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) (Washington, D.C.: U. S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Inspections Division, Report No. I-98-10), March 1998. Page 24 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 31 aliens and known criminal aliens into the IDENT lookout database, and (3) INS needed to coordinate with the U.S. Attorneys for each district along the southwest border to establish a border enforcement and prosecution strategy that takes advantage of IDENT. The report also noted that “there were virtually no controls in place to ensure the quality of the data entered into the IDENT lookout database." In March 1999, an official with the Justice OIG told us that INS had satisfactorily responded to most of the report’s recommendations. For example, INS was entering a greater proportion of apprehended aliens into IDENT. To ensure deported and criminal aliens were in IDENT, INS established new procedures and criteria for placing individuals in the IDENT lookout database. INS instructed Border Patrol Sector chiefs to initiate contact with their local U.S. Attorney to inform them about the usefulness of IDENT in prosecuting recidivists and alien smugglers. Lastly, according to this official, INS added additional data integrity checks to ensure the accuracy of data entered into IDENT. INS plans to deploy IDENT systems nationwide. According to INS’ fiscal year 1998 Priorities and Performance Management Plan review, INS deployed IDENT at 194 additional locations in fiscal year 1998, exceeding its goal of 100 locations and bringing the total IDENT locations nationwide to 370. However, the use of IDENT has been uneven at these locations. During fiscal year 1998, the percentage of apprehended aliens enrolled in the IDENT system at locations nationwide varied from 17 to 90 percent, with an average of 85 percent, just short of INS’ targeted goal of 88 percent. Until IDENT is fully implemented, INS will not have complete estimates of the number of attempted reentries. Strategy’s Effects on Border The strategy anticipated a reduction in border violence as border control was achieved. INS officials told us that they anticipated that crime would Violence Remains Unknown decline in sections of the border where INS invested more enforcement resources. However, INS does not have data that would reliably measure the impact of the strategy’s implementation on border crime. 31 According to the March 1998 OIG review of IDENT implementation, INS’ lookout database contains information on deported and criminal aliens. Fingerprints for these aliens are entered in the lookout database at a central location in Washington, D.C., from 10-print cards sent by INS offices around the country. Index fingerprints, photographs, and basic text information are scanned and retyped from the 10-print cards to create individual lookout records in the database. At the time of the OIG’s review, INS had entered the fingerprints of 41 percent of the aliens deported and excluded in fiscal year 1996 in the IDENT lookout database; 24 percent of the fingerprint records in the IDENT lookout database were accompanied by the aliens’ photograph. Page 25 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 During the first half of fiscal year 1998, the Border Patrol began contacting 32 local law enforcement agencies in certain southern border locations to collect crime statistics to determine the impact that the national border control strategy has made on crime in target cities. The crime statistics from these locations identify crimes committed—such as homicide, rape, robbery, burglary—but not persons arrested or their immigration status. In its fourth quarter report on the 1998 Priorities, INS raised concerns about using these data as a measure of effectiveness because it could not determine the extent to which illegal aliens accounted for violent crimes along the border. Although the interim results of the strategy indicate that the strategy to INS Is Responding to date has made certain areas of the southwest border more difficult to Our Recommendation breach, large numbers of illegal aliens continue to make their way into the United States. Given the intractability of the problem and the billions of dollars invested in border-control measures, it is important for INS to assess which aspects of the strategy are most effective. Similarly, if the strategy’s goals are not being achieved, INS should determine the reasons 33 they are not. Thus, in our 1997 report we recommended that the Attorney General develop and implement a plan for a formal, cost-effective, systematic evaluation of the strategy. Pursuant to our recommendation, INS entered into agreements in September 1998 with three independent contractors to provide evaluative studies. The Executive Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning wrote us that these agreements “will enable INS to develop a southwest border strategy evaluation and to initiate the analysis that fulfills these evaluation plans.” INS contracted with Advancia Corporation of Lawton, OK, to (1) design an evaluation strategy, (2) identify data needs and analytical approaches, and (3) conduct a study of the southwest border strategy. The contract is in the amount of $340,000 and the final report is due May 1, 1999. In April 1999, an official with INS’ Office of Policy and Planning said that the contractor was developing a formal analysis plan intended to assess the effectiveness of the southwest border strategy to date, as well as an evaluation design and analysis plan for continuing evaluation of the strategy. These results would, in part, be used to provide a baseline for future evaluation of the strategy. 32 Locations include San Diego East County and Calexico, CA; Yuma, Nogales, and Douglas, AZ; and El Paso, Laredo, and Brownsville, TX. 33 GAO/GGD-98-21. Page 26 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 INS also contracted for $200,000 with CNA Corporation in Alexandria, VA, to study how illegal migration and alien and drug smuggling in the Caribbean affect the southern coast of the United States, including Puerto Rico. A final report on this project is due August 1, 1999. An additional contract for $60,000 was made with San Diego Dialogue, of the University of California, San Diego, to study issues related to the ports of entry. At the time of our review, this study was still under way. INS could provide us with no other information on the contractors’ progress. INS continued in fiscal year 1998 to implement its 1994 strategy by Conclusions allocating additional personnel in accordance with the strategy, increasing the time Border Patrol agents spend on border enforcement activities, and attempting to identify the appropriate quantity and mix of technology and personnel needed to control the border. Data on the interim effects of the Attorney General’s strategy along the southwest border continue to be limited. The available data indicated that some of the changes anticipated by the strategy have occurred. For example, traditional routes of entry for illegal immigration, such as San Diego and El Paso, have shown significant declines in illegal alien apprehensions, while apprehensions in other areas have increased. While it does not appear that there has been an increase in the overall number of undocumented migrant deaths, some evidence exists that deaths resulting from attempted crossings in remote areas are increasing, which is an unintended consequence of the strategy. In addition, there is some evidence of increases in the number of attempted illegal entries at the ports of entry and increased smuggling fees. However, data are still lacking on some key aspects of the strategy, including the impact of the strategy on reducing attempted reentries of illegal aliens and reducing crime in border cities. 34 As we recommended in our 1997 report, a comprehensive and systematic evaluation of the border strategy would go a long way towards providing information about the effectiveness of the strategy in reducing and deterring illegal entry. The evaluation studies that INS is funding, and INS’ plans to use findings from these studies as a baseline for future evaluation, could potentially begin to provide such needed information. However, information on these studies was too limited at this stage for us to assess 34 GAO/GGD-98-21. Page 27 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy B-281961 whether they will provide the information needed to comprehensively and systematically evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy. On April 13, 1999, we obtained oral comments on a draft of this report Agency Comments from INS’ Assistant Director for Internal Audit and officials from the following INS offices: Border Patrol, Policy and Planning, Budget, General Counsel, Communications, and Inspections. INS officials gave us updated information on the independent testing of the IDENT database and INS plans for using IDENT to measure attempted reentries. We revised our draft to reflect that INS is now beginning to measure attempted reentries. INS officials generally agreed with the other information presented in this report. They also provided other technical comments that we incorporated into this report. We are sending copies of this report to The Honorable Janet Reno, Attorney General; The Honorable Doris Meissner, Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; The Honorable Raymond Kelly, Commissioner of the Customs Service; The Honorable Jacob Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and other interested parties. We will also make copies available to others upon request. If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, please contact me on (202) 512-8777. This report was done under the direction of Evi L. Rezmovic, Assistant Director, Administration of Justice Issues. Other major contributors are listed in appendix II. Richard M. Stana Associate Director, Administration of Justice Issues Page 28 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy Page 29 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy Contents Letter 1 Appendix I 32 INS Border Patrol and Inspections Staffing and Selected Workload Data Appendix II 36 General Government Division, Washington, D.C. 36 Major Contributors to Office of the General Counsel, Washington, D.C. 36 This Report Los Angeles Field Office 36 Tables Table I.1: Authorized Border Patrol Agent Positions in 32 Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years 1993 Through 1998 Table I.2: Apprehensions by Southwest Border Patrol 32 Sector, Fiscal Years 1993 Through 1998 Table I.3: Border Patrol Hours by Southwest Border 33 Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 1993 Through 1998 Table I.4: INS Inspections, Selected Workload and 34 Enforcement Data by Southwest Border District Offices, Fiscal Years 1994 Through 1998 Figures Figure 1: Number of On-Board Border Patrol Agents 7 Increased in Phase I Sectors Between October 1993 and September 1998 Figure 2: Number of On-Board Border Patrol Agents 8 Increased in Phase II Sectors Between October 1993 and September 1998 Figure 3: Number of On-Board Border Patrol Agents 9 Increased in Phase III Sectors Between October 1993 and September 1998 Figure 4: Number of On-Board Inspectors Increased at 14 Land Ports of Entry in INS District Offices Along the Southwest Border Between September 1994 and September 1998 Page 30 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy Contents Figure 5: Number of Apprehensions Decreased in Phase I 18 Border Patrol Sectors Between Fiscal Years 1993 and 1998 Figure 6: Number of Apprehensions Increased in Phase II 19 Border Patrol Sectors Between Fiscal Years 1993 and 1998 Figure 7: Number of Apprehensions Increased in Two of 20 Three Phase III Border Patrol Sectors Between Fiscal Years 1993 and 1998 Figure 8: Percentage of Southwest Border Apprehensions 21 Decreased in San Diego and El Paso Border Patrol Sectors Between Fiscal Years 1993 and 1998 Abbreviations DOD Department of Defense GIS geographic information system INS Immigration and Naturalization Service INTEX Inspections Traveler Examination OIG Office of the Inspector General ONDCP Office of National Drug Control Policy SENTRI Secure Electronic Network for Travelers' Rapid Inspection Page 31 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy Appendix I INS Border Patrol and Inspections Staffing and Selected Workload Data Table I.1: Authorized Border Patrol Agent Positions in Southwest Border Patrol Sectors, Fiscal Years 1993 Through 1998 Total authorized Authorized agents Authorized increases each year agents a Border Patrol sector FY 93 FY 94 FY 95 FY 96 FY 97 FY 98 FY 98 San Diego 980 300 229 428 278 0 2,215 El Centro 194 0 0 0 50 134 378 Yuma 178 0 0 0 0 56 234 Tucson 281 0 128 246 228 140 1,023 El Paso 602 50 93 101 107 45 998 Marfa 131 0 0 0 0 25 156 Del Rio 290 0 100 0 52 135 577 Laredo 347 0 75 0 49 205 676 McAllen 386 0 75 25 228 260 974 b Total 3,389 350 700 800 992 1,000 7,231 a According to INS officials, the number of on-board agents as of September 30, 1993, is considered to be the fiscal year 1993 authorized Border Patrol staffing level for comparison purposes. b Does not include eight agents deployed to Puerto Rico for the Attorney General's Anticrime initiative. Source: INS. Table I.2: Apprehensions by Southwest Border Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 1993 Through 1998 Border Patrol sector FY 93 FY 94 FY 95 FY 96 FY 97 FY 98 San Diego 531,689 450,152 524,231 483,815 283,889 248,092 El Centro 30,058 27,654 37,317 66,873 146,210 226,695 Yuma 23,548 21,211 20,894 28,310 30,177 76,195 Tucson 92,639 139,473 227,529 305,348 272,397 387,406 El Paso 285,781 79,688 110,971 145,929 124,376 125,035 Marfa 15,486 13,494 11,552 13,214 12,692 14,509 Del Rio 42,289 50,036 76,490 121,137 113,280 131,058 Laredo 82,348 73,142 93,305 131,841 141,893 103,433 McAllen 109,048 124,251 169,101 210,553 243,793 204,257 Total Southwest border 1,212,886 979,101 1,271,390 1,507,020 1,368,707 1,516,680 Source: INS. Page 32 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy Appendix I INS Border Patrol and Inspections Staffing and Selected Workload Data Table I.3: Border Patrol Hours by Southwest Border Patrol Sector, Fiscal Years 1993 Through 1998 Border Patrol sector FY 93 FY 94 FY 95 FY 96 FY 97 FY 98 San Diego General enforcement 59,050 72,240 43,884 26,695 20,080 23,171 Program support 917,149 933,549 1,030,319 1,255,970 1,553,100 1,326,847 Border enforcement 1,067,872 1,004,232 1,361,983 1,756,647 2,098,474 2,480,964 Total 2,044,071 2,010,021 2,436,186 3,039,312 3,671,654 3,830,982 El Centro General enforcement 27,396 24,871 19,252 14,648 8,426 3,491 Program support 149,095 138,529 143,259 148,241 156,925 246,252 Border enforcement 246,289 249,180 248,206 251,101 247,829 644,741 Total 422,780 412,580 410,717 413,990 413,180 894,484 Yuma General Enforcement 34,645 29,259 20,087 16,511 10,134 6,040 Program support 104,368 102,467 112,633 105,227 105,214 118,950 Border enforcement 255,330 258,137 249,374 257,871 222,916 277,342 Total 394,343 389,863 382,094 379,609 338,264 402,332 Tucson General enforcement 25,418 20,756 15,768 17,557 16,855 33,689 Program support 264,022 250,294 316,267 395,867 582,792 524,167 Border enforcement 315,541 344,813 365,489 500,349 752,079 1,246,943 Total 604,981 615,863 697,524 913,773 1,351,726 1,804,799 El Paso General enforcement 84,231 37,365 50,331 34,967 34,220 26,828 Program support 414,470 273,088 361,939 477,792 560,523 645,719 Border enforcement 810,929 1,023,146 964,533 1,028,846 1,065,002 1,234,208 Total 1,309,630 1,333,599 1,376,803 1,541,605 1,659,745 1,906,755 Marfa General enforcement 46,467 42,755 36,854 13,757 3,044 2,911 Program support 99,873 93,757 89,693 91,170 85,811 85,618 Border enforcement 172,732 173,084 167,585 157,773 182,437 190,833 Total 319,072 309,596 294,132 262,700 271,292 279,362 Del Rio General enforcement 30,854 26,073 22,077 17,742 8,610 12,370 Program support 226,377 222,617 233,946 310,483 321,543 366,278 Border enforcement 396,972 382,607 399,761 501,760 531,672 577,536 Total 654,203 631,297 655,784 829,985 861,825 956,184 Laredo General enforcement 25,342 24,199 19,884 19,664 11,565 12,430 Program support 188,928 165,711 175,005 210,034 218,320 260,515 Border enforcement 566,219 568,169 536,463 615,189 666,257 782,262 Total 780,489 758,079 731,352 844,887 896,142 1,055,207 McAllen Page 33 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy Appendix I INS Border Patrol and Inspections Staffing and Selected Workload Data Border Patrol sector FY 93 FY 94 FY 95 FY 96 FY 97 FY 98 General enforcement 47,543 45,016 39,511 23,261 19,888 9,084 Program support 358,910 355,743 353,511 418,905 460,536 620,383 Border enforcement 482,576 470,671 470,868 551,726 615,514 1,082,107 Total 889,029 871,430 863,890 993,892 1,095,938 1,711,574 Southwest border General enforcement 380,946 322,534 267,648 184,802 132,822 130,014 Program support 2,723,192 2,535,755 2,816,572 3,413,689 4,044,764 4,194,729 Border enforcement 4,314,460 4,474,039 4,764,262 5,621,262 6,382,180 8,516,936 Total 7,418,598 7,332,328 7,848,482 9,219,753 10,559,766 12,841,679 Note: General enforcement includes duties indirectly related to deterrence, detection, and apprehensions of illegal aliens, such as investigations of employers, criminal aliens, and smugglers. Program support includes hours that support enforcement duties, such as air operations, intelligence, administrative/supervisory, special operations, and training. Border enforcement includes duties directly related to the deterrence, detection, and apprehension of illegal aliens and interdiction of drugs and other contraband along the border, such as patrolling the immediate border area, traffic check, transportation check, and boat and air patrol. Source: INS. Table I.4: INS Inspections, Selected Workload and Enforcement Data by Southwest Border District Offices, Fiscal Years 1994 Through 1998 INS District Office FY 94 FY 95 FY 96 FY 97 FY 98 San Diego a U.S. citizens inspected 28,808,845 26,776,081 26,342,930 28,952,299 28,644,148 a Aliens inspected 63,152,638 59,387,840 57,278,208 61,149,254 63,620,553 Total persons inspected a 91,961,483 86,163,921 83,621,138 90,101,553 92,264,701 b Pedestrians inspected 16,744,829 19,420,202 19,013,607 17,871,910 b Vehicles inspected 28,094,028 26,152,680 29,495,749 30,180,317 Fraudulent documents intercepted 41,974 46,515 41,221 35,719 44,751 Oral false claims to U.S. citizenship 15,403 19,368 12,633 8,603 8,928 Individuals smuggled 6,565 5,377 6,581 7,976 11,656 Phoenix a U.S. citizens inspected 11,717,738 8,299,518 8,313,959 8,317,647 8,480,693 a Aliens inspected 23,268,288 23,072,110 23,035,160 23,716,873 24,577,651 a Total persons inspected 34,986,026 31,371,628 31,349,119 32,034,520 33,058,344 b Pedestrians inspected 7,806,361 7,657,480 7,651,290 7,209,033 b Vehicles inspected 8,951,615 8,984,091 9,311,850 9,752,364 Fraudulent documents intercepted 7,599 6,367 5,338 4,461 5,503 Oral false claims to U.S. citizenship 825 686 772 916 1,073 Individuals smuggled 279 253 427 408 355 El Paso a U.S. citizens inspected 27,230,751 24,975,450 22,481,928 22,178,758 22,729,667 a Aliens inspected 42,033,208 39,821,598 36,339,994 36,178,016 38,316,842 a Total persons inspected 69,263,959 64,797,048 58,821,922 58,356,774 61,046,509 b Pedestrians inspected 4,578,798 4,571,073 4,578,644 6,982,414 b Vehicles inspected 18,143,401 17,529,375 17,534,880 17,741,105 Fraudulent documents intercepted 8,173 8,754 11,034 11,777 11,309 Oral false claims to U.S. citizenship 4,567 5,887 6,725 6,980 5,429 Page 34 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy Appendix I INS Border Patrol and Inspections Staffing and Selected Workload Data INS District Office FY 94 FY 95 FY 96 FY 97 FY 98 Individuals smuggled 751 599 611 578 602 San Antonio a U.S. citizens inspected 18,668,021 13,979,554 14,355,119 14,998,041 15,935,580 a Aliens inspected 39,567,895 41,165,203 39,708,171 46,218,306 46,931,023 a Total persons inspected 58,235,916 55,144,757 54,063,290 61,216,347 62,866,603 b Pedestrians inspected 7,289,530 5,219,599 7,003,458 7,782,173 b Vehicles inspected 11,454,275 13,026,781 13,432,433 14,274,699 Fraudulent documents intercepted 6,338 6,100 7,636 8,899 10,046 Oral false claims to U.S. citizenship 1,467 1,284 1,541 1,897 2,619 Individuals smuggled 1,559 1,224 1,349 1,228 1,601 Harlingen a U.S. citizens inspected 20,831,853 12,920,985 12,849,749 13,740,688 14,534,702 a Aliens inspected 40,564,252 39,536,870 40,258,253 41,632,438 40,022,402 a Total persons inspected 61,396,105 52,457,855 53,108,002 55,373,126 54,557,104 b Pedestrians inspected 7,348,097 7,943,636 7,798,241 7,551,773 b Vehicles inspected 14,412,630 15,195,266 16,059,800 16,896,525 Fraudulent documents intercepted 9,176 7,100 9,681 9,299 10,492 Oral false claims to U.S. citizenship 1,264 1,549 1,702 1,271 2,447 Individuals smuggled 1,394 897 1,299 1,256 1,703 Total Southwest border a U.S. citizens inspected 107,257,208 86,951,588 84,343,685 88,187,433 90,324,790 a Aliens inspected 208,586,281 202,983,621 196,619,786 208,894,887 213,468,471 a Total persons inspected 315,843,489 289,935,209 280,963,471 297,082,320 303,793,261 b Pedestrians inspected 43,767,615 44,811,990 46,045,240 47,397,303 b Vehicles inspected 81,055,949 80,888,193 85,834,712 88,845,010 Fraudulent documents intercepted 73,260 74,836 74,910 70,155 82,101 Oral false claims to U.S. citizenship 23,526 28,774 23,373 19,667 20,496 Individuals smuggled 10,548 8,350 10,267 11,446 15,917 a Estimate based on periodic sampling of the number of occupants per vehicle entering the port of entry. b INS did not collect data on these categories in fiscal year 1994. Source: INS. Page 35 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy Appendix II Major Contributors to This Report Evi L. Rezmovic, Assistant Director General Government Katherine M. Wheeler, Publishing Advisor Division, Washington, D.C. Ann H. Finley, Senior Attorney Office of the General Counsel, Washington, D.C. Michael P. Dino, Evaluator-In-Charge Los Angeles Field Tom Jessor, Senior Evaluator Office Nancy K. Kawahara, Senior Evaluator Page 36 GAO/GGD-99-44 Southwest Border Strategy Ordering Information The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free. Additional copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the following address, accompanied by a check or money order made out to the Superintendent of Documents, when necessary. VISA and MasterCard credit cards are accepted, also. Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. Order by mail: U.S. General Accounting Office P.O. 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Illegal Immigration: Status of Southwest Border Strategy Implementation
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-05-19.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)