Chronology of Unmet Border Promises

Apr 15, 2013, 14:57 ET from Center for Immigration Studies

DHS's record of blocking performance measures

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The immigration legislation coming before Congress includes an enforcement "trigger" requiring the Border Patrol to achieve a 90 percent apprehension rate of illegal border crossers. In considering this proposal, lawmakers and the public should be mindful of efforts by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Border Patrol officials to block efforts to measure their performance at the border.


The Center for Immigration Studies has prepared a chronology that traces the history of border-security metrics back to 2004, when Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert Bonner declared the goal of "operational control" of the borders.

In 2011, when much of the border was shown not to be under operational control, Secretary Napolitano dismissed the metric as "a very narrow term of art." DHS said it would develop a more reliable metric by the end of 2011. Meanwhile, it would use figures of border apprehensions as an interim metric of Border Patrol success.

In December 2012, as the Government Accountability Office criticized the DHS decision to disavow "operational control" and called on DHS to deliver the new metric, a DHS official responded that the new target date for delivery was November 30, 2013.

The chronology released today shows that DHS and the Border Patrol have a record of subordinating transparency and accountability to the administration's political agenda.

It is preceded by a brief introduction under the headline: "Asking for Trust, Evading Verification: A Chronology of Border Patrol and DHS Positions on Border Security Metrics." It is available at

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization. Since its founding in 1985, the Center has pursued a single mission – providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States.

Contact: Marguerite Telford
(202) 466-8185,

SOURCE Center for Immigration Studies