Obama Administration Refuses to Measure Border Security
Byron York reports on the latest game that the Obama admin is playing on border security.
[H]ow do you measure border security? For years, the government estimated the number of miles of the border that were under "operational control" and came up with various ways to define what that meant.
Then the Department of Homeland Security threw out the concept of operational control, which Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano called "archaic." The administration promised to create something called the Border Condition Index, or BCI, which would be a "holistic," and a far better measure of border security.
Time passed, with no BCI. "Nearly three years later, the department has not produced this measure, so at this hearing, we will be asking for a status of the BCI, what measures it will take into account and when it might be ready," subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Candice Miller, a Republican, said before Wednesday's testimony. Getting BCI up and running is particularly important now, Miller added, because comprehensive immigration reform cannot happen without a reliable way to assess border security.
So imagine everyone's surprise when Mark Borkowski, a top Homeland Security technology official, told Miller that not only was BCI not ready, but that it won't measure border security and was never meant to.
"I don't believe that we intend, at least at this point, that the BCI would be a tool for the measurement that you're suggesting," Borkowski told Miller. "The BCI is part of a set of information that advises us on where we are and, most importantly, what the trends are ... It is not our intent, at least not immediately, that it would be the measure you are talking about."
Miller appeared stunned and practically begged Borkowski, along with two other Homeland Security officials who were testifying, to tell her what she wanted to hear. "I'm just trying to let this all digest," she said. "We're sort of sitting here, as a Congress ... At what point will you be able to give us something?"
She never got an answer.
York isn't alone in reporting this. The New York Times noticed the same glaring flaw.
More than two years after Homeland Security officials told Congress that they would produce new, more accurate standards to assess security at the nation’s borders, senior officials from the department acknowledged this week that they had not completed the new measurements and were not likely to in coming months, as the debate proceeds about overhauling the immigration system.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers were taken aback at a hearing on Wednesday in the House of Representatives when Mark Borkowski, a senior Homeland Security official, said he had no progress to report on a broad measure of border conditions the department had been working on since 2010. The lawmakers warned that failure by the Obama administration to devise a reliable method of border evaluation could imperil passage of immigration legislation.
Keep in mind, Harry Reid et al on the Democrat side are pushing for immigration reform to stay on a fast track for passage by the end of April. Yet we have no reliable border security statistics from DHS at all, two years after we were supposed to have them.
Despite calls from Democrats and Republicans in Congress for DHS to produce a reliable measure of security on the border, the NYT reports:
Obama administration officials said on Thursday that they had resisted producing a single measure to assess the border because the president did not want any hurdles placed on the pathway to eventual citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.
If you legally live on the US side of the border, your personal security against drug cartel violence might be a "hurdle" in the way of amnesty, so, you don't count. Obama mocks you for wanting "alligators and moats."
That NYT paragraph should doom the Gang of Eight and should halt immigration reform in its tracks. The Obama administration has no interest in securing the border and cannot be trusted at all to certify any level of security. Anyone who believes otherwise is being played.
While Congress is looking in vain for DHS to come up with a border security measure that the Obama government has no interest in producing, they should take some time to examine evidence that border crime statistics are being faked for political purposes by local Democratic officials on the border itself.