DHS Accused of Sitting on Damning Border Report
The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly holding back a report that shows how many illegal aliens are successfully sneaking across the southern border. Lawmakers have been trying to pinpoint the number -- which sources tell Fox News is approximately 250,000 -- but DHS refuses to release the report it has had since November.
According to Fox's sources, Border Patrol agents are only catching about 50 percent of the immigrants who illegally cross the border. DHS is citing "a misleading statistic that overstates the number who are nabbed." That's right. Once again, it appears (prepare to be shocked) that the most transparent administration in American history has been "cooking the books."
Via Fox News:
The agency claims authorities catch 80 percent of adults trying to sneak in, but critics say the figure is padded to make it appear border security is more effective than it really is.
"The Obama administration knows that the number of illegal aliens successfully getting across the Mexican border is 158 percent higher than they are telling people," said John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, who is familiar with the report. "The administration has made fraudulent changes in the numbers to hide this."
If released by the Obama administration, the true numbers could have major implications in the current presidential race, in which illegal immigration and border security have become a key issue, say observers.
One source familiar with the report told Fox News that DHS is suppressing the report for "political reasons . . . because it would 'look bad' and 'help elect Donald Trump.”
Republican lawmakers are furious that the report they ordered is not being released.
“It erodes the trust as to whether the administration is being honest with the American people about what the threat is,” said Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., who serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and chairs the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee. “This should not be a partisan issue. Democrats, Independents and Republicans in my community want to make sure that border communities are safe.”
When Fox News requested a copy of the report, both DHS and the White House said it was still not finished, although sources familiar with the process tell Fox otherwise.
“Any suggestion that DHS is delaying release of a report on new border enforcement measures for political reasons is false,” a DHS spokesperson told Fox. “To the contrary, at Secretary Johnson’s direction, DHS has been making significant progress in the development of such measures. At this point, however, the work is still preliminary and requires further refinement, to ensure the new measures are accurate and reliable. The November 2015 report purportedly obtained by Fox News is one building block provided by a research organization DHS has been working with to develop these measures," the spokesperson added.
The study was written by analysts from DHS and the outside firm Institute for Defense Analyses, and is the most extensive survey of illegal activity and U.S. enforcement at the southwest border to date. Researchers went to the southwest border three times over 9 months and conducted independent surveys of Mexican migrants caught by the Border Patrol. They also reviewed Border Patrol intelligence, internal DHS records, apprehensions at ports of entry and detention records. The report was peer reviewed by a number of experts.
The document examines, in part, the Interdiction Effectiveness Rate (IER), or the number of adults caught at the border by law enforcement. But when DHS briefed members of the House and Senate earlier this year, sources familiar with the report say it was blended with non-IER statistics, such as unaccompanied children and those who surrendered to Border Patrol. Those figures were used to buttress the claim that only 20 percent of would-be illegal immigrants are successful when the real IER estimation was half, sources said.
“There is a distrust, because of the shifting measurements,” McSally said. “We would like to follow up with those researchers and better understand what is going on related to suppressing those results, if that’s an accurate report.”
According to Fox News , the White House Domestic Policy Council ordered Homeland Security to withhold the release of the report.