By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama issued a statement regarding a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which he says demonstrates a breakdown in border security under President Barack H. Obama.
Senator Sessions said, “This report demonstrates, despite the pleas of millions of Americans, the border is still not secure. Just a few years ago, we were within reach of achieving true border security, but the Obama administration has undone those efforts, engaging in a sustained and reckless dismantling of enforcement – pulling resources from the border, ignoring sanctuary cities that refuse to comply with federal law enforcement, suing states that are rightly trying to help enforce our laws, gutting programs to train state and local law enforcement, and granting backdoor amnesty. Because of this, securing our borders must remain our number one priority.”
In 2004 the Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security released a plan to promote border security in the wake of the 9-11-01 terror attacks. The size of the Border Patrol increased from just 9,500 agents in 2004 to 18,500 in 2011. Since 2006, $4.4 billion has been spent on upgrading border infrastructure and technology. Despite all this, report estimates that nearly 40% of illegal immigrants eluded apprehension to gain passage into the United States through the Tucson, Arizona sector alone.
In the report, the Border Patrol said that for about 800 miles of the border they had both a high probability of detecting illegal border crossers and adequate resources to respond. Of the remaining 1120 mile of the border on two/thirds they had a high probability of detecting illegal border crossers, but that their ability to respond was compromised due to limited resources, poor infrastructure, or inaccessible terrain. On the remaining ~400 miles the Border Patrol reported neither the resources to detect most illegal border crossings nor the resources to respond to border crossers if detected.
Many conservatives argue that the Obama administration has had lax border enforcement while his policy of granting de facto amnesty to millions of illegals who came here as children is only drawing more illegal aliens to the country. President Obama remains very popular with Latino voters. The President’s commanding margin of victory among Hispanics undoubtedly propelled him to victory in Florida and Colorado and was likely a factor in his carrying both Ohio and Virginia in the recent Presidential election.
Senator Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III succeeded Sen. Howell Heflin (D) in the U.S. Senate in 1997. He is a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
To read the full report: http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/650730.pdf