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Old 05-08-2012   #1
phil b
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Default Border Patrol unveils new national strategy

Border Patrol unveils national strategy

The U.S. Border Patrol on Tuesday unveiled its first national strategy in eight years, a period in which the number of agents more than doubled and apprehensions of people entering illegally from Mexico dropped to a 40-year low.

The new approach — outlined in a 32-page document that took more than two years to develop — uses buzzwords like "risk-based" and "intelligence-driven" to describe a more nuanced, targeted response to constantly evolving threats.

The Border Patrol previously relied on a strategy that blanketed heavily trafficked corridors for illegal immigrants with agents, pushing migrants to more remote areas where they would presumably be easier to capture and discouraged from trying again.
The strategy makes only brief mention of technology in the wake of a failed $1 billion program that was supposed to put a network of cameras, ground sensors and radars along the entire border. Fisher said the agency is moving more toward mobile surveillance like unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters.
The strategy makes it a top priority to ferret out corrupt agents, which has emerged as a growing threat as the agency has expanded.

It is the Border Patrol's third national strategy since 1994, when the agency poured resources into the San Diego and El Paso, Texas, areas. That effort pushed migrants to remote mountains and deserts and made Arizona the nation's busiest crossing for illegal crossings.
Still looking for an online copy of the strategy.
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Old 05-08-2012   #2
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Default Two common failures: part of the UK-US relationship

Phil B your citation included:
The strategy makes only brief mention of technology in the wake of a failed $1 billion program that was supposed to put a network of cameras, ground sensors and radars along the entire border.
There is a "hue & cry" in the UK currently over various failings of UK border policy and implementation, notably long queues at London Heathrow before the anticipated Olympic rush. In the background is the failure of a large IT project 'E-Borders', which aimed to collect all passenger data for flights in and out of he UK, to pre-alert staff at the border. Plus a reduction in staff who do the checks.

The US program had a different approach, IMO the common link is a reliance on an IT-based network to provide targeting information.
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Old 05-09-2012   #3
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Default The world's longest semi-defended border.

I spent part of last week in Québec and chose to do the border crossing at a very low-key CBSA checkpoint in order to have a look at the unusual situation shown in the photo below. It put the task of border control into better perspective for me.

Looking west down Rue Canusa. The international border is at the center line of the street -- westbound traffic travels in Canada, eastbound traffic travels in the United States.
If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)
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Old 05-08-2013   #4
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Out on the Border: Numbers and politicians tell us we are winning the war along our Southwest border - A closer look and inside view tells a very different story, by Will Grant. Dangerous Magazine, 5 May 2013.
There is a sense of urgency and frustration as humans and contraband flow into the US from Mexico and law enforcement tries to stop the influx. Last year, the US spent nearly $18 billion on immigration security, more than all other law enforcement agencies combined. In 2013, Customs and Border Protection alone has been allotted nearly $12 billion to enforce border security, up from $5.9 billion in 2003. Like any issue that has additional money and resources thrown at it, the problem should be lessening. Border security should be increasing. It is not.

Though US law enforcement presence along the Southwest border is at an all-time high, the number of arrests is as low as it’s been since the 1970s. Arrests increased from 2011 to 2012 from about 328,000 to about 357,000, but the overwhelming trend during the last decade has been a decrease in apprehensions. The peak year for arrests of illegal aliens was 2000 when 1.7 million people were apprehended. Some credit the depressed US economy with attracting fewer illegal aliens. Others say stricter enforcement of immigration laws is actually working. Either way, more officials and fewer arrests would indicate a downward trend.

But if we steer away from official statistics and instead sample non-political indicators, the story seems very different.
Solid piece of journalism, proving a boots on the ground perspective. The author embeds with Maricopa County (Arizona) HIDTA Task Force operators - who are outfitted in multicam, milspec ATVs, M4s, and velcro.
“[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson
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Old 05-08-2013   #5
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Default It’s complete mayhem out there


Good catch! Two passages struck me; the first one with my emphasis:
The Center for Investigative Reporting was skeptical of the political optimism. Thanks to the statistics provided by the all-seeing Vehicle and Dismount Exploitation Radar, or VADER, mounted on the same Predator drone used by the CIA to launch drone strikes, we can use cold-blooded statistics. From October to December last year, law enforcement arrested 410 of the 7,333 individuals detected by VADER during operations in Arizona. That’s half of one percent of the illegal border crossers caught on camera, and works out to a rough average of five illegal entry attempts an hour…just in a small area along the Arizona–Mexico border.
When Napolitano gets up there and says the border is as secure as it’s ever been, who does she think she’s talking to?” Bailey says. “It’s complete mayhem out there.”
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