5/25/2013

Senator Rubio says border security "linchpin" of immigration bill, problem is with how we measure border security

The video is available here.
Hannity: "When are we going to get the border secure for sure?"
Rubio: ". . . It doesn't just say you can come up with a plan but not do it.  You have to substantially complete that plan.  You have a fence plan, it has to be substantially completed.  You have to have a border plan, it has to be substantially completed."

A copy of the original bill and that amended by the Senate judiciary committee is available here and here.  The minor problem in my reading of this bill is that it calls for a "strategy [to be] established," though at other times it does say "If the Secretary certifies that the Department has not achieved effective control . . . ."  The "commission" that is set up if the 90 percent rate isn't certified merely says: the commission must set "forth specific recommendations for policies for achieving and maintaining."   Setting forth plans is a lot different than saying those plans are met.  In any case, the big problem is how the "effectiveness rate" is measured.  I have an op-ed piece that will hopefully be coming out next week that explains that the "total number of illegal entries," which is the number of apprehensions and turn backs plus counted successful crossings.  The problem is that counted successful crossings, only gets a tiny fraction of actual crossings.

Some parts of the bill that came out of the Senate Judiciary committee.

COMPREHENSIVE SOUTHERN BORDER SECURITY STRATEGY.—The term ‘‘Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy’’ means the strategy established by the Secretary pursuant to section 5(a) to achieve and maintain an effectiveness rate of 90 percent or higher in all high risk border sectors.
(3) EFFECTIVE CONTROL.—The term ‘‘effective control’’ means the ability to achieve and maintain, in a Border Patrol sector—
(A) persistent surveillance; and
(B) an effectiveness rate of 90 percent or higher.
(4) EFFECTIVENESS RATE.—The ‘‘effectiveness rate’’, in the case of a border sector, is the percentage calculated by dividing the number of apprehensions and turn backs in the sector during a fiscal year by the total number of illegal entries in the sector during such fiscal year. . . .

If the Secretary certifies that the Department has not achieved effective control in all high risk border sectors during any fiscal year beginning before the date that is 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, not later than 60 days after such certification, there shall be established a commission to be known as the ‘‘Southern Border Security Commission’’ (referred to in this section as the ‘‘Commission’’). . . .

REPORT.—Not later than 180 days after the end of the 5-year period described in subsection (a), the Commission shall submit to the President, the Secretary, and Congress a report setting forth specific recommendations for policies for achieving and maintaining the border security goals specified in subsection (c). The report shall include, at a minimum, recommendations for the personnel, infrastructure, technology, and other resources required to achieve and maintain an effectiveness rate of 90 percent or higher in all high risk border sectors. 
The Judiciary Committee amendments are available here.

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