Rep. Darrell Issa wants Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to respond to allegations that her department has provided false information about illegal border crossings.
The California Republican, who chairs the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent Napolitano a letter on March 1 saying it is investigating agency insiders’ tips that her department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection “released false and misleading border crossing data.”
“Without an accurate measurement of how many illegal entrants become ‘got-aways,’ there is no way to assess the safety and security of the southwest border,” said the letter, also signed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who chairs the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations.
“Got-aways” are border crossers who are not arrested or turned back when they enter the United States illegally.
Border Protection leaders changed the method of counting “got-aways” after Napolitano testified in May before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, according to CNSNews
. At the time, she told lawmakers that a new system would be used for measuring security and quality of life along the U.S.-Mexico border.
However, Napolitano did not reveal any details on how or when the system would start.
Shawn Moran, a senior border patrol agent stationed in the San Diego sector and vice president of the National Border Patrol labor union, told CNSNews: “Any sort of metric that DHS comes up with I think is — I’m going to be skeptical about from the get-go. Until they actually address the problem of people who get past us and find a real way to measure that, they’re never going to have a real picture of what’s going on, on the border.”
Issa cited Moran’s interview in the letter to Napolitano.
“I’ve heard for 14 years that I’ve been in this organization — in the border patrol — that we have 12 million illegal aliens in this country,” Moran told CNSNews. “Well, I don’t think that’s true because I know that there are hundreds of thousands getting past us every year, so there’s no way that number has remained static.”
The letter also contends that “an analysis of a small sample of shift reports from the Casa Grande border patrol station in Arizona showed that over a one-week period in April 2011, at least 82 illegal entrants who were not arrested or turned back south were not reported as got-aways.”
Issa’s committee demands that Napolitano provide “all situation reports, operation reports, and shift reports from the eight patrol stations in the Tucson sector created between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011.”
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