Say DHS numbers don't add up.
Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano insists there's nothing to worry about when it comes to border security. “Our borders have in fact, never been stronger,” she said recently.
A Texas lawmaker,however, argues otherwise.
“Friend on border sez 300 ppl coming across his property every night,” Senator John Cornyn posted on Twitter on Feb. 21.
Democrats dispute the claim, but Cornyn says Napolitano's statement shows an “unwillingness to fix the problem.” That's because the Department of Homeland Security has no reliable or accepted metric to measure border security.
Prior to 2012, the agency kept three statistics to determine efficiency: illegal immigrants it caught, those it turned away and those who got away. A formula using those three numbers determined efficiency.
In 2011, the last year the agency collected those numbers, the Border Patrol apprehended 124,000 illegal immigrants, turned back 43,000, and missed 25,000.
In the six previous years, no fewer than 800,000 illegal immigrants "got away," according to the Government Accountability Office. However, the Border Patrol did reduce the number of ‘"got aways" from 33 percent to 13 percent during that time.
“Border security measures have certainly improved over the years,” Cornyn told KTRH News. “But we know that about 360,000 people were detained coming across the border last year, that's a figure which can't be ignored."
What about those that got away?
“The information they like to get out is all about the apprehensions,” says Susan Durham with the South Texans' Property Rights Association. “They don't address those that get away.”
“We feel it here, we know it, we know it to be the truth,” says Durham. “And when you have the federal government discounting it, that's very disheartening.”
Border Patrol says it's working on a new index that will “provide a top level summary of systematic border trends." DHS says an initial version of the 'Border Condition Index' has been completed and final modifications are being made.