A New Border Patrol Strategy?

Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher defended in a Congressional hearing on May 8 a new border control strategy plan. According to an Associated Press report, “Fisher was repeatedly asked why the new strategy didn’t include any specific ‘metrics’ that could help members of Congress and the public better understand if the border is secure.”

That was a critical question, because it highlighted this new effort of the administration to change the ground rules for measuring border control effectiveness. The administration has been confounded in its efforts to claim that the border is effectively secure by the current system of metrics which determine operational control – which, according to a 2011 Government Accountability Office report, showed that of the nearly 2,000 miles of our southern border, only 873 were under “operational control” and only 129 miles were under “full control.” The Obama administration’s new strategy is – if the terms of reference interfere with the administration’s rhetoric – change the terms of reference.

The announced new strategy did include other aspects of border control. One was the greater use of drone aircraft. That is not new, but does offer a pretext for lessening reliance on the continued involvement of National Guard units providing logistical assistance to the Border Patrol. Another part of the plan is prosecution of illegal entrants before deporting them. The effect of the prosecution and deportation is to expose a recidivist to imprisonment as a felon for re-entering illegally after deportation. This, too, is not new. It is a program that has been operating for a couple of years in Arizona with reported success in deterring recidivist reentry after deportation. It is more expensive than just putting Mexican illegal entrants back across the border, but has long-term promise if it continues to reduce reentry of deported illegal entrants. An exception is made in the new plan for Mexican children and pregnant women who will still be put back across the border because they represent major costs if they are held in the United States, both in terms of detention and the possibility for the delivery of ‘anchor babies’ at U.S. taxpayer expense.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    We need to fine these people their ill gotten gains. Other countries do it, South Korea for one. Fine each person $10,000 for each offense. These people are costing us billions every year so they should be made to mitigate the cost of prosecuting their offenses.

    • avatar

      I agree with the fine plus a five year suspended prison sentence that they will automatically start serving if they are caught in this country again.

  2. avatar

    Its should have the same penalty breaking, and entering a home or business, and treated as a felony, and as suck exact strong sentences including if habitual the death penalty.

  3. avatar

    Only in America would we make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege while we discuss letting anyone who SNEAKS into the country illegally just become American citizens with virtually no penalties.

    • avatar
      Raymond Hernandez on

      Tony, The World is watching our dirty Government as they break the very laws they create and are not enforcing.

  4. avatar
    Joel Wischkaemper on

    We are dealing with a law that provides an international basis for dealing with people who cross our borders. Cross a border and it is not considered a felony, but if you cross the border and head for a job, it may considered a felony offense. I keep trying to pin that down and cannot find the specifics.

    I think it is clear that people who have no idea what is happening on the border, (and I think Obama is one of those people) are making suggestions that are not good ones, and in fact, harm the folks along the border by neglection of duty from a fog of information that cannot be decifered. Wonderful stuff and typically Chicago Politics according to friends.

    I would suggest resistance.. but it will wind up as an executive order and so I suggest we all make sure the guy isn’t re-elected. However, there are millions of letters that the illegal aliens could write, and if one group or another writes it, provides the stamp, the illegal aliens can sign it. Further, there are plenty of mexican language radio stations that aid and abet the best way of doing things. We have a problem.. writing an email to your reps may be the best way to deal with it all.

  5. avatar
    Delaware Bob on

    How’s this for an idea? Make entering this country illegally a felony. Make the fine $2500 plus one year in Federal prison. Make this the same on overstayed VISAs. If drugs are involved, triple the fine. Then, apply this to all the illegal aliens in this country now. Leave or if you get caught, the fine will apply to them. Maybe, just maybe, this will take the place of a fence that is costly and doesn’t seem to work all that well. It may even cut down on the cost of deporting these illegal aliens. The other thing is this birthright citizenship. We MUST know through Congress or the Supreme Court if indeed a child born to an illegal alien is a U.S. citizen. I say they are not. If not, then, how do we REVOKE the birth certificates already issued. Boy, can you see the problems with this illegal immigration? Maybe Congress should allow states to enforce immigration laws, or at least a few of them.


    • avatar

      Let’s add a little more to it. After they are released from prison, they are deported. If caught here illegally again, it is prison for life…no parole.

    • avatar
      Raymond Hernandez on

      Delaware Bob, The Illegal Immigrants are just part of the problem, try to see that there are powers that be, that are doing everything they can to keep the immigrants here and put us Americans out. Those are the folks that need to be exposed for the scum they really are, greedy bastards that call themselves Americans. I think not, more like Benedict Arnold’s

  6. avatar

    What is the problem with this Pres. and our reps.????? Why on earth do they want these Illelgals here when they cost taxpayers sooooo much money, the crime, the gangs and so on. What’s the deal??? Our Gov. puts them ahead of American citizens and we stand for it. Why don’t we question those running for office what their policy is on Illegal Immigrants already here and our boarders while they are running. I do!!

    I must say that Iam glad to see that they are putting pregnant women and children right back over the boarder, because these women come here and have baby after baby, out of wedlock, and we end up paying for them.

  7. avatar

    eric holder wouldn’t sell dirty bombs to the terrorists, would he?

    not without hbo’s permission, i’d hope.

  8. avatar

    We have to secure our borders. Not just juggle the facts so that it looks like it is secure.