DHS Official Confirms Illegal Border Crossings Up Ahead of Amnesty

Last Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee at a hearing entitled “Border Security: Frontline Perspectives on Progress and Remaining Challenges.”

From the outset, Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) repeated the Obama Administration’s narrative that the border is secure. Reflecting on his trip to the border with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Carper stated “I saw a border that I think appears to me and to a lot of other people is more secure than it’s ever been — or been in a long time.” (Bloomberg Government Transcript, Apr. 10, 2013) “Are [our]borders more secure than they have been in the past? I think it’s clear that they are.” (Id.) “Today, illegal immigration is at historic lows,” he declared. (Id.)

However, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher’s testimony directly contradicted that assertion. “We have seen an increase in attempted entries,” Fisher told the Committee. (Id.) Specifically, Chief Fisher testified that apprehensions of aliens crossing the border illegally are up 13 percent compared to last year. (Id.) While stating that the “reasons and modus” behind the increase are varied, he conceded that Congressional negotiations for “comprehensive” immigration reform is part of the reason for the increase. (Id.)

And while some Senators on the Committee openly support amnesty, they also criticized the administration’s failure to develop an official metric for border security.  Senator Carper particularly criticized DHS’s use of apprehensions as an indicator of border security.  “Arrests cannot be the only metric available to measure the performance of our efforts at the border,” said Senator Carper. “Without knowing how many people are actually trying to cross the border, we will never know how effective our efforts truly are to date.” (Id.)  Senator McCain echoed that criticism. “You can’t rely on apprehensions as the only measurement. But the fact is we have no measurements. We have no measurements now,” declared McCain. (Id.)  Even Chief Fisher acknowledged the weakness of DHS’s position:  “The extent to which the border is secure has more to do with known and evolving threats and our ability to respond to those threats and less to do with fluctuations and things like apprehension numbers.” (Id.)

To the Committee’s surprise, Chief Fisher refuted recent testimony by Border Patrol Assistant Commissioner Mark Borkowski by announcing that the agency is developing a new system that measures apprehensions as well as the number of illegal aliens that avoided detection. (See FAIR Legislative Update, Mar. 25, 2013)  “We want to know how many people come across the border and of that number, how many people do we either apprehend of turn back,” Fisher testified. (Bloomberg Government Transcript, Apr. 10, 2013) “Have you developed the metrics or not?” demanded McCain. (Id.) After receiving an affirmative response from Fisher, McCain asked “You have? And we’re using them?” (Id.) “We’re just starting to,” Fisher replied. (Id.) “Well, it is in the final stages of development, Senator. I can tell you that.” (Id.)


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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar
    Diane Kelsey on

    I grieve for the citizens of Massachusetts as do all other Americans. However, they are now paying for Ted Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 Immigration Reform Law. Politicians have flooded this country with millions of people with whom we have no cultural ties in order to get their votes (Democrats) and cheap labor (Republicans). It’s obvious from these two “alleged” murderers, the young males who were radicalized in Michigan and then fought in Somalia, etc., that massive immigration quotas, failure to stop illegal immigration, and the loosening of citizenship requirements have allowed a large number of people into the U.S. who not only don’t want to become Americans, but hate us enough to kill us. While we may once have been a nation of immigrants, we have become a nation of foreigners with too many “hyphenated” and too few just plain Americans.

    Near the end of the Clinton Administration, ethnic contractors were hired to clear the backlog from the 1986 Reagan-Wilson Amnesty and they certified that the members of their particular groups had fulfilled all of the requirements for citizenship. As was reported in the news, several hundred thousands did not undergo the required background checks and thousands and thousands of convicted felons were sworn in as U.S. citizens.

    And yet, Republicans are about to let millions more in with the pipe dream that they will eventually vote Republican. Do they really believe this administration along with its allies in Congress, which has spent its entire existence figuring out ways to avoid enforcing our immigration laws, including Harry Reid blocking every effort of Senate Republicans to make E-Verify mandatory, will enforce the allegedly even more stringent border security requirements of the new amnesty law?.

    And for all the animal lovers who also value reproductive rights, what do you think will happen to our animal welfare laws when millions from countries where cock fighting, horse tripping, and bull fighting are considered “sports” become citizens? Further, do you really believe they won’t vote to do away with what few reproductive rights we have left when their clergymen tell them to? Let’s not forget that the most vocal religious proponent of amnesty in this country is Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles who played musical parishes with pedophile priests.

    Do older people, and I am one, realize that President Obama is planning to reduce our Social Security, Medicare, and armed forces retirement, etc. benefits in order to provide welfare, Obamacare, and Earned Income Tax Credits to millions of illegal aliens? Do Americans of African descent realize that they will be the biggest losers when it comes to jobs, education, etc.? Where are the voices of AARP and the NAACP in the amnesty discussions? Does Grover Norquist not understand that supporting millions more poor, uneducated people who produce lots of children will destroy what’s left of the middle class? Where are the environmentalists talking about the even greater consumption of natural resources and increased global warming which will result from the even more massive overpopulation in this country?

    in 2007 we shut the Capitol Switchboard down. This time, we need to melt it down with our phone calls. Instead of flooding the country with millions more who will use counterfeit documents which will be readily accepted by the Democrats to gain legalization, we need to require that the Administration enforce the laws we now have, stop illegal immigration, and reduce the levels of legal immigration until all the people already here assimilate. Lastly, we need to tighten citizenship requirements and ensure that everyone who becomes a citizen has actually passed all the tests, very much including speaking, reading and writing ENGLISH!

  2. avatar
    cynthia curran on

    Hannah: Thank you for your words to me. It sounds like we do have a lot in common with our childhoods. I completely agree with you that those of us who have suffered are sometimes the ones who do come along side others in their hurt and pain. And that is probably because we have such sensitivity towards pain and understand. God made us relational for a purpose. I’m so thankful for that because where I have difficulty with the Father God image, I can connect with the God I see in the lives of others. That reminds me of an expression I heard years ago – something like Christians should be the extended hands of Jesus, but in this sense, maybe it should be the extended ears and heart of Jesus. I think Jesus was a good listener and had and amazing heart. Actgually they are about the same Mexico wages are 2 to 6 per hr, hardly as bad as you paint and are similar to wage in the US in 1970. China wages are in the same range.

    • avatar

      Cynthia, Please Provide Your URL Reference to Your Allegations on Mexican Wages Today

      I did.

      BTW, I’m a Christian too….like Jesus said “pay your taxes”, as Jesus held up a Roman coin with Caesar’s face on it, He replied,”give unto Caesar’s what is Caesar’s”….read Romans 13 too, obey the government laws [even the immigration ones]….now tell me those Bible verses don’t matter, I’ll just push my amnesty on the Jesus likes love ambiguity. The Bible isn’t ambiguous, its a Book of Laws…..the Ten Commandments tells us not to steal, like IAs stealing American jobs.

  3. avatar

    Hades, Let me take a Guess

    “…Mexico’s hourly wages are about a fifth lower than China’s, a huge turnaround from just 10 years ago when they were nearly three times higher, according to new research by Bank of America Merrill *****….”


    About the only thing Mexico offers its overpopulation is severe water shortages too. They’re coming to America to destroy it worse too.


  4. avatar
    cynthia curran on

    * Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party “Patriots” (@JennyBethM)
    * Sal Russo of the Tea Party Express (@SalRusso1, @TeaPartyExpress)
    * Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks (@MKibbe, @FreedomWorks)
    If you’re a Teapartier who opposes amnesty, it’s time for you to turn on those leaders: seek replacements for them, join a Tea Parties group that’s led by actual patriots, or at the least work to change their minds and get them to strongly oppose amnesty.

    Quotes from this (bolding added):

    [Click to see quote]

    They supported legalization of Hisapanic immirgatns and they are members of the tea party.

    Rand Paul’s amnesty – or any other form of comprehensive immigration reform or mass legalization – would give the Democratic Party and the far-left a great deal of power. And, they’d use that to push policies that are completely contrary to Tea Party goals: the Democrats would use their increased power to push for more spending, to include more people in Obamacare, and on and on.

  5. avatar
    cynthia curran on

    The Tea Party is being hypercritcal, Rand Paul and Kibble members of the tea party support legalization yet the Tea Party gives Rand Paul and Kibble passes while they protest Marco Rubio, in fact Raul Paul and Kibble opposed e-verify and their plan is worst than Rubio’s.