This Date in Obama’s Administrative Amnesty: February 15, 2011

On February 15, 2011, a House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security hearing revealed that the Obama Administration was not adhering to the 2006 Secure Fence Act. That law requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to achieve and maintain operational control of the borders and defined “operational control” as “the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.” Instead, Chairwoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.) noted that only 69 of roughly 4,000 miles along the northern border are under “operational control,” and that only 873 of about 2,000 miles are under “operational control” along the southern border.

Additionally, Obama Administration officials further revealed that they were not using the statutory definition of “operational control.” Instead, Michael Fisher, Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol (CBP) testified that the agency prefers to define “operational control” as the “ability to detect, identify, classify, and then respond to and resolve illegal entries along our U.S. borders.” Then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said at the time: “[I]t’s important to recognize that ‘operational control’ is a very narrow term of art in Border Patrol lingo… [it]should not be construed as kind of an overall assessment of what’s happening at the border.”

Remarkably, instead of investing the energy needed to secure the border (as required by law), the Obama Administration decided to abandon the use of “operational control” as a metric—both the statutory version and the definition illegally concocted by the Administration.  Perhaps most appalling is that DHS – the agency responsible for ensuring the security of the United States – abandoned the old metric for gauging border security without formulating a new metric.

In February 2013, Napolitano promised that DHS would have a new metric by the end of the year. The calendar has turned to 2014 and DHS has yet to release a new standard, Napolitano is gone, and the border is still not secure.

Read more at FAIR’s President Obama’s Record of Dismantling Immigration Enforcement.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    I Saw an Interesting America Unearthed on the History Channel a Few Days Ago

    They were probing John Wilkes Booth affiliation with the Confederate Golden Circle and the assassination of President Lincoln. There is likely speculation the secret organization is still alive [now called the NWO] and promotes open borders with “big money” to get their “slavery” back again….

  2. avatar

    But according to George Will the border is secure. He wrote a couple days ago, “but net immigration from Mexico has recently been approximately zero”. No it hasn’t. That’s just more of the spin and lies people like him have been putting forward for years. It’s a claim that many Mexicans have returned to Mexico because of the economy and it is simply false. Last year over 400,000 were stopped at the southern border and the ICE estimate is that 2 make it for every 1 caught. They try because they know chances are they will get across, and they know from friends and family members here that they can still get hired. Mr. Will may be unaware of this, but the border jumpers are not.

    Here’s another Will statement devoid of fact. He claims “Many Republicans see in immigrants only future Democratic votes. This descent into Democratic-style identity politics is unworthy of Republicans, and unrealistic”.
    Unrealistic? This clueless wonder actually sits on television and is revered like he’s some sage? Perhaps George is unaware that Latinos have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats for many decades, even after Reagan signed the 1986 amnesty.

    They like big government, at the expense of the taxpayer. How many thousands of polls do you have to read before you are aware of this? And let’s not mention that in spite of massive federal assistance over the years, credit agencies have reduced Puerto Rico’s government bonds to junk status. But we have to get by the fall elections before we rush in to bail them out.

    • avatar

      I think George Will has spent too many years in Washington “inside the beltway” and has totally lost touch with the reality that normal Americans live in every day. Washington is a long way from our border with Mexico. I wonder how much George Will would enjoy having his home just north of the border and having his land overrun with illegals, drug runners, thieves, etc.?

  3. avatar

    It was welcoming to hear the House Subcommittees findings, but lets be real, as long as pinhead BO and his utterly inept DH(IN)S secretaries have the reins, enforcement just isn’t going to happen, period!