Drone surveillance reveals: Border Patrol capturing less than 50% of illegals in parts of southern Arizona

posted at 4:41 pm on April 4, 2013 by Allahpundit

All tried and true border hawks should be concerned. Right, Maverick?

The drones aren’t in wide enough use yet to know what the numbers look like in other spots along the border but that situation may soon be remedied. And Border Patrol isn’t thrilled at the prospect. The official data on border security is a bit different from what the drones are seeing:

According to internal reports, Border Patrol agents used the airborne radar to help find and detain 1,874 people in the Sonora Desert between Oct. 1 and Jan. 17. But the radar system spotted an additional 1,962 people in the same area who evaded arrest and disappeared into the United States.

In contrast, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, estimated in January that the Border Patrol had caught 64% of those who illegally crossed into the Tucson sector in 2011…

Michael Friel, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the Vader [yes, the drone is called "Vader" -- AP] remained in a “preliminary testing phase.” He also said the method used in the agency’s internal reports to compare apprehensions to arrests was flawed because it didn’t include people who were detained after the airborne radar had left the area.

Actually, none of that proves that the feds’ 2011 numbers are inaccurate. It might simply mean that border security is … getting worse. Or maybe it proves that there are deeper flaws in the reporting system. For instance, compare the numbers above on people detained in the Sonoran Desert with this detail from the Center for Investigative Reporting’s broader report on the Vader data:

Between October and December, records show, the remotely operated aircraft detected 7,333 border crossers during its Arizona missions. Border Patrol agents, however, reported 410 apprehensions during that time, according to an internal agency report. The sensor was credited with providing surveillance that led to 52 arrests and 15,135 pounds of seized marijuana…

Some border experts speculate that more immigrants, particularly from Central America, are crossing in recent months because of excitement about an expected immigration law overhaul, federal budget cuts and the recent release of detained immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“The border is more secure than ever? Well, that’s a pretty low bar,” said Michael Nicley, who retired in 2007 as the Border Patrol’s sector chief in Tucson, Ariz. “Border Patrol agents would be the first to stick out their chests and say the border is under control. That’s not what they’re saying. Agents I talk to down here say we’re getting hammered.”

I don’t know how to reconcile the 410 apprehensions in the first paragraph with the 1800+ figure in the second unless there was a big surge of some sort in January. Did Border Patrol suddenly become more effective at the start of this year? Or, maybe, was there a surge in illegals crossing the border in January upon hearing of the immigration reform efforts in Congress (gotta make it into the U.S. before the cutoff date for amnesty) such that the BP suddenly had a huge new supply from which to apprehend people? Re-read the last paragraph in the excerpt for a possible clue.

Incidentally, Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee released a statement today insisting that the Gang of Eight bill could cost the U.S. trillions in welfare once amnestied illegals become eligible for green cards. I’ll leave you with this response from Rubio spokesman Alex Conant:

“Since we don’t yet have a legislative proposal, it’s not possible to come up with anything resembling an accurate calculation about the potential fiscal impact of bipartisan immigration reform. Obviously we share concerns about the potential fiscal impact of changes to our immigration system, which is why we will ask for an in-depth CBO analysis to inform debate around the bipartisan proposal. Senator Rubio has been clear that he will only support legislation that prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving any Federal benefits, and in our negotiations, the Democrats have gone along with that demand – even agreeing to a partial repeal of Obamacare to bar undocumented immigrants benefits. In the long-term, there’s no question that modernizing our broken legal immigration will be very good for our nation’s economy.”


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

We should’ve annexed Mexico when we had the chance.

eva3071 on April 4, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Drone surveillance reveals: Border Patrol capturing less than 50% of illegals in parts of southern Arizona

Huge waste of time and money. These pols have no interest whatsoever in managing this border.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

But Napolitano says our border is as secure as it’s ever been! Did we always suck at defending our border? Or did we just lay out a banquette of free government benefits and dare foreigners to walk over and take some?

Socratease on April 4, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Time to let the military control the border…the boys in camo-pants know how to hold and defend a line in the sand!

powerpickle on April 4, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Drone surveillance reveals: Border Patrol capturing less than 50% of illegals in parts of southern Arizona

They’re still capturing that many?

Doomberg on April 4, 2013 at 4:53 PM

They don’t care about the “illegals.” They care about us.

http://www.examiner.com/article/dhs-confirms-it-s-spying-on-anti-government-americans

rrpjr on April 4, 2013 at 5:02 PM

That’s the plan.

NeoKong on April 4, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Actually, none of that proves that the feds’ 2011 numbers are inaccurate. It might simply mean that border security is … getting worse.

Well duh… Barky O’Dogeater won’t let anyone enforce our immigrations laws, how could border security possibly get better?

SWalker on April 4, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Did we always suck at defending our border?
Socratease on April 4, 2013 at 4:49 PM

No, we only started sucking at defending our borders when the Marxist’s infiltrated our government.

SWalker on April 4, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Looks like we need armed drones for that task.

Obama is so good at whacking Talibanese, I wonder how well he’d do against the rabblke scooting across the border in Arizona?

dockywocky on April 4, 2013 at 5:12 PM

The bill will be be deficit neutral just like Obamacare and you can take that to the bank!

Wigglesworth on April 4, 2013 at 5:25 PM

50% is like a SOLID B+ for 0bama.

BTW, how many jobs were lost or not created by not building the fence that the will of the people Congress authorized. 0 sure is adding a precedent for the next president to ignore any and all legislation from previous congress’s. Not sure why the next president couldn’t refuse all of 0bama HellCare bill because he thinks it unconstitutional.

jukin3 on April 4, 2013 at 5:31 PM

What really bugs me is the poll at the top of the LA Times story that asks if drones should be used to patrol the border. 92% are in favor. Ok great, but if you have good desert survival skills and can evade the drone technology more than 50% of these people are in favor of giving these border jumpers a path to citizenship? Morons!

Wigglesworth on April 4, 2013 at 5:38 PM

We should’ve annexed Mexico when we had the chance.

Ya know, that was an almost done deal back after the Mexican American War. There was the concern though of all those Mexicans we’d have to accept as citizens, Catholics to boot, and both the culture and fact that we’d have millions more Catholics, who, at the time, weren’t especially liked by the majority of US citizens, most being Protestant and intolerant if not bitterly loathing of Catholics put the kabosh on the whole annexation thing, IIRC.

hawkeye54 on April 4, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Perhaps it’s time to call out the unorganized militia?

Another Drew on April 4, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Could someone politely explain to Senator Rubio that he is in grave danger of becoming Florida’s next Charlie Crist?

Another Drew on April 4, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Nothing to see here. These are simply undocumented border crossings by unnamed unmentionable entities that we don’t apprehend, see or even acknowledge. Until they are registered Democrats.

ghostwalker1 on April 4, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Huge waste of time and money. These pols have no interest whatsoever in managing this border.

Well for now. Once that great and grand utopia has been put into place and the leftist have perpetual control of government, and just about everything else, we’ll see how fast the borders are manned and managed……to keep all the producers in our paradise.

Just remember who built the Berlin Wall and who installed the wire and guard towers on the East German border……it wasn’t the West Berliners attempting to keep all those communists out.

hawkeye54 on April 4, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Perhaps it’s time to call out the unorganized militia?

When ya set back and think about it, its way, way, past time.

If only.

hawkeye54 on April 4, 2013 at 6:59 PM

410/7333 =/= 50%!!!

abobo on April 4, 2013 at 7:29 PM

In contrast, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, estimated in January that the Border Patrol had caught 64% of those who illegally crossed into the Tucson sector in 2011…

LOL. Based on what?

Anyone who believes any numbers that come out of this lying, sack o’ sh!t government deserves what they get.

How about some fraud prosecutions? Sure …

I do like the “64%” to make it sound as if the number is based on something other than “pull it out of my azz”. It reminds of Barky’s junta claiming that their porkulus had created 3,231,873.32 jobs. Okey doke.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on April 4, 2013 at 8:51 PM