700 Miles of U.S.-Mexico Border Still Insecure, Congressional Investigators Say

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, January 3, 2015

Less than 3 percent of illegal immigrants will ever be deported, and more than 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border remained unsecured as of 2014, according to Sen. Tom Coburn’s final oversight report released Saturday morning, which found the Homeland Security Department failing in several of its top missions.

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Meanwhile, more than 700 miles of the border were deemed porous because there was “little to no deployment density or aviation surveillance coverage” to detect illegal immigrants, smugglers or others, said Mr. Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who retired effective Saturday.

That 700-mile figure accounts for more than a third of the southern border. Mr. Coburn warned the northern border was even worse-off.

“With these broad gaps in coverage of both our southern and northern borders, the problem of people and goods illegally entering our country remains a significant concern, and a committed adversary seeking illegal entry into the United States has a reasonable chance of doing so undetected,” said the senator, who was the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee.

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Mr. Coburn said the student visa programs have proved to be a terrorist loophole, with about three dozen convicted terrorists using that method for gaining entry into the U.S., according to Homeland Security data. Each ICE agent assigned to the student visa program has to monitor about 6,500 students, which makes the program tough to patrol, he said.

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