– Who are we trying to keep out?

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As immigration has been in the Congressional spotlight lately, I decided to do a little research on our southwest border which extends 1,954 miles across four states; California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. According to the U.S. Border Patrol, only 652 miles have been fenced, just a third of the overall border. True, the general terrain is not the most hospitable and we have border agents patrolling, but it is a porous border where immigrants attempt to illegally enter our country on a daily basis. In 2012, the Border Patrol caught 356,000 trying to cross illegally from the south. Obviously this does not include those who allude border agents which may be just as high, if not higher. I’m not sure the average American taxpayer understands this.

There is the general public impression the U.S. Border Patrol lacks resources. In fact, there have been major increases over the years, particularly in the areas of:

Staffing: 1993 – 4,028

2012 – 21,394 (+531%)

Staffing in the Southwest Border Sector: 1993 – 3,444

2012 – 18,516 (+537%)

Budget: 1990 – $0.262B

2012 – $3.500B (+1346%)

Illegal Immigration: 1992 – 3.4M

2011 – 11.5M (+338%)

In other words, the resources have outpaced the number of illegal immigrants. Like the failed War on Poverty, this suggests another area where the federal government tries to conquer problems by simply throwing money at it, and without much success.

The government states there are three components to the 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan: Information, Integration and Rapid Response. The plan includes two goals: Secure America’s Borders, and; Strengthen the Border Patrol.

The plan primarily addresses terrorism and the movement of narcotics; for example, Objective 1.1 states, “Prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States between the POEs through improved and focused intelligence-driven operations, as well as operational integration, planning, and execution with law enforcement partners.” Interestingly, there is virtually nothing included in the plan specifically addressing illegal immigrants, just terrorists and drug smugglers. On the cover of their web page, they boldly proclaim, “The priority mission of the Border Patrol is preventing terrorists and terrorists’ weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, from entering the United States.” Although one would believe the Border Patrol’s prime responsibility is preventing illegal entries, their strategic plan and web site suggests an entirely different focus.

The public tends to believe the Border Patrol lacks funding to protect our borders, and that it is focused on stopping illegal immigration. This leads me to believe we may have three problems: first, we are being misled by our government (again); second, the Border Patrol has its priorities wrong, and; third, it is being poorly managed (or all three). It’s interesting what you find when you do a little research, and a little scarey I may add.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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