A new Department of Homeland Security study revises and lowers the estimated success rate in stopping illegal immigrants crossing the southern border, but even that figure paints a misleading picture, according to the president of the union representing border patrol officers.
The Associated Press reported last week that the report, which has not yet been made public, estimates that 54 percent of the roughly 315,000 people trying to cross the border in fiscal year 2015 succeeded. That is significantly worse than the 81 percent success rate in stopping illegal border crossings that the government officially claims.
The discrepancy is the result of differing methodology. The study’s authors did not count people who turned themselves in and then immediately applied for asylum. That number was 140,000 lat year, up from 20,000 a decade ago. Counting them as illegal immigration stops makes the border appear more secure than it is. In addition, the report does not include so-called “touch-backs,” people who cross over the boundary but then run back when they see border patrol officers.
But Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said even the new report counts as successful stops thousands of people who are briefly detained but then released because of Obama administration policies.