The Department of Homeland Security just can't get behind the idea of developing a metric to evaluate progress (or lack thereof) in securing our borders:
Officials Concede Failures on Gauging Border Security
More than two years after Homeland Security officials told Congress that they would produce new, more accurate standards to assess security at the nation’s borders, senior officials from the department acknowledged this week that they had not completed the new measurements and were not likely to in coming months, as the debate proceeds about overhauling the immigration system.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers were taken aback at a hearing on Wednesday in the House of Representatives when Mark Borkowski, a senior Homeland Security official, said he had no progress to report on a broad measure of border conditions the department had been working on since 2010. The lawmakers warned that failure by the Obama administration to devise a reliable method of border evaluation could imperil passage of immigration legislation.
Even the "Wave 'em in" Democrats had to pretend to be shocked, shocked:
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, a Democrat and strong a supporter of President Obama’s immigration proposals, was more blunt. “I would say to the department, you’ve got to get in the game,” she said.
Obviously, these Dems will eventually accept whatever bone the Administration tosses them. If any:
Obama administration officials said on Thursday that they had resisted producing a single measure to assess the border because the president did not want any hurdles placed on the pathway to eventual citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.
They also said security conditions could change very rapidly along the border depending on where smugglers tried to bring people and narcotics across, and where border agents were concentrating their technology and other resources.
“While border security is complex and cannot be measured in a single metric,” said Peter Boogaard, a spokesman for the Homeland Security Department, “in every metric available to measure progress, we’re heading in the right direction, including decreased apprehensions and increased seizures.”
It's complicated! And the dog ate their study.
Democrat passivity notwithstanding, Republicans seem to have a bit of an issue with this:
Amid contentious discussions in Congress over immigration, one point of wide agreement is that an evaluation of border security will be a central piece of any comprehensive bill. A bipartisan group in the Senate is working to write legislation that includes a “trigger,” which would make the path to citizenship for more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the country contingent on measurable advances in security at the borders.
Lawmakers have been pressing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to devise a measure they can use to judge if the Obama administration’s claims of significant progress in border enforcement are justified. Republican senators in the bipartisan group have said a border standard is pivotal to their efforts.
“We need to have a measurement,” Senator John McCain of Arizona insisted at a hearing in the Senate last week.
“We need to assure the American people that we have effective control of the border and we have made advances to achieve that,” he said. “I need to have something to assure people they are not going to live in fear.”
We eageraly await an opportunity to assess the quality, consistency and odor of the BS to be shoveled upon us if and when Team Obama can be persuaded to address this.