Terry Jeffrey

Kutz says GAO's understanding is that this is a type of fence the Border Patrol uses to stop vehicles from crossing the border.

Anybody viewing the videotape can see it would not stop dogs, cats, trail bikers, or a backpacking emissary from Osama bin Laden.

In a May letter responding to Kutz's report, the Department of Homeland Security said: "Moving forward, CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) intends to complete construction of 370 miles of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle fencing along the southern border to enhance border security. Currently, CBP has almost 170 miles of primary pedestrian fencing and 135 miles of vehicle fence in place."

In September, according to Kutz's report, a CPB official testified in the Finance Committee that the Border Patrol had 250 agents along the entire Canadian border at any one time. "This represents a quarter of all agents reportedly assigned to patrol the northern border during that period because the agents work in shifts, and may not be on duty due to sick leave or vacation time."

In an attachment to its May letter, DHS said, "As of April 2008, there were 1,128 agents assigned to the Northern Border, a 16 percent increase from the 972 agents identified in the 2007 GAO report."

Kutz says that given that only about a quarter of the Border Patrol agents assigned to the northern border are on duty at any given time, that would mean the Border Patrol force may now have as many as about 300 agents patrolling the Canadian border at any one time,

"If your goal is to have a secure border -- unless there is some other technology that wasn't there when we looked -- it's hard to believe 300 people can patrol effectively 4,000 to 5,000 miles," he told me. "That's an unreasonable expectation."

He also told me the GAO agents did not plan to trick our border security on Halloween. That just happened to be one of the days they snuck across the border with a load of simulated radiation.


Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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