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January 09, 2013

Report Calls for Improved Border Security Strategic Plan

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report he and Congressman Ron Barber (D-AZ) requested on how the U.S. Border Patrol manages resources in the critical southwest border region, specifically in the Tucson Sector. The report, entitled "Border Patrol: Key Elements of New Strategic Plan Not Yet in Place to Inform Border Security Status and Resource Needs" (GAO-13-25) found that CBP apprehensions in each border sector have decreased in recent years, due in part to achievement of Border Patrol strategic objectives. Most importantly, however, GAO also determined that CBP needs to further develop its Strategic Plan with proper milestones and timelines for developing and implementing goals and performance metrics so it can more properly and accurately assess the state of border security in the future.

Ranking Member Thompson released the following statement with the report: "The Department of Homeland Security, with the support of Congress, has made significant investments in border security in recent years. There are positive indicators that these investments are helping to make our borders more secure. However, DHS needs to fully develop its strategic plan, including border security milestones and timelines, to truly be able to measure its success in securing our Nation's borders. Having visiting the southwest border region, and the Tucson Sector in particular, I want to thank Congressman Barber and former Congresswoman Giffords on their leadership on this critical homeland security issue."

Congressman Barber added the following statement: "To ensure the border is secure, we must define our goals and deploy resources where they are needed most," Barber said today. "This study confirmed that the risk and need in the Tucson Sector of the Border Patrol is high and we need the best possible strategy moving forward."

Link to Report

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Media Contact:
(Thompson) Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978
(Barber) Mark Kimble at (520) 881-3588