Napolitano's 'Border Security Index' an excuse for inaction, says lawmaker
By Jim Kouri
"The President implying, we've done enough, the border is secure, does not make it so. Our border is definitely not secure. The Government Accountability Office has determined that only 15 percent of the border is under operational control. The time has come for real action, not words." - Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
During her recent testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano unveiled President Barack Obama's plans to develop a "border security index" to measure enforcement progress along the Southwest border.
In an obvious campaign speech last Tuesday in Texas, President Obama heralded the great successes of his administration including his policies on border security and illegal aliens. But many found his speech lacking in substance especially when in the same speech he took bows for a robust economy that few outside his administration can see, according to several law enforcement officials who spoke to the Law Enforcement Examiner.
Despite two congressional reports documenting the obstacles Border Patrol officers face in these dangerous areas, little has been done to remedy the situation and improve security. An overwhelming majority of Border Patrol agents told congressional investigators that certain restrictions continue to limit their access to lands along the treacherous southwestern border.
U.S. Rep. Peter T. King, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released a statement following President Obama's speech on his plan to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants:
"The President has again called for amnesty for illegal immigrants without offering a single proposal to actually improve the security of our borders. After nearly two-and-a-half years in office, President Obama has yet to present the American people with a comprehensive plan for securing the border against illegal immigration."
"The President implying, we've done enough, the border is secure, does not make it so. Our border is definitely not secure. The Government Accountability Office has determined that only 15 percent of the border is under operational control. The time has come for real action, not words."
The situation is so dire that a group of lawmakers have introduced legislation to prohibit any federal agency -- especially the Department of the Interior -- from using environmental regulations to hinder the Border Patrol from securing the area. The measure would essentially ensure that Border Patrol, not federal land managers, have operational control of the nation's borders.
During one of Napolitano's press conferences she claimed the Department of Homeland Security has initiated unprecedented measures to strengthen border security while avoiding any hindrance of trade and travel along the Southwest border.
Napolitano spoke about the importance of border security in El Paso, Texas as if she was just realizing how serious the problem of border security -- or lack of security -- is in U.S. cities and towns adjacent to the Mexican border, say law enforcement officials.
According to Secretary Napolitano, her border security index will include crime, immigration, and economic data. Following her announcement, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said in a press statement, "Secretary Napolitano's so-called border security index will be nothing short of inflated facts and figures to give them an excuse to say the border is secure. The Administration has cooked the books on border security for the past two years and I don't expect the results of their index to be any different."
"The Government Accountability Office and Border Patrol agents on the ground know the truth. According to a recent GAO report, only 44 percent of the Southwest border is under the 'operational control' of the Border Patrol. Mexican drug cartels are out of control and the violence threatens to spill over into the United States. And each year, millions of illegal immigrants enter the U.S.," said Rep. Smith.
"No matter what kind of index the Administration produces, they cannot change the facts and the truth. The reality is that there are massive holes in security along the Southern border and the Obama administration has ignored this growing problem for the past two years," the Republican lawmaker stated.
"The Administration's index is just an excuse for inaction. We don't need a make-believe index; we need action. There is no substitute for improved border security coupled with increased interior enforcement of drug and immigration laws," Rep. Smith added.
Jim Kouri is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner and New Media Alliance. In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc