Past Features

October 7, 2016

The Border Counting Problem
A Solution is at hand -- and Mexico should love it

Chicago Tribune  
Barely half of illegal border crossers caught, according to Homeland Security report
    Barely half of people who entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico last year were caught, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security that also shows sharp declines in illegal entries.
    The report found 54 percent of people who entered illegally between border crossings got caught in the 2015 fiscal year. That's much lower than the 81 percent success rate that Homeland Security cited publicly using a different counting method.
    The 98-page report was completed in May, and Homeland Security has declined to release it. The Associated Press obtained a copy from a government official involved in border issues who acted on condition of anonymity because it has not been made public. [...]
    The report says there were 140,000 asylum seekers on the Mexican border last year and 170,000 in 2014, compared to about 20,000 a year a decade ago. Homeland Security's practice of counting those as captures goes a long way toward explaining why its success rate was so much higher.
    Counting border crossers who elude capture is a mammoth and imprecise task but one that many experts believe is necessary to judge whether the border is secure. Homeland Security approaches the job by tracking physical evidence, such as footprints in the desert and other signs of human presence, and by agent sightings. The internal report uses that information, along with migrant surveys and techniques developed by social scientists.

Glenn Spencer -- American Border Patrol
Mexico should support SEIDARM
    Six years ago Arizona Republic addressed the border problem, saying: "There is no way to conclude success because authorities have no idea how many undocumented immigrants are getting through."
    I responded by proposing a system to count border crossers, including the use of seismic sensors.
    Six months later I demonstrated such a system for members of the Arizona State Legislature.
    Now, six years and a lot of R&D later, there is a system SEIDARM --- Seismic Detection and Ranging Mechanism --- that has the ability to count every person crossing the border between ports of entry.
    Yesterday I demonstrated SEIDARM for UNIVISION, explaining that --- if the people of Mexico were told the truth --- they would support the use of SEIDARM. Why? Because the American people demand proof that the border is secure before any movement toward legalization, and SEIDARM can provide that proof.