Past Features

December 1, 2016

Finally, a rational border security plan
McCaul was right --- Jeh Johnson was wrong

Dallas Morning News
Trump's wall? McCaul prefers more fence and sensors, as does Homeland Security chief he may replace
    A day after interviewing for the job of homeland security chief with Donald Trump, Texas congressman Michael McCaul tread carefully on the president-elect's signature campaign promise: a full-length border wall that Mexico pays for.
    Although he didn't dismiss the concept outright, McCaul suggested an approach other than building a costly barrier along the entire 2,000-mile frontier, by sealing the border with more fencing and surveillance.
    It was an artful pivot that could suggest how he would channel Trump's impulses and agenda if he joins the Cabinet. And he offered tough talk on deportations and other issues dear to Trump.
    "We talked about a barrier," McCaul said Wednesday, recounting his conversation a day earlier at Trump Tower in New York. "It would be multifaceted, multilayered. Involving a physical barrier, primarily fencing, that would involve technologies --- aviation assets, sensors, surveillance... You just have to have the will to get it done."

Glenn Spencer -- American Border Patrol
On the right track
    When Chairman McCaul introduced the Border Security Results Act of 2013 on May 20, 2013, I was very critical.
    When he introduced the "Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015" on October 6, 2014, I applauded the effort (Despite what DallasNews says about him, Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, had said McCaul's 2015 bill was "extreme and unworkable".)
    What happened between May 20, 2013, and October 6, 2014?
    Well, for one thing, on Nov, 13, 2013, I gave a paper at a government security conference (GovSec West): "What is border security and when will we know when we have it?"
    In an October 14, 2014, position paper, McCaul argued: "A set of outcome based metrics must be developed to measure border security between ports of entry, at ports of entry, and along the maritime border."
    Any fair observer has to conclude that McCaul's position paper, and his 2015 bill, conform to a large extent with the conclusions of my 2013 GovSec West paper.
    Thirteen years ago, I told a TV reporter: "We're going to come up with an evaluation of how well the Border Patrol is doing, how many people are getting past them, and where is this happening. And also coming up with suggestions as to how the Border Patrol can do a better job."
While it is late in coming, I am pleased that Chairman McCaul is now on the right track to achieve a rational approach to border security.