Fed watchdog report: Customs and Border Protection not taking needed steps to secure southern border

The agency has relied on 'outdated border solutions' to guide its policy, according to the new inspector general report

Updated: July 16, 2020 - 5:01pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Department of Customs and Border Protection "has not demonstrated the acquisition capabilities needed" to ensure security at the U.S.'s southern border, according to a new federal inspector general report.

The Office of Inspector General in the Department of Homeland Security said in a report released this week that CBP failed to "assess and select the most effective, appropriate, and affordable solutions to obtain operational control of the southern border," instead relying on "outdated border solutions" to guide its policy prescriptions. 

The agency also "did not use a sound, well-documented methodology to identify and prioritize investments in areas along the border that would best benefit from physical barriers," the report concluded. 

President Trump has made a priority since that start of his 2016 presidential campaign to secure the border between the United States and Mexico to stop the flow on illegal immigrants.

The department "did not adequately justify its decisions to prioritize certain southern border locations over others for wall construction," the report continues. CBP also reportedly failed to utilize multi-year data to help guide its enforcement decisions. 

The inspector general's office suggests that the CBP "revise its methodology for prioritizing southern border investments," including utilizing several years' worth of data in order to guide future policies.

The IG also says the Department of Homeland Security should order an independent analysis to determine "the most appropriate and effective solutions to obtain complete operational control of the southern border."

The department disputed several of the IG's conclusions. The inspector general's office said it considers all recommendations "unresolved and open."

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