Part 7 of a 14 part video series highlighting a town hall meeting organized by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords appears above. The meeting was held on September 2, 2009 in Green Vally, Arizona to discuss/debate a recent GAO report on internal suspicionless homeland security checkpoints.
In this video, members of the audience express their concerns regarding the GAO report and the proposed permanent homeland security checkpoint planned for I-19 South of Tucson. First to speak is a representative for the Coalition for a Safe and Secure Border which also maintains this outdated blog.
A synopsis of the coalition's concerns appear below along with a response from Tucson Sector Border Patrol Chief Gilbert:
In response to these statements and observations, Chief Gilbert spoke.
First, Gilbert claimed the 70% statistic regarding illegal traffic that makes it past the border is not because of Border Patrol failures but rather Customs and Border Protection policy at Ports of Entry. Chief Gilbert tried to distance the Border Patrol from this statistic claiming it had nothing to do with the Border Patrol even though I've been documenting Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection agents working closely together at internal checkpoints.
In response to the coalition's claim that most of the Border Patrol's checkpoint seizures aren't taking place at the actual checkpoints but rather around them, Gilbert indicates this is one of the purposes of the checkpoints - to drive illegal traffic into areas that slow them down. In so doing, Gilbert reinforced the claim that the checkpoints are forcing illegal traffic into local communities and endangering people and property in the process.
Chief Gilbert goes on to indicate the Border Patrol collaborates closely with local and state enforcement efforts while ignoring the fact that numbers from the GAO report make it clear border interdiction operations are far more effective than internal checkpoint interdiction efforts.
Specifically, figure 1 on page 14 of the report shows that approximately 320,000 apprehensions took place along the border in the Tucson sector while figure 7 on page 25 shows that Tucson sector checkpoint agents apprehended approximately 1,800 illegal aliens. Page 35 of the GAO report indicates the Tucson sector deploys on average 8% of sector personnel to internal checkpoints. Given that the sector had approximately 3,000 agents in 2008, 240 were assigned to checkpoints. This means that on average, each checkpoint agent in 2008 was responsible for apprehending 8 illegal aliens. In comparison, each agent conducting any other Border Patrol operation in the sector was responsible for 116 interdictions. This makes it pretty clear that checkpoint operations are far less effective at interdicting illegal aliens than actual border operations.
After Chief Gilbert finished responding to the Coalition for a Safe and Secure Border, another audience member rose to speak. This speaker made the following points (many of them similar to previous points already made):
Part 8 of this series will pick up with the Border Patrol's response to the speaker along with further feedback from the audience.
Links to all parts of this special report appear below:
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Welcome to Checkpoint USA's blog. Here you'll find general information and discussions regarding growing threats to our right to privacy & travel.
While I refer to court cases along with state and federal law frequently in this blog, nothing written here should be construed as legal advice. I am not an attorney. Rather, I'm someone concerned about the growing disregard for individual rights present at all levels of government.
My conclusions are my own based upon personal experience and research. The law is made purposely complex however and varies significantly from place to place and circumstance to circumstance.
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