Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Federal audit: Homeland Security failing to fully enforce U.S. laws at border

From the San Antonio Express News -Dec 29th

A federal audit now documents what at least a million border crossers already know: U.S. border agents are failing to fully enforce laws requiring U.S., Mexican and Canadian citizens to present passports or other documents to enter the United States. The eight-month audit found that compliance with the Department of Homeland Security's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was at 91 percent for land ports in Texas, lower than at other Southwestern states. That allowed 1.1 million travelers to enter the country without additional screening in Texas when citizenship or their identity was in question, the audit said.

"Customs and Border Protection is not fully enforcing the new document requirement," the Office of Inspector General (OIG conducted the audit) said in an executive summary of the audit, released Nov. 29. CBP officers told auditors "other priorities precluded them from completing the operating procedures," the audit revealed. It notes that CBP's efforts are hindered because there's no fine or other enforcement procedure, making delaying the traveler the only option it can take.

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