Inspection of the Influx of New Personnel
Report Number 1-2000-018
SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
We conducted our review from November 1999 through February 2000. To assess INS's ability to achieve its hiring goals, we separated the process into three distinct stages as we did in 1995: recruitment and hiring, training, and deployment. We interviewed key officials at INS headquarters and in the field, and reviewed and analyzed available documentation. During our evaluation of training, we visited one of the two Federal Law Enforcement Training Center sites we went to in 1995: Glynco, Georgia. We did not visit the training site at Artesia, New Mexico, because Artesia no longer provides basic Border Patrol training.
In 1995, we visited the El Paso, Texas, San Diego, California, and Tucson, Arizona, Border Patrol Sectors and various stations within those sectors. During our follow-up inspection, we visited the El Paso and Tucson Sectors, and the following stations within those sectors: El Paso, Ysletta, and Fabens in Texas, Las Cruces, Santa Teresa, and Deming in New Mexico, Tucson, Douglas, Naco, Nogales, and Sonoita in Arizona. The stations we visited during our follow-up inspection were not always the same stations we visited in 1995. We selected El Paso and Tucson Sectors for follow-up visits because these sectors were continuing to experience a large influx of Border Patrol agents and these sectors were still reporting and experiencing many of the problems previously identified.
The Border Patrol's reported successes in Phase I of its strategic plan, gaining control of immigration corridors in the San Diego and El Paso Sectors, has forced illegal traffic into adjacent sectors, predominantly the Tucson Sector, which is included in Phase II of the plan. While the El Paso Sector is gaining control of the immediate border area around the city of El Paso, the sector also has responsibility for the state of New Mexico where illegal traffic is increasing. Therefore, the El Paso and Tucson Sectors provided us the best opportunity to review the progression of problems and any repercussions of extremely large hiring patterns over the past five years.
The General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report in December 1999 entitled, "Border Patrol Hiring: Despite Recent Initiatives, Fiscal Year 1999 Hiring Goal Was Not Met." The GAO report covered some of the aspects we reviewed and reported on in our original inspection, especially in the areas of recruiting and hiring. We attempted to minimize duplication of the work GAO performed. However, we conducted limited work in the recruiting and hiring areas to follow up on our original inspection.