Southwest Border: Border Patrol Operations on Federal Lands, Statement of Anu K. Mittal, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, Committee on Natural Resources, and the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 261KB]

"To stem the flow of illegal traffic from Mexico into the United States over the last 5 years along the U.S. southwestern border, the Border Patrol has nearly doubled the number of agents on patrol, constructed hundreds of miles of border fences, and installed a variety of surveillance equipment. About 40 percent of these border lands are managed by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, and coordination and cooperation between Border Patrol and land management agencies is critical to ensure national security. As requested, this statement summarizes GAO's [Government Accountability Office] findings from two reports issued on southwest border issues in the fall of 2010. The first report, GAO-11-38, focused on the key land management laws that Border Patrol must comply with and how these laws affect the agency's operations. The second report, GAO-11-177, focused on the extent to which Border Patrol and land management agencies' law enforcement units share threat information and communications. [...] This statement contains no new recommendations. In its 2010 reports, GAO made several recommendations to the Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, and the Interior to help expedite Border Patrol's access to federal lands and recommended that the agencies take actions to improve communication and information sharing. The departments concurred with GAO's recommendations in those reports."

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