Southwest Border Security: Data Are Limited and Concerns Vary About Spillover Crime Along the Southwest Border, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 5MB]

"Drug-related homicides have dramatically increased in recent years in Mexico along the nearly 2,000-mile border it shares with the United States. U.S. federal, state, and local officials have stated that the prospect of crime, including violence, spilling over from Mexico into the southwestern United States is a concern. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review crime rates and assess information on spillover crime along the border. Specifically, this report addresses: (1) What information do reported crime rates in southwest border communities provide on spillover crime and what do they show? (2) What efforts, if any, have federal, state, and select local law enforcement agencies made to track spillover crime along the southwest border? (3) What concerns, if any, do these agencies have about spillover crime? (4) What steps, if any, have these agencies taken to address spillover crime? GAO analyzed crime data from all of the 24 southwest border counties from 2004 through 2011 and federal documentation, such as threat assessments and DHS's plans for addressing violence along the southwest border. GAO interviewed officials from DHS [Department of Homeland Security] and DOJ [Department of Justice] and their components. GAO also interviewed officials from 37 state and local law enforcement agencies responsible for investigating and tracking crime in the border counties in the four southwest border states (Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas). While the results of the interviews are not generalizable, they provided insights. GAO is not making any recommendations. DHS provided comments, which highlighted border-related crime initiatives recognized by GAO."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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