U.S.-Mexico Border: CBP Action Needed to Improve Wait Time Data and Measure Outcomes of Trade Facilitation Efforts, Report to the Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate [open pdf - 7MB]
"Trade with Mexico is important to the United States' economy. Most of this trade crosses the border by truck, and studies have shown that long waits at border crossings can negatively affect the U.S. economy. CBP [Customs and Border Protection] is responsible for securing U.S. borders at ports of entry to prevent illegal entry of persons and contraband while also facilitating legitimate trade and travel. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to examine CBP data on and actions taken to address wait times at southwest border crossings. This report addresses the extent to which (1) CBP wait time data are reliable for public reporting and informing CBP decisions, (2) CBP has identified infrastructure and staffing needed to process current commercial traffic volumes, and (3) CBP performance measures assess progress toward its trade facilitation goal. GAO assessed the reliability of CBP's wait time data; visited six land border crossings (not generalizable, but selected largely for high traffic volume); analyzed CBP documentation, including needs assessments; and interviewed stakeholders and CBP officials. […] GAO recommends that CBP (1) determine and take steps to help ensure consistent implementation of existing wait time data collection methodologies, (2) assess the feasibility of replacing current methodologies with automated methods, (3) document its staff allocation process and rationale, and (4) develop outcome-oriented performance measures. DHS agreed with these four recommendations and identified steps to address them, although the planned actions will not address the intent of one."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/