With border crossings at a 40-year low, the U.S. Border Patrol announced a new strategy that targets repeat crossers and tries to find out why they keeping coming, reports the Associated Press. For nearly two decades, the patrol has relied on blanketing heavily trafficked corridors for illegal immigrants with agents, pushing migrants to more remote areas where they would presumably be easier to capture and discouraged from trying again.
“The jury, for me at least, is out on whether that’s a solid strategy,” Chief Mike Fisher told AP. The new approach is more nuanced. Outlined in a 32-page document that took more than two years to develop, agents will draw on intelligence to identify repeat crossers and others perceived as security threats. “This whole risk-based approach is trying to figure out who are these people? What risk do they pose from a national security standpoint? The more we know, the better informed we are about identifying the threat and potential risk,” he said. Yesterday, members of the House Homeland Security subcommittee asked Fisher why the new strategy didn’t include any specific “metrics” that could help members of Congress and the public better understand if the border is secure.