Border Patrol:

Staffing and Enforcement Activities

GGD-96-65: Published: Mar 11, 1996. Publicly Released: Mar 11, 1996.

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GAO examined the U.S. Border Patrol's enforcement activities, focusing on the: (1) locations of Border Patrol enforcement activities; (2) number of Border Patrol staff and non-administrative enforcement activities at each station; (3) Border Patrol's contribution to district stations enforcement activities; and (4) factors that influence the hiring or relocation of Border Patrol agents to the Southwest Border.

GAO found that: (1) the Border Patrol assigned 3,911 of its 4,260 agents to 145 stations; (2) as of September 1995, the Border Patrol had hired and trained 530 new agents and had an additional 369 agents in training; (3) 79 percent of the agents were located at stations within 25 miles of the nation's borders; (4) Border Patrol agents spent 63 percent of their enforcement time patrolling borders and 37 percent of their time apprehending illegal aliens entering the U.S. illegally or who had violated their visas; (5) Border Patrol enforcement activities include identifying criminal and illegal aliens, reviewing employers' records to see if authorized workers were being employed, and investigating alien smuggling; (6) a Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 1996 has provided INS with funds to relocate 200 of its agent positions to the Southwest Border; (7) INS district directors depend on Border Patrol agents to randomly check traffic on public transportation and freight trains for illegal aliens; and (8) the average cost of hiring, training, and equipping new Border Patrol agents ranges from $107,804 to $115,716.

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