Southwest Border: Border Patrol Operations on Federal Lands
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 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.