Having reliable quantitative data on border security empowers policymakers to make informed decisions and allows the American people to hold the government accountable for preserving the nation’s sovereignty and national security.

Key points:

  • Given the complexity of illegal immigration, metrics aimed at evaluating immigration enforcement between ports of entry are elusive, imperfect, and incomplete.
  • A lack of continuity in the metrics and their respective methodologies impede an accurate and holistic historical assessment of border security.
  • Comprehensive border security is more than just apprehending illegal border crossers. It also requires the ability to turn them back and deter them from attempting again in the future.
  • While flawed, border security metrics are crucial. Numerous actions could be taken to improve them moving forward.