Increase Federal border staff in the south by moving some from the north?

The situation on the U.S. southern border is now considered by our media to be a “crisis.” The crisis is not so severe, of course, that Congress has been motivated to change any of the laws that encourage people to migrate here (birthright citizenship, lifetime taxpayer-funded housing, health care, food, and smartphone, etc.) [Just as the treatment of migrants who say that they’re under 18 is horrific, but not so bad that anyone complaining about it offers to open his or her own home to a migrant!]

Since we don’t have substantially more money or new laws to deal with the situation on the southern border, would it make sense to move resources that we’re already paying for?

When you fly a private airplane into Canada, for example, you let the Canadians know who is on the plane and where you expect to land. On landing, if you don’t see any officials (the usual case) you call up the authorities and they give you a “report number” to write down (unclear what this could ever be used for!), thus freeing the Canadian government to deal with more pressing issues.

When you fly a private airplane into the U.S., on the other hand, you have to provide complete information on all occupants of the aircraft via a web site (eAPIS) and also make a phone call as you would with Canada. The Feds will send out an armed agent ($1000 per working hour if we factor in pension, overtime for evenings/weekends, periodic weapons training, government SUV, and other benefits?) to do a cursory inspection of the plane and the people.

If the U.S. went to the “random sampling” approach that the Canadians use, there would be a lot of resources freed up to deal with the tide of migrants washing over the southern border. Aircraft operators are fairly diligent about customs and immigration. None of them want the government to take away their airplanes if an unauthorized person is found on board.

The same approach could be used for commercial airline flights. Why have 100 people at Logan Airport to deal with flights coming from London? The government already was advised via eAPIS of the passenger manifest. The passports were already checked in London by the airline. Why not move 90 of the 100 people to where they are most needed and have the remaining 10 randomly sample passengers from London?

If we had a country in which 100 percent of the residents were documented, maybe it would make sense to screen 100 percent of inbound travelers. But if we already have between 10 million and 22 million undocumented people living in the U.S., why does it make sense to screen the inbound family Cessna, the inbound Fortune 500 company’s Gulfstream, or the inbound British Airways flight whose passengers were carefully sifted through by the carrier?

10 thoughts on “Increase Federal border staff in the south by moving some from the north?

  1. More harm is being done by trying to dispute the border without force than if they just disputed it the Russian way. Mexico has no military, but Russia could easily roll the tanks into San Diego like a $25 trillion indebted Crimea. Americans would scream bloody murder if Trump tried to oust a military invasion.

  2. America is easy compared to Mexico! You may learn this at the Mexico flying forum at Oshkosh. All Mexican aviation rules are modeled after the FAA’s The rules are you need to file a mexican version of eapis! Only problem is that nobody bothered to set up a website and i don’t think it really exists. Best advice for flying south of the border… have a stack full of official documents and smile. You will eventually be processed. Maybe at oshkosh I will tell you about the time one in our group forgot his passport. You can guess which country had a bigger problem with this!

  3. I’d say $150 per hour is a more realistic fully-burdened rate for a federal armed agent. A lot of that is the overhead for facilities and bloated administrative staff that has to fulfill oversight on things such as highly repetitive annual training on blood borne pathogens, sexual harassment, cyberprotection, EEO/diversity, OSH/safety, anti-terrorism, work violence (run, hide, fight), and on and on and on….

  4. They do not need more Border Patrol agents along the southern border. They have enough BP agents. They catch and hold almost all the people who come across the border illegally. They need law changes and more immigration judges and immigration courts and more short term holding facilities for illegals. Right now the issue is most of the illegal immigrants who are able to get onto US soil can turn themselves in and ask for amnesty. Then the current laws make them a legal entrant to the US until a judge hears their amnesty case which might take 1-3 years. So they get welfare and are given a work permit until they go to court. All the noise about kids in jail is families on hold waiting processing. Trump is slow rolling releasing these illegals inside the US because there are now so many using this method.

    And Trump is making those seeking amnesty but still in Mexico wait weeks or months or longer in Mexico before they can apply for amnesty.

    • Good point. Not too many are trying evade the Federales anymore! Yet there is still a literal army of them in monster SUVs and beautiful Eurocopters!

  5. Canadian aircraft have a journey log with an entry for each flight (or groups of flight with the same pilot in a given day).

    The “report number” given to you by customs is required to be entered in the journey log. For N-reg aircraft it serves no useful purpose once you have returned to the US.

    • Although I never understood how Ireland accepts the “Welcome to the USA” banner on their own soil (at least it was there, a few years ago)
      I wonder how people would react if there was a counter with “China Customs & Border Patrol” at JFK.

    • I was there in June! There was a Fall of Saigon-style line that took 30-45 minutes to get through. Tons of Americans working (at overseas hardship pay rates?). A lot of what they were doing was seemingly pointless. Most travelers were US passport holders. The airline had already verified the photo. The same passport had been used to leave the US ten days earlier. What was the value in checking?

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