SEEK­ING GOT-AWAYS

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

He wants those num­bers: Rep. Dar­rell E. Issa has set a dead­line of Thurs­day for Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary Janet Napoli­tano. In­tent on in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions that the fed­eral agency re­leased “false and mis­lead­ing bor­der-cross­ing data,” the Cal­i­for­nia Re­pub­li­can and chair­man of the House Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee has asked her for 2011 op­er­a­tional records from eight bor­der-pa­trol sta­tions in the Tuc­son, Ariz., re­gion.

“The num­bers ap­pear to dra­mat­i­cally un­der­state the vol­ume of in­di­vid­u­als who crossed the bor­der il­le­gally and are nei­ther ar­rested nor turned back south (‘got-aways’),” Mr. Issa writes in a let­ter to Ms. Napoli­tano, dated March 1. Based on ex­trap­o­la­tions of rep­re­sen­ta­tive data, the law­maker sug­gests that 268,000 peo­ple en­tered the U.S. il­le­gally and were never counted.

“The po­ten­tial mag­ni­tude of the un­der­re­port­ing of got-aways casts doubt on the bor­der-se­cu­rity num­bers touted by the depart­ment dur­ing this ad­min­is­tra­tion. If got-aways are in fact be­ing un­der­re­ported to that ex­tent, then the data on which you based the con­clu­sion that ‘the bor­der is safer than it has been in decades’ is se­ri­ously flawed,” Mr. Issa ad­vises the sec­re­tary.

Rep. Dar­rell E. Issa, Cal­i­for­nia Re­pub­li­can, in­sists the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity is dra­mat­i­cally un­der­re­port­ing the num­ber of il­le­gal bor­der crossers who “got away.”

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