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Report: Border Patrol Checkpoints Useful But Data Flawed

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Aired 9/1/09

A new government report dings the US Border Patrol for overstating the effectiveness of highway checkpoints. Nevertheless, the Government Accountability Office concludes the checkpoints are an important line of defense for illegal immigrants and drugs.

A new government report dings the US Border Patrol for overstating the effectiveness of highway checkpoints. Nevertheless, the Government Accountability Office concludes the checkpoints are an important line of defense for illegal immigrants and drugs.

The GAO studied Border Patrol checkpoints near the southwest border. That includes those in San Diego on I-5, I-8 and I-5 freeways and on State Route 94.

The report finds that the Border Patrol needs to improve how it collects data at the checkpoints. The report said the federal agency needs to make sure data is gathered more consistently and rigorously.

Richard Stana helped write the report, and he said despite the discrepancies, checkpoints do serve a purpose. "For 4 percent of Border Patrol resources, they seize about a third of the drugs and other contraband that the Border Patrol seizes."

Stana recommends the federal government establish mechanisms to oversee the accuracy of information collected at checkpoints.

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