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GAO: Border Agents Use Flawed Methods To Track Wait Times

A new report by the Government Accountability Office says federal agents are miscalculating wait times at ports along the U.S. Mexico border.

The GAO says the methods Customs and Border Protection agents used to measure wait times across the southern border were inconsistent at six check-points it inspected. The GAO’s Rebecca Gambler says different methods of manual counting were being used ineffectively.

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GAO Report On U.S.-Mexico Border Wait Times

GAO Report On U.S.-Mexico Border Wait Times

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“The CBP’s processes for collecting data on wait times and estimating data on wait times differed across border crossings, which makes it difficult to use that information for informing decisions across border crossings."

The GAO made recommendations to the CBP for more efficient data collection. They include using closed circuit television, documenting staff practices, and developing consistent tracking methods. The Border Trade Alliance’s President Noe Garcia says inaccurate reporting can lead to even longer wait times and damage international trade.

“The delays at the U.S. Mexico border crossings cost the U.S. economy $7.8 billion in 2011,” Garcia says.

In some cases wait times can exceeded 3 hours. The CBP has agreed to explore new techniques.

Comments

Avatar for user 'jenjen'

jenjen | July 31, 2013 at 12:31 p.m. ― 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This is so incredibly stupid. Their policy says that they ideally need to be able to physically see the end of the line to measure it. In what decade could you possibly see the end of the line in TJ from the border crossing, the 60s? The "technology" solution of course is more surveillance cameras in a foreign country, to the tune of millions. This is not a technology problem. This is a priority problem. If they would staff the checkpoints appropriately in the first place the line wouldn't BE literally miles long. Barring Congress figuring this out, they should hire some Mexicans to hang out at the end of the line and give out cards with the time written on it to every 20th car, which drivers could hand to the guard when they get to the border. I've been given a card like this at international airport customs to help them track wait times. It's not fricking rocket science. Pay in Mexico is so low, you could most likely staff the end of the end of the line of a single crossing 24h/day for less than $20k/year.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | August 1, 2013 at 6:50 a.m. ― 8 months, 2 weeks ago

It is too bad that the GAO is not as concerned with the thousands of felons crossing the border illegally. How many millions of dollars did this astounding observation cost the taxpayers without a plausible solution???

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