Defining Operational Control of the Border
Glenn Spencer - American Border Patrol -- May 5, 2010
The Secure Fence Act of 2006 Defines Operation Control:
(b) OPERATIONAL CONTROL DEFINED.-- In this section, the term "operational control" means the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.
Today, Fox News reports that the head of the Yuma Border Patrol sector has a different definition of Operational Control:
"Operational control means you have the ability to detect, identify, classify, respond and resolve any border incursion in your area of responsibility," says Paul Beeson, Yuma, AZ sector chief of the Border Patrol.
"When we say we have operation control, there is a substantial likelihood if you cross within that area, you will be caught."
Let's see, Congress has defined "Operational Control," and so has the Yuma BP Sector chief. Who is right?
There is big difference between "a substantial likelihood if you cross within that area you will be caught," and "the prevention of all unlawful entries..."
The manner in which we go about setting goals and standards for border control is extremely important. I discuss this in my Sept. 20, 2009 piece, Hidden in Plan Sight.
I applaud Fox News for digging into this issue. I hope they pursue it further and take a hard look at the Secure Fence Act of 2006. It passed with overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate before being signed by President Bush. It would be interesting to learn if an Act of Congress can be vetoed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent.