NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

INS Does Poor Job Of Combating Illegal Smugglers

May 4, 2000

A General Accounting Office report charges that the Immigration and Naturalization Service's efforts to stop the smuggling of illegal aliens into the country are "fragmented and uncoordinated." Moreover, an increasing proportion of those who enter illegally are criminals and terrorists who "pose a serious threat to U.S. national security."

  • Some 247,000 smuggled illegals were captured last year -- an increase of 80 percent from three years earlier.
  • About 81,000 of those came from countries other than Mexico.
  • The business of transporting illegals here is estimated to have grown to an $8 billion a year enterprise.
  • The INS last year prosecuted 2,000 smugglers and had a 61 percent conviction rate.

The GAO says the agency pursues cases that have already been investigated, duplicates efforts in other ways, fails to retrieve and analyze information rapidly or efficiently, fails to take advantage of advances in electronic information processing and fails to provide means of coordinating investigations and sharing intelligence data.

Source: August Gribbin, "INS Problems Cited as Aiding Alien-Smuggling Operations," Washington Times, May 4, 2000.


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