Government oversight officials warned on Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security is failing to secure the southern border, with at least 331,000 illegal immigrants arrested along the southwest border in 2015 alone, according to a new report.
Border agents operating under DHS command continue to struggle in their efforts to secure the border and prevent illegal aliens from crossing into the United States, according to the report, which concluded that "the southwest border continues to be vulnerable to cross-border illegal activity" despite attempts to crackdown on it.
Leading lawmakers have warned that a record-breaking number of illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied alien children, are expected to flow across the border in 2016. At least 20,455 unaccompanied minors have been caught just during fiscal year 2016 along the U.S.-Mexico border.
DHS disclosed to oversight officials that it had apprehended more than 331,000 "illegal entrants" during fiscal year 2015 and made more than 14,000 drug seizers at the border during the same period of time, according to the report, which was issued Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office.
The report found that just 652 miles of the nearly 2,000-mile long U.S.-Mexico order is currently fenced off, leaving much of the border completely open.
There are at least 17,500 agents currently patrolling the border, according to the report, which questioned DHS’s ability to implement a set of reforms meant to boost security and help mitigate the flow of illegals.
"DHS has employed a variety of resources to help secure the border, including personnel, technology—such as cameras and sensors, tactical infrastructure—such as fencing and roads, and air and marine assets," according to the report.
However, many of these security plans remain only partially implemented and their actual impact remains unclear.
Customs and Border Patrol, which operates under DHS, should "strengthen its management and assessment of the plan’s programs," according the report, which seeks to provide insight into 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan, which is still being implemented.