Border Security: Progress and Challenges with the Use of Technology, Tactical Infrastructure, and Personnel to Secure the Southwest Border

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has employed a variety of technology, tactical infrastructure, and personnel assets to help secure the nearly 2,000 mile long southwest border. Since 2009, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued over 35 products on the progress and challenges DHS has faced in using technology, infrastructure, and other resources to secure the border. GAO has made over 50 recommendations to help improve DHS’s efforts, and DHS has implemented more than half of them. This statement by Rebecca Gambler, Director, Homeland Security & Justice, addresses (1) DHS efforts to deploy and measure the effectiveness of surveillance technologies, (2) DHS efforts to maintain and assess the effectiveness of existing tactical infrastructure and to deploy new physical barriers, and (3) staffing challenges the Border Patrol has faced. This statement is based on three GAO reports issued in 2017, selected updates conducted in 2017, and ongoing work related to DHS acquisitions and the construction of physical barriers. For ongoing work GAO analyzed DHS and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) documents, interviewed officials within DHS, and visited border areas in California. In recent reports, GAO made or reiterated recommendations for DHS to, among other things, assess the contributions of technology and fencing to border security. DHS generally agreed, and has actions planned or underway to address these recommendations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 24p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01666059
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-18-397T
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 15 2018 2:56PM