As for the exit-tracking system, it is important that we establish one, because perhaps 40 percent of the illegal population are visa overstayers, and if we don’t track who departs, we can’t know who has illegally remained. But the system provided for in the legislation would have to be in place only in airports and seaports, even though most foreign visitors cross land borders. What’s more, Congress already mandated an entry- and exit-tracking system at all border points — in 1996. It has reiterated that mandate five times since then. It takes chutzpah to offer as enforcement a seventh such mandate and a simultaneous provision of ten more years for its fulfillment.
Finally, securing the Mexican border. The benchmark given in the bill is called “effective control” and means surveillance of 100 percent of the border and apprehension of 90 percent of attempted infiltrators. This is absurdity many times over. You have to know the total number of attempted crossings to know that you got 90 percent of them, and as even DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has pointed out, there is no way for the Border Patrol to know how many people it misses. This standard also applies only to “high risk” sectors, which turns out to mean just three of the nine sectors along the Mexican border.