US Border Patrol Survey Analysis
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Date Created:June 25, 2005
Date Uploaded to the Library:May 15, 2014
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Judicial Watch Special Report: U.S. Border Patrol Survey Analysis Detailing the U.S. Governments Polling Apprehended Illegal Immigrants the Southern Border January 2004 Judicial Watch, Inc. 501 School Street, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20024 Tel: 202-646-5172 Fax: 202-646-5199 www.JudicialWatch.org Introduction This Judicial Watch Special Report analyzes U.S. Border Patrol Survey apprehended illegal immigrants conducted January 2004. The surveys were obtained Judicial Watch under the provisions U.S.C. '552, the Freedom Information Act (FOIA), part the organizations ongoing public education program. The subject FOIA request, first filed February 27, 2004, being litigated the U.S. District Court for the District Columbia (Judicial Watch Department Homeland Security, Civil Action No. 04-0907 (RBW)). Judicial Watch non-profit, non-partisan public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption. Judicial Watch was founded 1994 with the mission promoting and restoring ethics and morality the United States government and legal systems. part that mission Judicial Watch leader, with 600,000 supporters, fighting for transparency, integrity and accountability government, law and politics. Judicial Watch makes aggressive use open records and open meetings laws means educate the American public the operations their government and hold public officials accountable. have filed well over 400 open records requests and successfully litigated many these requests federal and state courts. Judicial Watch also provides technical, research and litigation assistance public interest groups interested obtaining information about government activity who may not have the necessary resources experience pursue information their own part the Judicial Watch Open Records Project. Thomas Fitton President Judicial Watch, Inc. June 28, 2005 Questions comments concerning this report should directed to: Christopher Farrell Director Investigations Research Judicial Watch, Inc. 501 School St., Washington, 20024 Tel: 202-646-5172 Fax: 202-664-5199 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Summary President Bushs temporary guest worker proposal January 2004 was broadly interpreted illegal immigration amnesty program around the country and abroad. The Bush administration ordered the U.S. Border Patrol survey apprehended illegal immigrants concerning President Bushs proposal. The results indicated that President Bushs proposal had actually lured greater numbers illegal immigrants violate the law. Politically inconvenient and/or potentially embarrassing data from the Border Patrol survey resulted the Bush administration calling off the survey January 27, 2004. The U.S. government never released report based the survey. The White House directed Homeland Security Public Affairs Officers deliberately withhold information from the public and the media about the Border Patrol survey and related spike illegal immigration. The Bush administration mislead Americans for political purposes. The White House approved talking points included: not talk about amnesty, increase apprehensions, give comparisons past immigration reform proposals. not provide statistics apprehension spikes past amnesty data. While the Border Patrols unscientific survey and its aborted execution may not provide comprehensive picture the relationship between President Bushs immigration proposal and illegal immigration, the initial data deeply disturbing. Analysis the raw data from the survey forms indicates: 45% crossed illegally based rumors Bush administration amnesty. 63% received Mexican government media information supporting the notion Bush administration amnesty. 64% previously entered the United States illegally. 80% desired apply for amnesty. 66% desired petition for family members join them the U.S. detailed summary our findings and conclusions can found starting page this report. Judicial Watch will continue pursue this case and other illegal immigration matters, and report facts the American people part its mission public interest educational foundation. Background January 2004, President George Bush gathered members his cabinet the East Room the White House, including Secretary State Colin Powell, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary Commerce Don Evans and Secretary Homeland Security Tom Ridge, for speech proposing new temporary worker program. Members Congress also joined the president his announcement: Senator Larry Craig, Congressman Chris Cannon, and Congressman Jeff Flake. The President took time specifically recognize other guests the policy address. These guests included Mexican Ambassador Tony Garza (whom Mr. Bush referred member cabinet) well Chairman the Hispanic Alliance for Progress, Manny Lujan; Gil Moreno, the President and CEO the Association for the Advancement Mexican Americans; Roberto Posada, the President the Latino Coalition; and Hector Flores, the President the League United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). President Bushs January 7th proposal featured four main points: First, America must control its borders. Following the attacks September the 11th, 2001, this duty the federal government has become even more urgent. And we're fulfilling that duty. For the first time our history, have consolidated all border agencies under one roof make sure they share information and the work more effective. We're matching all visa applicants against expanded screening list identify terrorists and criminals and immigration violators. This month, have begun using advanced technology better record and track aliens who enter our country and make sure they leave scheduled. have deployed new gamma and x-ray systems scan cargo and containers and shipments ports entry America. have significantly expanded the Border Patrol with more than thousand new agents the borders, and percent greater funding over the last two years. We're working closely with the Canadian and Mexican governments increase border security. America acting basic belief: our borders should open legal travel and honest trade; our borders should shut and barred tight criminals, drug traders, drug traffickers and criminals, and terrorists. Second, new immigration laws should serve the economic needs our country. American employer offering job that American citizens are not willing take, ought welcome into our country person who will fill that job. Third, should not give unfair rewards illegal immigrants the citizenship process disadvantage those who came here lawfully, hope so. Fourth, new laws should provide incentives for temporary, foreign workers return permanently their home countries after their period work the United States has expired. Today, ask the Congress join passing new immigration laws that reflect these principles, that meet America's economic needs, and live our highest ideals.1 The remainder President Bushs speech focused implementation these four objectives. White House Fact Sheet detailing President Bushs plan can found Enclosure Open Records Request Filed late February 2004, Judicial Watchs Investigations Department prepared FOIA requests the Department Homeland Security (DHS) regarding U.S. Border Patrol survey being conducted with apprehended illegal immigrants. The survey asked questions about rumors Bush administration proposal for the U.S government grant amnesty all illegal immigrants entering the United States. The Border Patrol survey was ordered the Bush administration following President Bushs January 7th policy speech proposing temporary guest worker program for illegal immigrants. Within week President Bushs speech Border Patrol agents began asking randomly chosen illegal immigrants caught the border they were trying get across because Bushs proposal. Judicial Watch filed lawsuit against the Department Homeland Security June 2004 due the agencys failure respond substantively any the elements the FOIA request. Finally, May 2005, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency subordinate component DHS) made partial response Judicial Watchs FOIA request producing nearly 1000 records. Our staff analyzed the documents tabulating results; collecting anecdotal responses; and performing much needed analysis the raw data the agency provided. Because the early results the survey seemed indicate President Bushs amnesty proposal had actually lured greater numbers illegal immigrants violate the law, the Bush administration ordered the survey called off January 27, 2004.2 The U.S. government never released report based its aborted survey. President Bush Proposes New Temporary Worker Program, Remarks the President Immigration Policy, The East Room, The White House, January 2004, found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/01/20040107-3.html Judicial Watch had file suit federal court compel the governments production the closest thing the American public has seen official report the surveys results. The document e-mail purportedly from Senior Border Patrol Agents other Agents Charge, dated Thursday, January 29, 2004 3:01 PM, Subject: Casa Blanca [i.e., White House] Additional Info. (See Enclosure The identity(ies) the e-mails author(s) and recipient(s) were redacted the Border Patrol under FOIA Exemption (b)(7)(c) protect the personal privacy the agents. The body the e-mail states: Temporary Guest Worker Program Questionnaire: Southwest Border: Total number Questionnaires: 1,711 Total number positive responses 655 38% The DHS has not produced 1,711 questionnaires Judicial Watch response its FOIA request subsequent litigation. Judicial Watch has surveys for only 882 respondents. Nowhere the documentation the term positive responses defined. What meant positive responses? The disparity numbers and statistics just one part this controversial survey that will addressed narrative fashion below and through legal means our ongoing litigation against the DHS. The Bush administration ordered U.S. Border Patrol officers not discuss the survey. remarkable, one-page, DHS letterhead document marked: Public Affairs Guidance White House Approved Talking Points Temporary Worker Program INTERNAL USE ONLY (See Enclosure 3), the agency propounded these talking points: not talk about amnesty, increase apprehensions, give comparisons past immigration reform proposals. not provide statistics apprehension spikes past amnesty data. These public affairs directives are odds with the concepts open government and public accountability. time when the United States faces illegal immigration crisis, the White House directed Homeland Security Public Affairs Officers (PAO) withhold information from the public deliberately, thus misleading Americans for political purposes. Jerry Seper, More Aliens Try Enter for Amnesty, The Washington Times, February 19, 2004. Problems with the Survey According the documents obtained under the Judicial Watch FOIA request, the Office Border Patrol Intelligence tasked Border Patrol Intelligence Agents sectors along the Mexican border complete questionnaire random basis for aliens all countries encountered Service Agents. The tasking was expressed the field Priority Intelligence Requirement (PIR) formal means tasking intelligence collection requirements field elements paramilitary law enforcement organization such the U.S. Border Patrol. Use the term PIR has special significance within the intelligence community. term developed U.S. Army Intelligence and later adopted other intelligence services (e.g., all military services and the Defense Intelligence Agency), including the Border Patrol, with very specific, technical meaning. The definition PIR is: An intelligence requirement associated with decision that affects mission accomplishment.3 (See Enclosure The intelligence requirement has stated priority all planning and decision making. Clearly, the subject survey was extremely important the leadership the U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security. Conducting the survey was categorized do die requirement essential the accomplishment the Homeland Security/Border Patrol mission. reasonable conclude, based upon the timing the Presidents January 7th speech and the PIR tasking, also begin January 7th, that the agencies sense urgency was driven the White House. both frustrating and disappointing see from the documents produced how the Border Patrol took intelligence requirement that was deemed critical the accomplishment the agencys mission and botched the definition, tasking, execution, reporting and analysis tasks. The surveys poor design and inconsistent, incomplete execution does not lend itself scientific complex statistical analysis. First, the PIR survey was poorly drafted. The survey contains both open-ended and compound questions. For example, when apprehended immigrant asked: Have you been the U.S.A. prior this incident, legally illegally? and the subject answers simply Yes, how agents uniformly and consistently record such response? what the subject answering Yes? Some questions assume knowledge activity that the interrogator subject may may not have known conducted. (Is the Temporary Worker Program being interpreted your country type amnesty?) Also, key terms are not clearly and uniformly defined not just for the illegal immigrant being questioned, but for the agent interrogating the apprehended immigrant. Too much left open individual interpretation. U.S. Army Field Manual 2-0, Intelligence, May 2004. Within the intelligence community the lexicon for intelligence requirements, tasking, reporting and analysis is, thankfully, being increasingly harmonized and standardized. the alphabet soup bureaucratic government jargon and acronyms, PIR standard and important term all U.S. intelligence services recognize and understand. The PIR should have been drafted strictly using basic interrogatives: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why. Nothing should assumed and false choices should offered the subject the survey. All questions should designed the dichotomous tree design simple Yes and No questions leading further levels Yes/No detail, with the ability add narrative detail once the fundamental question satisfied. Since most Border Patrol agents are neither trained interrogators nor sociologists, conducting survey such the one driven this PIR would have required significant additional training order for any the data reliable. Remember, these apprehended illegal aliens are being questioned armed law enforcement officers custodial environment. They are very likely tell the agents what they think the agents want hear. Two additional resources are essential for gathering valid data PIR survey such this: (1) time conduct the surveys properly and (2) attention detail questioning and recording their responses. The surveys provided Judicial Watch indicate that those two factors were simply not part the equation for agents legitimately busy with their regular duties. Further complicating the difficulties the Border Patrol survey the fact that different versions the survey were adapted various Border Patrol offices. Offices were not asking the same questions, sets questions, apprehended illegal immigrants. Anyone consolidating and analyzing the responses left compare apples and oranges some the questions/replies. Some Border Patrol offices submitted consolidated reports omitting individual responses key questions. They provided numbers for the simple Yes/No replies, but simply ignored questions designed for narrative response. intelligence gathering tool, the PIR survey disaster. doesnt fare too well from sociological perspective either. But even then, would questionable project, said Nestor Rodriguez, sociology professor and co-director the Center for Immigration Research the University Houston. Thats because the Border Patrol isnt equipped handle sociological research, said. The intentions and survey questions may legitimate, but the methodology would make the results unreliable, said. You have officers the law interviewing detained migrants, said Rodriguez. Its the worst possible environment which gather social data. Plus, their sample wont representative what about the migrants they dont catch?4 Hernan Rozemberg, Immigrant Survey Melts the Spotlight, San Antonio Express-News, January 30, 2004. The survey does have residual value only means illuminating just how the DHS and the Border Patrol are doing business. Some value can also gleaned from the raw, preliminary numbers, based our first review the recoverable data from the survey documents. What the PIR Survey Asks have provided sample the original PIR survey tasking document Enclosure Here the text the original PIR tasking: Obtain the following information: The Office Border Patrol Intelligence requiring that Border Patrol Intelligence Agent complete questionnaire, random basis, for aliens all countries encountered Service Agents for the purpose collecting data concerning the issue amnesty. The following list questions asked and answered the aliens interviewed. What country you claim your citizenship and residence? you have immediate family other relatives within the U.S.A.? How long did you originally plan remain the U.S.A.? Did the rumors amnesty influence your decision enter the U.S.A.? Have you heard from your government, other person any mention amnesty the future the U.S. government? yes, how did you hear about it? (Radio, TV, acquaintances, etc.) Have you been the U.S.A. prior this incident, legally illegally? you plan apply for amnesty offered? What proof you have indicate you are eligible for amnesty? (Documents indicating proof residence) How you plan obtain this documentation? you plan become U.S. citizen? Will you petition for other family members? reviewing and analyzing each the survey documents, becomes apparent that the original PIR survey was adapted and expanded different Border Patrol offices. documentation was provided Judicial Watch describing how why those adaptations were instituted. The changes the survey are interesting because they show how the Border Patrol was thinking the survey began collect data. New questions arose based survey responses, local conditions and additional intelligence requirements being fed into the survey vehicle means collecting data matters that surfaced during the three weeks the survey was conducted. The following are additional questions (or variations from the original PIR questions) that appear later versions survey forms produced Judicial Watch: the Temporary Worker Program being interpreted your country type amnesty? Did the rumors the Program amnesty influence your decision enter the U.S.A.? Have you heard from your government, news media other person any mention this Program Amnesty? you used alien smuggler enter the U.S. illegally, how much were you charged? Was difficult find smuggler help you cross the border? Where did you come contact with this smuggler? (Your hometown, border) How long did take you travel from your hometown the border? How long did you stay the border before you crossed? What your destination? How you plan obtain this documentation? [Documents indicating proof residency.] These variations and adaptations the PIR survey questions are important note for two reasons: (1) documentation has been produced Judicial Watch explaining the changes/adaptations the PIR survey the Border Patrol and (2) the changes indicate that new information either needed collected was stumbled upon information that merited change the PIR tasking the field offices. Changes the intelligence requirements that comprise PIR are not bad thing. fact, they tend substantiate the value the original requirements, only further highlight fine tune the information truly required fill intelligence gaps. paraphrase Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, its case not knowing what you not know until you know it. Analyzing and Tabulating the Survey Responses Given the very raw and inconsistently derived and reported data from the Border Patrol PIR survey, was incumbent upon the investigations and research arm Judicial Watch make some sense the material and present useful report educate the public concerning the activities the Border Patrol and the DHS with respect the Bush administrations immigration proposals. Our staff pored over the documents comparing and contrasting forms, questions responses, and related documents. One the first challenges was overcoming the PIRs shortcomings detailed above. The raw data were provided simply did not lend itself scientific complex statistical analysis. decided focus eight (8) questions from the survey. They were the eight most answered questions that also helped define the survey population and the questions most pertinent the Bush administrations proposed immigration policy changes. cases where the question was adapted the Border Patrol during the survey, have represented the most often asked version the question. the case compound question (e.g., Have you been the U.S.A. prior this incident, legally illegally?) present the question based upon the responses and anecdotal remarks from the survey forms. For this question, recording and representing the data the number persons who have previously crossed into the U.S. illegally. The eight questions are presented below with graph chart help depict the survey data. Anecdotal responses remarks from the original survey forms are associated with each question and graph/chart. Survey Respondents Country Origin: Mexican 777; Salvadoran 42; Honduran 34; Guatemalan 24; Ecuadorian Peruvian Brazilian TOTAL 882. Plans Stay the U.S.: Guatemala, Ecuador, Salvador, Brazil, Honduras, Peru, Mexico, 88% Forever 20% More Than Year 43% days 22% Less than days Other 12% Amnesty rumors influence your decision enter the U.S.A.?: 100% Yes 532 (61.2%); 329 (37.8%); N/A (1%). Sample Responses: On while Yes, from the Mexican government. Everyone talking about it. Everywhere, radio, TV, and people tal On the news that George Bush Yes, from Federal policeman Mexico. Sample Responses: Yes, after hearin Yes, thats why crossed. Yes, coming for amnesty program that your president Bush giving. 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% heard from your gov rnment other sources /radio) any menti Sample Responses: Si, estoy vious Illegal Crossings Into the U.S.? Answ Sample Responses: Yes, One tim Yes, illegally for I have entered several times illegally. I have been apprehended twice. I have entered several times illegally. Lived for six years. Yes [illegally]. Previously here year Yes, was vacation here 900 you plan petition for other family members? 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 Don' request for the survey and related records until brought lawsuit the UDistrict Court for the District Columbia. completely non-responsive three (3) others. Judicial Watch specifically requested (roughly half the surveys). Bushs temporary guest worker program speech January 2004. illegal immigration amnesty around the country and abroad. proposal had actually lured greater numbers illegal immigrants violate tlaw. Patrol PIR Survey resulted the Bush administration calling off the survey onJanuary 27, 2004. results, thus wasting valuable taxpayers money and other resources. House withhold information from the public and the media deliberately misleading Americans for political purposes. both intelligence collection tool and sociological experiment. itself scientific complex statistical analysis. providing perspective the responses and helping gauge reporting trends. agents struggling maintain their current, regular workload. Illegal crossings increased following President Bushs January 7th speech. Analysis the raw data from the survey forms indicates: 45% crossed illegally based rumors Bush administration amnesty 63% received Mexican government media information supporting the notion Bush administration amnesty 64% previously entered the United States illegally 80% desired apply for amnesty 66% desired petition for family members join them the U.S. Roughly 25% those who stated rumors Bush administration amnesty had influence their decision cross said they were determined come the U.S. anyway. Conclusions President Bushs proposed temporary worker program was broadly interpreted amnesty offer illegal immigrants. spike illegal immigration following President Bushs speech was surveyed priority intelligence requirement for three-week period the Border Patrol. Survey results were politically unfavorable the Bush administration, who ordered the survey stopped. The White House directed public affairs officers withhold information order mislead the public and stave off potential political embarrassment. The government only produced records material the survey once Judicial Watch filed FOIA lawsuit federal court. The government continues withhold additional records concerning this matter. Judicial Watch will continue pursue this case and other illegal immigration matters, and report facts the American people, part its mission public interest education foundation.