Fact Sheet: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement
Securing the Border
* DHS has completed more than 76 miles of pedestrian fence for a total of more than 150 miles of pedestrian fence and 115 miles of vehicle fence on the Southwest border.
* DHS plans to build an additional 225 miles of pedestrian fence and 200 miles of vehicle fence. We expect to have about 670 miles of total pedestrian fence and vehicle fence by the end of 2008.
* The Border Patrol now has roughly 15,000 agents and by the end of next year we will have more than 18,300 agents. This doubles the size of the Border Patrol under President Bush’s leadership.
* The National Guard continues to support the Border Patrol under Operation Jump Start. This partnership has been extremely productive as we work to the build the fence and train Border Patrol agents.
* The National Guard has assisted with the apprehension of nearly 124,000 illegal aliens and the seizure of more than 900 vehicles, 250,000 pounds of marijuana, nearly 5,000 pounds of cocaine, and more than $68,000 in currency since the start of Operation Jump Start.
* DHS saw a more than 20 percent reduction in apprehensions of illegal aliens at the Southern border in Fiscal Year 2007. This is an indication that there are fewer attempts to cross the border illegally.
* In Fiscal Year 2007, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 3,563 gang members and their associates. This includes 1,489 criminal arrests.
* Under Operation Community Shield ICE has arrested more than 7,655 members and associates of approximately 700 different gangs. Of those apprehended 2,444 have been charged criminally and 5,211 have been charged with immigration violations and processed for removal.
* Over a three month period this summer ICE arrested more than 1,300 violent street gang members and associates in 23 cities across 19 states.
* ICE has expanded its Criminal Alien Program to identify incarcerated criminal aliens. In Fiscal Year 2007, ICE identified for removal 164,296 criminals who were incarcerated in federal, state and local facilities.
* ICE has increased its fugitive operations teams from 15 in 2005 to 75 today. As a result, the fugitive alien population has plummeted by more than 35,000.
* ICE continues to increase worksite enforcement operations. In Fiscal Year 2007, ICE made 863 criminal arrests and 4,077 administrative arrests for a total of 4,940 arrests.
* In Fiscal Year 2007, DHS obtained more than $30 million in criminal fines, restitutions and civil judgments as a result of worksite enforcement.
* E-Verify is a free and simple to use Web-based system that electronically verifies the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. For more information on E-Verify visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify.
* E-Verify works by allowing participating employers to electronically compare employee information taken from the Form I-9 (the paper based employee eligibility verification form used for all new hires) against more than 425 million records in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) database and more than 60 million records in DHS immigration databases. Results are returned within seconds.
* Currently, more than 30,000 companies are enrolled in E-Verify. More than 3.2 million new hires have been processed through E-Verify and usage is growing by roughly 83 percent annually. The system is currently capable of handling up to 25 million inquiries a year.
* DHS has filed a law suit against Illinois, which passed legislation that prohibits employers in their state from using E-Verify.
* DHS issued a regulation earlier this year which outlines specific steps an employer should take if they receive a “no-match” letter from the SSA informing them they have an employee whose name and Social Security Number do not match the government records.
* The regulation sets forth clear guidance for businesses to comply with “no-match” notices and provides a safe harbor for employers who follow the guidance and perform due diligence so they are not found in violation of their legal obligations.
* The implementation of this regulation has been delayed to lawsuits filed by the ACLU and U.S. Chamber of Commerce preventing DHS from issuing “no-match” letters.
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