Even As Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visits Mexico, critical U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) bases have open gates and broken security cameras — six months after a federal watchdog ordered those problems to be fixed as soon as possible.
U.S. CBP officials are still working on four of the six recommendations the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (IG) made in a February report that revealed unacceptable conditions at crucial southwestern operating bases, DHS IG public affairs officer Arlen Morales told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Specifically, CBP has yet to repair and replace surveillance cameras at some operating bases with inoperable cameras, make sure some bases’ gates comply with current CBP standards, develop a timeline for closing one base with substandard living conditions, and create a standardized system for tracking maintenance repairs.
When the IG visited one unnamed operating base in 2015, investigators found the manual gate — which should have been automatic — wide open. CBP agents told investigators the gate is “repeatedly left open.” (RELATED: Border Patrol Leaving Gates Wide Open)
CBP originally estimated it would take until December — nearly one year after the original IG report — to fix or replace all inoperable security cameras. CBP completed recommendations to create processes for periodic security reviews and safety and health inspections of all operating bases.
The IG doesn’t plan to follow up with CBP in an additional report, according to Morales.
CBP places its forward operating bases, where CBP agents live and work for a week at a time, in areas with high levels of illegal immigrant crossings.
Trump, who has placed illegal immigration issues at the forefront of his campaign, said he discussed plans to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
“Having a secure border is a sovereign right and mutually beneficial,” Trump said publicly after meeting with Nieto privately.
The National Border Patrol Council, which represents 16,500 of the country’s 21,000 border patrol agents, endorsed Trump in March.
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