GAO report: US land laws don't hinder border agents


Federal rules governing public lands along the border cause some delays but do not prevent the Border Patrol from handling its assignment to secure the border, a federal report released Tuesday says.

As part of its 11-month evaluation, the Government Accountability Office interviewed agents-in-charge at 26 Border Patrol stations with primary responsibility for patrolling federal land along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Although 17 agents reported delays and restrictions to patrolling on federal land, 22 of them said "overall security status of their jurisdiction is not affected by land-management laws," the report says. "Instead, factors such as the remoteness and ruggedness of the terrain have the greatest effect on their ability to achieve operational control."