H/T Daily Caller's Mickey Kaus for finding this devastating account of the Department of Homeland Security's systematic suppression, dating back at least to 2007-7, of any effort to assess how many illegals cross the southern border:
As Congress weighs whether to pin immigration reform on reaching a threshold of border security, the measure most often cited would call on the Department of Homeland Security to stop 90 percent of illegal border crossings...That, in turn, hinges on solid answers to such questions as: How many people actually get through? Where do they get across? When they’re caught, do they give up or keep trying until they make it?
Homeland Security officials don’t fully know the answers to those questions. And the reason, say leading migration researchers, is that DHS officials don’t want to know, and don’t want the public to know, either.
“There is zero interest in that kind of analysis among DHS’ leadership,” said economist Bryan Roberts, who served as the agency’s assistant director of the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation until 2010. “There was no interest when I was there, and there still isn’t any.”
Thus DHS has never released a major 2007 report on border crossing recidivism:
“The department doesn’t want to release it, and they have the final say,” said Joe Chang, the author of the report and a corporate fellow at what is now called the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute. Chang said he worked almost continuously on expanding and updating that study year after year; but all of that work remains classified, too.
It looks like that is happening to a more recent report too—even though DHS tried to sabotage it:
Last year, for example, a panel of leading statisticians, economists and demographers at the National Academy of Sciences conducted a study on illegal immigration at the request of Homeland Security. But the DHS refused to provide the panel key apprehension data, such as coded fingerprint figures that would identify precise numbers of repeat crossers. The DHS had demanded that researchers promise not to disclose that data to the public. Panel members said keeping the information classified would impair the quality of their work; they declined, and didn’t get the data.
That study, which included data from Mexican governmental sources and previous U.S. academic studies, suggested that about three-quarters of those who decide to cross keep trying until they make it. Other outside studies have found 85 or even 90 percent make it.
“Almost everybody who really tries eventually gets in,” said Jeffrey Passel, a member of the panel and a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center...
The National Academy of Sciences study essentially was ignored in presentations that the DHS gave to the Senate earlier this year during the immigration-reform debate, said the study’s panel members.
They said the DHS was not eager to draw attention to the study’s findings even though it paid for the report. “In a sense, it throws a monkey wrench into the discussions on immigration. I’m totally for immigration reform, but this report would make Republicans giddy and Democrats go, ‘Oh, crap,’ ” said Alicia Carriquiry, a professor of statistics at Iowa State University and a co-author of the study.
Border security faults may be result of poor analysis| Homeland Security ignores data it collects on illegal crossings, critics say, by Bob Ortega, Arizona Republic, July 20, 2013. VDARE.com emphases added.
Read Kaus' scathing analysis here.