Inspection of the Secure Electronic Network
for Travelers' Rapid Inspection
Report Number I-2000-019
INTERVIEWS AND FIELD SITE VISTS
We conducted our review from October 1998 through December 1999. We interviewed headquarters officials at INS, Customs, and JPR in Washington, D.C. At INS headquarters, we interviewed the Assistant Commissioner for Inspections, Assistant Commissioner for Budget, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Inspections, Chief Inspector for Land Borders, Assistant Chief for the United States Border Patrol, representatives from Office of Information Resources Management, and SENTRI's current and former project managers. We also interviewed INS contractors responsible for the development and maintenance of SENTRI's lane equipment and enrollment database, including Electronic Data Systems, Inc., and TransCore. At Customs headquarters, we interviewed the Director of the Passenger Operations Division and SENTRI's program officer. At JPR headquarters, we interviewed the Director, Deputy Director, and the SENTRI project liaison.
We also conducted telephone interviews with representatives from INS's three regional offices as well as with the Port Directors at the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, Michigan, and at Blaine, Washington. We also interviewed the Supervisory Immigration Inspector at the Stanton Street Bridge in El Paso, Texas.
In January and March of 1999, we conducted field site visits to Otay Mesa, California; San Ysidro, California; and the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York. We did not visit the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, Michigan, or the Stanton Street Bridge in El Paso, Texas, because SENTRI did not become operational at these sites until after our fieldwork had been completed.
At each of the ports-of-entry we visited, we interviewed the District and Deputy District Directors, Port and Deputy Port Directors, Supervisory INS and Customs Inspectors, and INS and Customs Inspectors. In addition, we interviewed Customs officials and the Border Patrol Sector Chief as well as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California and the Assistant to the Mexican Consular General, all in San Diego, California. We also interviewed representatives from the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority as well as officials from Canada's Ministry of Revenue.
To assess SENTRI's effectiveness in reducing commuter wait times for project enrollees, we analyzed performance data generated by SENTRI's GES database from FY 1996 through FY 1998. These data include both queue and inspection wait times as well as enrollment and lane utilization levels. To assess SENTRI's effectiveness in reducing overall commuter wait times across all inspection lanes, we analyzed commuter wait time data collected by INS for FY 1998. We reviewed an independent analysis of commuter wait times for Otay Mesa and San Ysidro conducted by the San Diego Dialogue, a San Diego-based local think tank. We analyzed data collected from INS headquarters on staffing levels and commuter traffic volumes from FY 1996 through FY 1998 for existing SENTRI sites as well as for potential expansion sites.
To assess SENTRI's effectiveness in maintaining border integrity, we reviewed the GES database as well as existing procedures and policies governing SENTRI's enrollment process. In addition, we analyzed data collected from INS headquarters on the total number of violations committed in both the SENTRI and general inspection lanes from FY 1996 through FY 1998 for existing SENTRI sites as well as for potential expansion sites. These data were reported by INS in the G-22 Inspections Report.