3. Allegations that additional personnel were on duty to create the appearance of increased agent coverage
Bonner testified on August 9, 1996, that "agents were rescheduled and reassigned to the areas the delegation was shown to create the appearance that immigration was under control." He did not specify what their assignments were or how many agents were involved.
In questioning over 200 witnesses, the OIG found no one who claimed to have first-hand knowledge that additional manpower was assigned to work the day of the delegation's visit. One line agent at Imperial Beach testified that he had worked the day of the visit and could recall no improprieties, but that the station "always" increases manpower for VIP visits. Neither of the two Union officials acting in a supervisory capacity that night claimed to have any information that additional agents had been assigned to the border, although one testified that "there probably were more agents that evening." The other said he had heard that, for one unspecified VIP visit, the fence crew had been assigned to work linewatch (positions along the border) duties. A third Union official alleged that, on one occasion, PAIC William Pink had wanted "lots of green shirts" for the afternoon shift change for a VIP visit, but that the day-shift agents had left after they were told they would not be paid overtime. This official did not say, however, that this had occurred during the Task Force visit, and, in fact, Pink was no longer the PAIC by the April 8 visit.245 Another witness, who conceded he was not present for the delegation's visit and thus had no knowledge of it, claimed that additional manpower for VIP visits was "usual practice." One Union official testified that he had not heard any rumors regarding additional manpower but believed additional agents were sent from Chula Vista or Campo to Imperial Beach for the Task Force visit. One witness at Chula Vista claimed that it was usual for VIP visits to "beef up the line" with more than the usual number of agents. But he was on detail away from the Sector for the time surrounding the visit.
Congressman Gallegly testified that he had no way of knowing whether additional Border Patrol agents had been assigned to the area the delegation visited, but had no reason to believe that it had happened. Congressman Foley recalled thinking that the day shift was overstaffed, given that he had been told that most of the action was at night. Foley thought additional agents had perhaps been assigned to be prepared for any problems that arose during the tour, because it "would not be good" if large groups of aliens overran the delegation. He recalled being told, however, that the levels of staffing he observed were normal, and that a strong presence was essential to deter entry. Congressman Cunningham said he thought there were more vehicles in position at Imperial Beach than would have been normal for the daytime. He believed the number of vehicles would have been more appropriate for nighttime hours, and thought that the Border Patrol was perhaps trying to simulate the deployment of vehicles at night. Although he said he believed that the level of deployment he observed was deceiving, he conceded that, if the larger swing shift was in place during the tour (as in fact it was), that could account for the large number of vehicles. He had not asked anyone about the level of personnel deployed that evening.
Stitt testified that no additional manpower had been assigned on April 8. Williams claimed that he did not give any orders that additional agents should be assigned. De la Viņa testified that he was unaware of any improprieties and said he gave no special instructions for the Sector that day. Commissioner Meissner said she had not observed anything "different" that day.
Although we had no first-hand witnesses supporting the allegation, we looked for any evidence that more than usual numbers of personnel had worked at any of these three stations on the day of the visit. We reviewed the manpower records for the Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, and Brown Field Stations for five consecutive Saturdays, including the day of the visit. As is evident from the chart below, we found no such evidence.
Finding no evidence that additional people had been assigned to work during the delegation's visit, we also considered whether more of the available manpower had been along the border than usual. Four line agents testified that additional agents were moved forward to the border for the visit. None of these agents, however, was working at Imperial Beach the evening the delegation came through. Similarly, although a supervisor from Imperial Beach testified that "usually" the agents are "moved south" (closer to the border) for VIP visits, he did not recall this particular visit and was not in the Sector during April 1995. The acting Field Operations Supervisor for the swing shift avowed that, on April 8, the swing shift had manned positions as usual.
Finding no eyewitness who could support this allegation, we reviewed the G-481s for five consecutive Saturdays to see whether more agents were assigned to high-visibility positions along the border for the visit. In particular, we compared the number of agents assigned to "tier one" positions, closest to and along the border, to the number assigned to "tier two" positions.246 As the chart below demonstrates, there were fewer tier one positions manned on April 8 than any of the other Saturdays considered. This refutes any claim that additional people were assigned the forward positions for the visit.
|Imperial Beach Swing Shift Agent Assignments|
|March 25, 1995||38 *||19||7||0||0||5||7|
|April 1, 1995||35 **||16||3||0||0||4||12|
|April 8, 1995||44||14||12||4||0||5||9|
|April 15, 1995||52||18||13||3||3||6||9|
|April 22, 1995||58||21||11||4||3||7||12|
* Includes 10 agents detailed in from Chula Vista
** Includes 6 agents detailed in from Chula Vista. It could not be determined where they were assigned so they were placed in "Other"
The assignment sheet does not preclude the possibility that people were moved forward at the last minute. The only person who made this allegation, however, was not assigned to Imperial Beach and was not present during the Congressional visit. None of the witnesses we interviewed who actually worked that shift - including the two Union officials who would have been responsible for ordering their men to move forward - claimed that this occurred.
In addition to the Imperial Beach allegation, one line agent at Chula Vista claimed that while three agents were normally assigned to the airport mesa area, one supervisor had assigned six or seven for the Congressional visit. This witness, however, worked the midnight shift on April 8, and thus did not arrive until after the visit. Moreover, we determined that the supervisor he named did not make the assignments that day. Finally, using the same analysis we did for Imperial Beach - comparing G-481s for five consecutive Saturdays - we found, as seen in the chart below, that no unusual numbers of agents were assigned to the airport mesa area, assigned to linewatch positions generally, or even assigned to the station as a whole on April 8.
Because no witness with knowledge of relevant facts asserted that additional personnel were assigned to work during the visit, because the station personnel in charge all denied the allegation, and because the documents recording the number of personnel working and their assignments contradict this allegation, we find the allegation to be unsubstantiated.
We are somewhat troubled, however, that several witnesses believe that additional manpower or realignment of personnel is standard fare for VIP visits. Unfortunately, because most of these witnesses could not provide any details as to dates or visitors, we could not investigate most of these claims. However, several agents mentioned an occasion when the Attorney General had been taken by helicopter at night to view the agents at Imperial Beach, who were arrayed in three tiers of positions according to the operating plan and who had been instructed to turn on their flashlights to show their positions. One agent felt this was deceptive because, although they did not usually have enough manpower to cover each of these positions, the Attorney General must have come away with the impression that they did. When asked, however, the Attorney General recalled having been told that the deployment she was observing was the ideal, rather than the usual. This incident highlights the problem of accepting allegations of deception at face value.
A similar misperception may have occurred in connection with the visit of Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, when it appears that additional personnel were assigned to the levee area for security reasons. What was communicated to the agents or Buchanan about the additional agents is unknown. Agents who are suspicious of management may assume the worst, even when there is a legitimate reason for the altered deployment and where a visitor is aware of it. Without the underlying facts, it is impossible to determine whether deception has occurred.
The very general nature of the claims relating to visits other than the April 8 visit suggests that, although there may have been occasions where deception was possible, no such conclusion should be inferred. Furthermore, the relative paucity of such claims cuts against any suggestion of a systematic scheme of deception of visitors through the addition or redeployment of manpower.
4. Allegations that overweight or unattractive agents were removed from the areas the delegation was visiting
Bonner did not raise this last allegation until his August 15 meeting with the OIG. He did not identify any witnesses or anyone allegedly removed from the area the delegation was visiting.
Once again, we found no witnesses with knowledge that this occurred on the April 8 Congressional visit. The Chula Vista agent mentioned earlier who claimed to have worked that day but who had not yet joined the Border Patrol said he had heard rumors that the delegation was brought through areas where the good looking agents were assigned.
Most of the witnesses interviewed did not take this allegation seriously. We received responses such as, "Now I know why I wasn't working that day," and "There's not enough of me to go around." Stitt declared the allegation "absurd." Williams denied there was any such rule.
The three Congressmen were clearly uncomfortable answering such a subjective question. Gallegly said he had not heard that allegation and could not respond. He added, however, that he thought all Border Patrol agents were "good looking" if they were doing their job. Foley did not believe the allegation, saying, "everyone looked like they were ready to work." Cunningham merely indicated he had no knowledge of this particular allegation.
Because no one claimed to have been excluded from the areas the delegation visited, or to have specific knowledge of persons being excluded during this visit, on the basis of their physical appearance, we find it unsubstantiated.
We note, however, having heard of two alleged EEO complaints filed by overweight officers at Chula Vista and Imperial Beach, alleging that they were denied certain desirable positions - in one case a recruiting detail, in the other, briefing assignments - because of their appearance. We also heard others describe the officers selected for Public Information Officer positions (which are responsible for dealing with the public and actually giving tours) as being "golden" children or particularly good looking. Several supervisors indicated that, when selecting individuals to represent the Border Patrol to outsiders, they look for someone who is "sharp."
We think an organization should be permitted to select individuals to serve as good ambassadors in public relations positions. This is different from preventing individuals from serving in their ordinary roles for which they were hired and perform adequately whenever visitors appear. We found no evidence that the San Diego Sector did the latter.
5. General evidence regarding the Congressional visit
Although none of Bonner's four allegations could be substantiated, we were troubled by a widespread perception of agents at all levels that, to some extent, every VIP visit was converted into a "dog and pony show" that unduly emphasized the positive and completely ignored the negative. This suggested that the delegation may have been deceived some other way. We were also concerned about Congressman Gallegly's general feeling that he had been deceived during this particular visit. We therefore considered whether there was any evidence of intent to deceive.
First, we considered whether there was a motive to deceive. In Miami the deception was orchestrated to cover up inefficient performance, overcrowding, and other deficiencies. In San Diego, however, the leaders said that they were doing a good job, that Gatekeeper was working, that the new technology had changed operations significantly and that new procedures created greater efficiency. Accordingly, none of these individuals seemed to think there was anything to hide. Indeed, it was clear that each of the managers involved in the visit - including the Commissioner, de la Viņa, and Williams - believed that the San Diego Sector generally and the Imperial Beach Station specifically were the paragons of the Border Patrol and they were eager to show them off. Furthermore, we found no evidence of overcrowding or obvious poor performance at the Imperial Beach Station that would have contradicted this view.
As an alternative motive, we considered the heated debate in progress among INS and several Congressmen, including two of the attendees, regarding the appropriate border strategy. Just two months before the visit Gallegly and Cunningham had complained to the Commissioner that the Border Patrol was not putting enough of its manpower along the border. The Commissioner had also been severely criticized during hearings in March 1995 on the same grounds. Thus, a claim that additional manpower had been moved toward the border for the visit would be consistent with a desire to mislead the delegation as to the placement of agents. However, this possibility is undercut somewhat by INS's consistent and adamant position that its strategy was the more appropriate one for the San Diego Sector. Furthermore, Commissioner Meissner and others believed they had achieved the results to prove it.
Another factor in measuring possible motive is the relative significance of the visit to the Sector. Commissioner Meissner conceded that the Task Force's eventual recommendations to the House Speaker were "crucial" to INS, and that INS wanted to support the Task Force's efforts. But this was only one of literally a hundred or more VIP tours the Border Patrol had hosted since Operation Gatekeeper was implemented. In 1995 the Attorney General visited the Sector at least four times and the Commissioner visited at least six times. The President visited in 1996. Congressman Gallegly said he had visited the Sector approximately ten times in the past four years, frequently calling only the day before to say that he was coming. Congressman Cunningham said he had visited the border "many times" and knew many of the agents on the line on a first-name basis. The Mexican Consul is free to make unannounced visits to the Sector at any time. In addition to official tours of Sector operations for the media, local reporters frequently roamed the area unofficially. Clearly the Sector was used to being under intense scrutiny on almost a daily basis and consequently used to being seen on both good and bad days.
Looking at the significance of this particular visit as measured by the level and quantity of discussion regarding the trip, we found little evidence that this tour was considered a "make or break" tour. A facsimile from Congressman Gallegly's office to the person in INS coordinating the visit indicates that it was not until March 30, just over a week before the tour, that INS was informed that the tour was for the Task Force. The details of the visit were initially coordinated in the Western Region, not Washington. A note from the Commissioner to Robert Bach, Executive Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning, dated March 27 discussing a trip to San Diego for the six-month anniversary of Gatekeeper does not even mention the upcoming Congressional visit.
To be sure, a great deal of preparation eventually occurred, including a dress rehearsal for at least some of the participants the evening before. But the number of agents and supervisors who testified that they had no knowledge of the tour demonstrates that, unlike the delegation's visit to Miami, the visit never became a truly notable event for the Sector.
We also looked for any evidence that the station supervisors were given special instructions for the visit. We found little such evidence. The swing shift FOS at Imperial Beach said it manned its positions and did its job as usual. The supervisor in charge of the Chula Vista Station that evening did not recall the visit. The April 8 internal activity log for Brown Field simply indicates that the day shift FOS briefed the swing shift FOS that, because there would be "10-12's" (code for VIP visitors) out east, it should keep a "high profile" (keep agents in high visibility positions along the border). The swing shift FOS did not recall this particular visit, and that the only special preparation for VIP visits he was aware of was cleaning vehicles.
This apparent lack of special instructions to the supervisors is consistent with the documentation regarding other VIP visitors. The April 7 Brown Field activity log indicates that, at the evening muster, the agents were told that the Commissioner was in the building and would be flying the border. They were also told to "keep a high profile out east." When the Commissioner, the President, national news crews, or others were expected visitors, the only instructions we found in the electronic mail or memoranda mentioning the upcoming visits were reminders to "tell the troops to look sharp."
For Congressman Gallegly, Commissioner Meissner's presence signaled that the visit was unusual, because she had not been present for any of his previous tours. He said he had not expected her to come, and believed that she made a special trip to San Diego just for the tour because she had been "ordered" to be there to "protect the interest of the Department." He said that it was clear to him that Commissioner Meissner was "concerned about making sure that the delegation saw everything they should see and did not see anything they should not see."247 He also claimed that during the tour he was never really free to talk to the agents, even though he conceded that he did not feel the need to do so because he could talk to them at any time. He also conceded that, prior to Bonner's testimony on August 9, he had no reason to believe he had been deceived during the delegation's visit; he noted that his view of the San Diego trip has been influenced by his knowledge that he was deceived on the Miami trip.
Contemporaneous documents indicate that Commissioner Meissner had planned to be in San Diego for the six-month anniversary of Operation Gatekeeper prior to learning this visit was a Task Force visit. Commissioner Meissner has conceded, however, that had she not otherwise planned to be in San Diego she would have made a special trip to accompany the Task Force. She noted that the Task Force had been appointed by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and its recommendations would be important to INS, and she wanted to ensure that INS maintained "open communication" with the Task Force. Commissioner Meissner denied, however, that she had been ordered by anyone to be present and that her attendance was anything other than a benign wish to accompany members of the Task Force during their visit.
Commissioner Meissner also denied Congressman Gallegly's contention that the visitors could not talk to the agents. She recalled one of them asking about why the cellblock was empty and receiving a response that it was due to the new technology. Congressman Foley testified that he was able to ask agents a number of questions and did not believe the tour leaders were trying to keep him from speaking to agents. He said he recalled not having a lot of time to ask questions, but attributed that to the group's tight schedule. Congressman Cunningham also said the delegation was free to talk to agents and did so.
Congressman Gallegly's claim that there were efforts to preclude the group from seeing certain things was troubling. But he could not identify anything in particular he wished to see and was denied. And a review of documents during the preparation for the trip fails to reveal a basis for his perception. First, although Congressman Gallegly said he did not recall having any say in the itinerary, a facsimile from his office to the Western Region on March 30, 1995, acknowledges receiving a draft itinerary and promising to review it to "make sure it accomplishes all of our goals" for the visit. The facsimile also indicated that Congressman Gallegly was requesting to see the detention facilities, to be briefed on how the Border Patrol deals with detainees at the border, and to tour the new technology center. A facsimile on that same date from the tour coordinator to Williams said she had tried to get the Congressmen to allow more time for the day tour as Williams requested but the Congressmen were "pretty tight on the desired timeframe." Several draft schedules had set aside time for Congressman Gallegly to arrive early and take a helicopter tour of the border. Apparently he decided not to avail himself of that opportunity. Neither Congressman Foley nor Congressman Cunningham said they felt that there was something they wanted to see but could not. Congressman Cunningham did mention he wished the tour would have been later at night so those who were not familiar with the border could have seen "more activity." The timing of the tour, however, was apparently set by Congressman Gallegly's office.
Commissioner Meissner testified that the schedule and tour were structured to address the delegation's interests. She said they were free to stay as long as they wanted and could see whatever they wanted. She contended that the delegation did not have enough time to see all that the Border patrol wanted them to see. The pre-visit documents support Commissioner Meissner's contentions.
Congressman Gallegly also claimed he was told during the tour that the results achieved at the Imperial Beach Station continued all the way to the mountains where the rough natural terrain became a barrier. If the delegation had been told that, they would have been misled. By April 1995 only Imperial Beach exhibited any measurable level of control. To determine if Congressman Gallegly's recollection was accurate we looked at the materials distributed to the visitors, reviewed Commissioner Meissner's speech, and looked at other public materials distributed by the Border Patrol around that same time.
Commissioner Meissner's speech to the Task Force very specifically differentiated between Imperial Beach and the other stations. She also noted that the Border Patrol hoped to obtain the same results as Imperial Beach in all the neighborhoods along the San Diego border. Nowhere in her comments does she claim success anywhere except Imperial Beach. In the Operational Profiles distributed to the delegation, the claims are very explicit - efforts at Imperial Beach are successful, and the traffic has moved to Chula Vista and Brown Field. Thus, the documentary record relating to the delegation's visit does not support Congressman Gallegly's recollection of what he was told. Other media statements or documents created around that same time also distinguish between the level of success achieved at Imperial Beach and the desire to eventually obtain these same results at Chula Vista and Brown Field.248
We also note that it would have been odd, and fraught with danger, to attempt a major deception for this particular tour when two of the participants, Congressmen Gallegly and Cunningham, were frequently at the border and could easily expose any such deception. Commissioner Meissner noted that, due to Congressman Gallegly's familiarity with the Sector before and after Operation Gatekeeper, he would have been able to discern for himself that conditions had changed due to Gatekeeper. Indeed, given the number of trips he has made to the Sector, he may have toured it as often as Commissioner Meissner has.
Although Congressman Gallegly's suspicions about what occurred during the April 8 visit do not appear to be borne out, we were still troubled by the extent of the general complaints by both line agents and supervisors that visitors are not shown actual conditions. Without any specifics as to when, where, and how, there was no way we could investigate these claims. There are several observations we can make, however. First, many of the types of complaints had to do with cleaning up vehicles, putting all the best vehicles and equipment on display, and other "spit and polish" types of things. We would not categorize such actions as rising to the level of deception and indeed would find the failure to do such things highly unusual. Such conduct is little different in kind from clearing up one's house before company comes.
Second, the potential for deception is in part a function of a visitor's expectations. Both the Attorney General and the Commissioner noted to us that they knew when they visited any government facility, including the San Diego Sector, they are not going to see completely typical operations. The Attorney General said she realized that to some extent any visit by her would be subjected to some level of a "dog and pony" show. She therefore discounts what she observes to compensate for whatever cleaning up was done, and tries to ask the right questions to get at how things operate on a day-to-day basis. By being knowledgeable she says she can ensure that she has an accurate understanding of operations. Most organizations like to put their best foot forward for visitors. Improvements in cleanliness, operating efficiency, and other factors are general fare for special visitors. It is only when these improvements are of such a magnitude as to be misleading and the alterations are not communicated to the observers that a problem is created. We have no information, however, regarding generally what has been communicated to visitors. Thus, we cannot judge on occasions other than April 8 whether they have been deceived. As in the example of the Attorney General's helicopter tour described previously, one cannot automatically infer deception.
We also considered our own experiences during our "official" tours and during the "unofficial" tour we took after the Union had suggested that an official tour would not show us the "real" border. Although on the unofficial tour we actually got to participate in the Border Patrol's work, we did not perceive a marked difference in the level of candor compared with what we encountered during our official tours. On our official tours, we sought out agents in the field or stations to question, and the answers we received did not appear to adhere to a "party line." The one complaint we received from line agents during one of our official tours was that shortly before we arrived at the Interstate-8 checkpoint, there had been a call to the checkpoint to make sure it was up and running because we were coming. No one suggested, however, that there was anything deceptive about the way it was operating when we were present. The complaint was merely that it had been down for a while because there was insufficient backup manpower and reopened solely due to our presence. During the tour no one represented that the checkpoint operated continuously 24 hours a day; so the fact that we were able to see how it operates did not appear significantly misleading to us.
Finally, when the Commissioner came to San Diego for the second anniversary of Gatekeeper, members of the team attended several of the presentations to the media unannounced and unidentified. We observed nothing in those presentations that appeared to be an effort to deceive the media or the public about the operations. That is not to say that the Border Patrol did not emphasize the positive aspects of the operation. But unless emphasis is misleading, because in reality the negatives dwarf the positives, we do not consider such a tactic unusual or inappropriate for any organization.
C. Summary of the OIG's findings regarding the Congressional visit
The OIG could not substantiate any of Bonner's allegations regarding the April 8, 1995, Congressional visit to the San Diego Sector. First, we found no witnesses present during the visit who claimed that the cellblock had been prematurely cleared due to the visit. Indeed, the evidence contradicted the suggestion of some witnesses that clearing the cells was a generally accepted practice. Second, we found no witnesses present during the visit who claimed that disabled vehicles had been towed to the line. In contrast, very credible witnesses who would have been in a position to know if this had occurred flatly declared it had not. Although we found credible evidence that prior to Gatekeeper disabled vehicles with mannequins in them had been used to deter alien crossing, that practice had been abandoned. Third, we found no witnesses or documentary evidence that deployments were either enhanced or done differently during the visit. Finally, we found no evidence that unattractive or overweight agents were removed from areas the delegation visited.
Many critics accepted Bonner's allegations that the delegation was deceived in San Diego primarily because they believed that if it happened in Miami, it must have happened in San Diego. There are, however, some significant differences between the two visits. First, there was a lack of similar motive to deceive in San Diego. Second, there were different people involved in the conduct of the San Diego tour. Third, Union members raised the allegations regarding the Miami tour 17 days after the visit. The San Diego allegations were not raised until 16 months after it occurred, and then only after the OIG report on the Miami Deception had been given substantial publicity. Finally, the Miami allegations were made by nearly 50 employees in a signed document. The San Diego allegations were made third-hand, anonymously, by three people, one of whom does not work for the Border patrol.
The Border Patrol must recognize, however, that a number of its San Diego Sector personnel, both line agents and supervisors, have a perception that efforts to put the "best foot forward" for VIP visits have on occasion risen to an inappropriate level. The Sector should take care to ensure that its efforts to accentuate the positive do not become misleading. It must exercise care not to overstate successes or mislead regarding normal operating conditions. Where conditions are not normal - for example for security reasons - it would be appropriate to tell personnel why they are being asked to do their jobs differently. It should also explain to visitors how conditions differ from the norm. This is not to say that washing of vehicles or sweeping the floors must be disclosed. When additional personnel are assigned duty or are deployed differently, this should be explained.
The Border Patrol and INS should also recognize the pitfalls of suggesting that everything is working optimally while at the same time requesting more resources. For example, on the April 8 visit it would have been appropriate and effective to explain how Gatekeeper entailed a concentration of resources in Imperial Beach in an effort to achieve dramatic results more quickly. This would demonstrate clearly that measurable results can be achieved with additional resources and that the Border Patrol can use the resources wisely. At the same time it should have been made clear that the other stations did not enjoy similar levels of resources, and were therefore not enjoying the same level of success. This would have sent the appropriate message that additional resources are needed elsewhere to build on Imperial Beach's success.
245 It should also be noted that this witness works midnights and would not have been present for this alleged incident.
246 For the first four Saturdays, the various assignments were clearly divided into tier one and tier two positions. On the fifth Saturday, April 22, they were not divided as such, but we could generally determine in which tier the position was located. Where we were not certain, we allocated the position to the second tier.
247 Gallegly also discussed the claim he made in an article in the North County Times on August, 26, 1996, regarding a later trip to the border with Congressman Lamar Smith. Gallegly said that he and Smith had wanted to see the border east of Otay mountain to observe the eastward movement of traffic, but that Williams and de la Viņa tried to discourage them because they did not want them to see the level of alien traffic there. Upon going east, they immediately saw a group of 15 to 20 aliens coming across the fence. He says he was disappointed in Williams and de la Viņa for attempting to deceive him. The article quoted Smith's spokesman saying Smith did not believe he was deceived. Williams recalls the visit differently from Gallegly. First, he recalls that the visit was very short because Smith had to catch a plane. He thought they only had half an hour to show Smith around. (Gallegly had also mentioned the very tight timeframe and that Smith was anxious not to miss the plane.) Williams did not recall any discussion about going to East County or actually going there with Smith and Gallegly. Williams says that, if they had discussed going to the East County, he would have discouraged it on this particular visit because of the lack of time. The trip to the border east of Otay mountain is time consuming and because of the open spaces there is often little to observe. He noted, however, that he has taken many groups to East County; he just wants people to recognize how time consuming the trip can be. Williams' concern about the amount of time involved to get to the East County border from Imperial Beach is well-founded. If Smith was on a tight schedule, Williams would have had a legitimate basis for discouraging the trip.
248 We do note that Congressmen Cunningham and Foley said they were confused as to why the Border Patrol was asking for more resources at a time when the deployments at Imperial Beach and Chula Vista suggested the agency had plenty. Although there is no evidence the Border Patrol contended that the level of resources demonstrated at these stations was similar to the level of resources at the remaining stations, the visitors said they assumed that was the case. No one asked; no one told. It would have behooved the Border Patrol to indicate that the results observed at Imperial Beach were the result of a concentration of resources and that additional resources were required to achieve similar results at the remaining stations.