Press Releases

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today sent a letter to Jeh Johnson, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), asking if he will agree to provide, if confirmed, the information on border security that Senator McCain requested of then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in February.

The text of the letters are attached and below.

November 13, 2013

Mr. Jeh Johnson

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

2001 K Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20006


Dear Mr. Johnson:

If confirmed as the Secretary of Homeland Security, you would be responsible for ensuring that our homeland is protected from those that wish to do us harm. In this regard, one of the most difficult challenges confronting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is securing our borders and preventing illegal entry. 

As I indicated during our private meeting and during your confirmation hearing yesterday, Congress has an important role helping to make sure that DHS accomplishes this mission. And, it counts on cooperation by DHS to further its constitutional oversight prerogative. Unfortunately, in connection with the Senate’s effort to craft legislation to help secure our borders, I have been frustrated by your predecessor’s obdurate refusal to provide important, relevant information. With that in mind, I am requesting prior to the vote on your nomination to lead DHS, this question: if confirmed, would you agree to provide me with the information I requested then-Secretary Napolitano in the attached letter?

Thank you for your timely, clear and forthright response to this question.



John McCain

United States Senator




February 27, 2013


The Honorable Janet Napolitano


U.S. Department of Homeland Security

3801 Nebraska Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20528


Dear Secretary Napolitano,

The security of our nation’s borders is of the upmost importance. As such, our ability to objectively measure the current state of border security will be a determining factor in the immigration reform legislation we are developing. We are committed that this will be a successful permanent reform to our immigration system. Having the ability to measure the state of security along our borders will help ensure that this issue will not need to be revisited. In the absence of “operational control” as a measure of border security, we are grappling with how best to define success at the border. To assist us in the timely development of bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation, please provide answers to the following questions:

  • What has Customs and Border Protection (CBP) identified as its operational requirement needed to maintain sufficient border security?
  • What matrices does CBP currently use to both allocate resources and measure success in securing the border?
  • What are the current Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Effectiveness Formula Rates [(Apprehensions + Turn Back)/Known Entries] for each Border Patrol sector along the Southwest border?
  • What problems, if any, have been identified using the GPRA Effectiveness Rate as an operational requirement?
  • What capabilities are needed satisfy a 90% Effectiveness Rating for each sector along the Southwest border? Please note, by “capability,” we do not mean “material solution.” Our focus is simply on what the operational requirement should be and what functional capabilities the Border Patrol should have to satisfy that requirement.




John McCain

United States Senator