The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released a report on the effectiveness of the inspection of aliens at Ports-of-Entry (POE). http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/53402 and http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/cfo_apr_fy2008.pdf To the uninitiated a POE is the place where aliens and goods arrive to be inspected by a CBP officer, who then makes a decision as to whether the alien or goods are to be admitted to the U.S.
Given that a successful intercept rate of 60% would a grade of D, a score of 30% is a big fat F- and they were aiming for 35%, which is still a F-.
One might wonder why that is. Perusal of the CBP website reveals one of the reasons: Wait times. http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/wait_times/
At both airports and land borders, a CBP Port Director is judged by one metric. Wait times and complaints related to wait times from the public and airlines. Wait times are the amount of time it takes for an officer to inspect an arriving person. For airlines and land borders it included the amount of time once an alien is referred to secondary inspection where most illegals are caught up. Why that is is a mystery, except at airports where an airline representative must remain until a particular foreign origin flight has cleared inspection. It also includes processing of immigrants, who take a longer amount of time to process. Wait times are also driven by the rich in the border areas who want their illegal alien maids to arrive on time to perform their duties. Those of course are the local rich and well connected who are more concerned about their employees than national security. They and the airlines don't care if thousands of Americans die because a terrorist was let in. Two of the major airline culprits are American Airlines and United Airlines. When I worked at an airport POE both were constant complainers when flights took too long to clear. They also objected because they paid specific taxes on tickets that were supposed to pay for the inspection process, including base and overtime pay of officers. However, the funds were routinely allocated by the Clintong Regime to the general fund, resulting in low staffing rates and massive mandatory overtime for officers, usually requiring a six day work week plus. You can imagine the moral and productivity of employees who worked year long mandatory overtime. Essentially the airlines had to pay higher rates for the inspection of their passengers but with no increase in productivity. That then let to inspection quotas of 60 seconds per passenger, which resulted in lower levels of discovery of major fraud. Basically before 9/11 the U.S. was wide open to illegals and terrorists. You should not be surprised that the government moved so fast to indemnify United and American after 9/11. The just sowed what they reaped.
Just imagine yourself as terrorist. You have a 30% chance of getting caught if you try to enter the U.S. legally. This does not include crossing the border, land, sea or air, illegally.
Despite improvements, the U.S. is wide open, and is wide open because the government and the campaign contributers, airlines and border consumers of Mexican domestic help want it so. And the workers in the World Trade Center be damned.