AUSTIN, Texas – Records reviewed by The Associated Press show that some arrests along the Texas border labeled as "high threat" include drunken drivers and child-support dodgers.
Texas has a nearly $1 billion border security mission, and the state's Department of Public Safety in 2015 classified more than 1,800 highway patrol arrests near the Texas-Mexico border as "high threat."
The agency previously defined high-threat criminals as suspects who pose a "serious public safety or homeland security threat." But the AP's analysis found low-level drug offenders and hit-and-runs were lumped in with suspected killers and human traffickers.
Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw says high-threat arrests are tracked statewide and were never intended to measure border security. His agency is signaling a willingness to stop classifying some lesser offenses as high threat.