Improvements in Border Security Since the Events Research Paper

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Improvements in Border Security

Since the events of September 11, 2001 border security has been an increasingly contentious issue in United States politics and in everyday life. While most everyone in the country agreed that something must be done to stem the tide of illegal immigrants pouring into the U.S. seemingly unabated, there was some disagreement about the nature of the changes that needed to be implemented. While border security has vastly improved in terms of number of guards patrolling the region and the intensity with which they scrutinize border, the overall results have been mixed, with illegal immigration continuing to be a problem that confounds the authorities. The tightening of the border has also complicated the dealings of average, law-abiding citizens on both sides. The restrictions and regulations surrounding border security have complicated travel abroad for U.S. citizens while also, at times, impeding business dealings that straddle both sides of the border. These weaknesses in security are especially evident along the U.S.-Mexico border.

By analyzing current border control policies and implementation, the author has found several areas that are in need of improvement. These improvements cover all areas of border control methods and measures, setting forth a procedure by which both border patrol officials and private citizens can benefit. The United State objective and implementation of border control measures along its shared border with Mexico leaves room for improvement of security. These improvements would result in better protection of the citizens of both countries. Border security improvements could be made in the areas of the mission, objective of border control, and the security of the southern border.

Introduction

The U.S. Border Patrol was formed in 1924 to protect the border of the United States, particularly the border with Mexico in the South. Since that time it has grown to include over 20,000 agents who patrol thousands of miles of often uninhabited deserts, canyons, and mountains using vehicles and the latest technological innovations.
In 2009 alone, U.S. Border Patrol agents made over 556,000 arrests of people attempting to illegally enter the country and seized more than 10,900 pounds of cocaine and more than 2.6 million pounds of marijuana (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2011).

The role of border security has evolved as the threats facing the U.S. have increased in both number and potential intensity. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 facilitated a shift in border security focus and led many leading political figures to call for tougher restrictions on border crossings. These calls have led to a dramatic shift in the mission, objective, and southern border security of the Border Patrol, but it has not necessarily led to more effective overall program. The United State objective and implementation of border control measures along its shared border with Mexico leaves room for improvement of security. These improvements would result in better protection of the citizens of both countries. Border security improvements could be made in the areas of the mission, objective of border control, and the security of the southern border.

Mission

The primary mission of the U.S. Border Patrol has remained the same since its inception: to detect and prevent the illegal entry of aliens into the United States. This primary mission has grown to include the priority mission of preventing terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2011). This mission is necessarily broad and nearly impossible to effectively achieve. The flow of illegal aliens has not abated since the Border Patrol was first formed and the possibility of determining terrorists from regular border crossers is daunting. The Border Patrol has tried everything from video cameras to a physical wall to guard the Mexican border, with limited results at best. Not only has illegal immigration continued, but the travel of U.S. citizens and businesses to Mexico has been severely impeded. A better mission might be to….....

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