Border Security

Security our border is essential to securing the homeland. The country faces a different set of challenges with non-Mexicans who are caught crossing the border illegally. Mexican illegal immigrants are initially detained when they are apprehended. The problem is that the detention facilities do not have enough room for accommodation. As a result, about four of every five non-Mexican illegal immigrants that are caught are released in society and asked to return for a court date. When the date arrives, about 75 percent of those released do not show up at the court.

In 2004, only 30,000 of the 160,000 non-Mexicans were sent home for being caught coming across the southwest. (http://www. whitehouse. gov/news/releases/2005/11/20051128-7. html) The practice of catch and release had been the government’s policy for decades. It was an unwise policy and the government has plans to end it. To help end catch and release, there is need to increase the capacity in the detention facilities. The president signed a legislation supported by members of the Arizona delegation in 2005 to increase the number of beds in detention facilities.

One of the most effective tools the government has in this effort is a process called expedited removal. Under expedited removal, non-Mexicans are detailed and placed into streamlined proceedings. It allows the government to deport them at an average of 32 days, almost three times faster than usual. In other words, the government is cutting through bureaucracy. The program was so successful that the defense secretary expanded it al up and down the border. (http://www. whitehouse. gov/news/releases/2005/11/20051128-7. html)

Since 2001, the government has hired 1900 new Border patrol agents. The agents are being helped by deployment of technologies. Technology helps an individual have broader reach and more effectiveness. When agents can take advantage of cutting edge equipment like overhead surveillance drones and infrared cameras, they can do a better job for everyone. In Tucson agents on the ground are directing unmanned aerial technology in the sky, and they are acting rapidly on illegal immigration or illegal activities they may see from the drones.

Since these unmanned flights began, agents have intercepted a lot of drugs on the border that otherwise and people that otherwise have made it through. (http://www. whitehouse. gov/news/releases/2005/11/20051128-7. html) US spending on military and police aid to Mexico has more than tripled to $57. 8 million with the hope that it will help protect America’s southern flank. The draw down of National Guard troops along the US-Mexican border should be stopped or alternative border security improvements provided because of problems with a high-tech “virtual fence” project.

“Project 28” project, a 28-mile array of radars and surveillance cameras near sasabo, indicate that broad implementation of a “virtual fence” along the nation’s southern border won’t happen soon. Project 28 is part of a national plan to secure the US Mexico border with physical barriers and high-tech detention capabilities. (Carl B, 2007) Curbing illegal immigration and security the nearly 2,000 mile, (3,200-kilometer) south western border are hot topics in this US election year. Washington has pledged to complete 67 miles (1,070 kilometers) of new barriers by the close of 2008, despite resistance from landowners and environmentalists.

Based on along standing relationship of cooperation and mutual assistance, US customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the General Customs Administration of Mexico (GCAM) have begun the implementation of those action items designed to guarantee the secure and efficient flow of trade between the two nations. (Carl B, 2007) For purposes of developing and implementing initiative identified in the US/Mexico Border Partnership Plan, CBP and GCAM have created special working groups: the Border working Group, the Enforcement Working Group and the Technology and Customs Procedures Working Group.

These groups have been working on a broad range of initiatives namely; 1. Extending and harmonizing the service hours in coordination with the trade communities, at the entry ports located at the common border. 2. Ensuring the Advanced Passenger Information System in Mexico is implemented. This will help collect and share data concerning air passengers arriving to and departing from United States and Mexico. 3. Deploying gamma ray machines at our railroad crossings. 4. Exchanging core data on every transaction occurring through the common border in an electronic environment.

5. testing and implementing new technologies for instance electronic seals 6. Fraudulent trade investigations should be conducted jointly. This has led to significant seizures of undervalued and illegally transshipped goods. 7. Devolving systems to monitor in-transit shipments through our territories. 8. Seizing illegal cash transported by air passengers. (http://www. dhs. gov/xnews/releases/press_release_0137. shtm. ) The Mexican border fence that was approved by President Bush in October 2006 is now complete, but accolades for the project are few and far between.

The secure fence Act, which was touted by Republicans as a major border security initiative in the weeks leading up to the 2006, mid-term elections is now viewed by many as a fiasco of the first order. The fence is only two and a half feet high and people argue that it cannot stop illegal immigrants. The Mexican border fence as completed is a roughly 30 inch high barrier built primarily of wooden stakes and chicken wire. Chicken wire could not be provided for the entire length of the fence due to budget constraints.

These portions therefore consist only of wooden fence posts driven into the ground roughly every twelve feet with small-hand written in between bearing the words “security fence). (Carl B, 2007) Governor Janet Napolitano on Wednesday March 08 ordered more National Guardsmen posted at the Mexican border to help stop illegal immigrants and curb related crimes. National Guard troops have worked at the border since 1988, but Napolitano signed and order authorizing commanders to station an unspecified number of additional soldiers there to help federal agents.

Once the funding is approved, the troops will monitor crossing points, assist with cargo inspection and operate surveillance cameras, according to the order. About 170 national Guardsmen are already posted at the nation’s busiest illegal entry point, where they assist with communications, fence construction and antidrug efforts. (Carl B, 2007) For the last four years, the crisis at the southern border has not improved. Today, approximately the same number of illegal crossings occurs on the southern border as occurred four years ago.

That averages about 5,000 illegal crossing per day and approximately 5 million illegal crossings. In a post 9/11 world this is unacceptable. (http://www. lenmunsil. com/BorderMunsil. pdf. ) The government should immediately deploy the Arizona National Guard and assign it the mission of security Arizona’s southern border working cooperatively with US Border Patrol and ongoing operation Jump start. The Governor is authorized under A. R. S Sec-26-172 to “mobilize all or any part” of the National Guard when the Governor proclaims an emergency or “deems it necessary to protect lives or property.

It should also seek funding to create the “Arizona Border Patrol” as a division of the Department of Public Safety-Law enforcement will play a significant role in safeguarding Arizona from ongoing effects of illegal immigration. (http://www. lenmunsil. com/BorderMunsil. pdf. ) It should also seek funding to deploy radar technology to the entire length of Arizona’s southern border, complementing current Border Patrol efforts and covering those areas that are currently unprotected.

Additional resources should also be provided to law enforcement, the courts and all necessary components for the criminal justice system to process illegal aliens quickly and move them out of the state system. (http://www. lenmunsil. com/BorderMunsil. pdf. ) Reference: Carl Braun. 2007. Above all Else. The Minute man Struggle to Secure America’s Borders. http://www. whitehouse. gov/news/releases/2005/11/20051128-7. html. Retrieved on13th March 2008 http://www. dhs. gov/xnews/releases/press_release_0137. shtm. Retrieved on 13th March 2008 http://www. lenmunsil. com/BorderMunsil. pdf. Retrieved on 13th March 2008.

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