There has been a lot of controversy surrounding immigration in the United States over the past few years. There have been a lot of groups protesting the entry of illegal immigrants as well as the naturalization of these immigrants (Knox 203). Most of the controversy, however, surrounds the fact these immigrants are supposedly taking the jobs away from Americans and contributing to the deteriorating welfare condition of the United States (Ngai 253). Another effect of illegal immigration according to certain government officials is the fact that it also increases the risk of terrorist attacks (Campbell & Flourney 377). As such, this brief discourse will discuss the problems of implementing border security as a method of curbing illegal immigration into the United States as well as the challenges that lie ahead for border security.
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The American-Mexican Border remains to be the largest concern since it remains as the largest security vulnerability of the United States. The porous domestic border could provide much greater problems than that of illegal immigration. It could lead to the entry of illegal immigrants into the United States on a massive scaled (Campbell & Flourney 372).
The only way that any country can effectively prevent illegal immigration through border crossing is by improving the local security on a domestic scale. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “the protection of borders and ports of entry are vital to the success of this campaign (Campbell & Flourney 372)”. The issue here, however, is that by imposing stricter immigration laws and beefing up border security, the rich American legacy of legal immigration becomes threatened. As more and more people and politicians alike cite the pressing need to improve border security, that rich legacy comes to mind.
According to Dave Camp, former Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Borders and Infrastructure, “while there is a need to protect the borders and ports of entry, any new policies regarding this matter do not have to intervene with the avowed American history of legal immigration (1)”. What the policies do suggest is that if there are those who violate the immigration and border laws, they will be dealt with strictly (Campbell & Flourney 377). Plans such as a REAL ID act or the removal of certain asylum laws that have loopholes are certainly plans that deserve a serious consideration.
The consideration for border security is much more than just illegal immigration but also touches upon the negatives effects that it has. The entry of the attackers of 9/11 was greatly facilitated by the lax immigration standards and other legal loopholes. These allowed the terrorists to secure driver’s licenses and other permits that allowed them to move around the country freely and make the preparations that they needed to do (Campbell & Flourney 377). If the border security measures were not as lax those days, it might have even led to the prevention of 9/11.
Campbell & Flourney, in their study on measures against terrorism have cited that, “A large step in curbing the possibility of terrorist attacks lies in improving border security” (372). It could lead to the entry of terrorist groups into the United States on a massive scale, leading to the proliferation of a large number of terrorists in the United States and possibly the establishment of a network that would make them extremely difficult to apprehend (Campbell & Flourney 372). Many critics have continually cited that the first step in winning the war against terror is by first preventing the happening of any future attacks.
It has clearly been established at this point that in order to be effective in dealing with illegal immigration and the other ill effects it brings border security needs to be improved. The government must take a firm stand on the policies that will be implemented in the area of border security. While such policies may threaten certain precepts that America is known for such as the legacy of legal immigration, it must be remembered that sacrifices are sometimes necessary to protect the greater interests of the American public (Taylor 12). If it means that legal immigration may be throttled to a certain extent in order to ensure the safety of the American public, it is certain that there are more than a few Americans who would stand by that decision.
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