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Understanding Border Threats

Research into understanding the issues involved with illegal immigration into the U.S. by individuals from Mexico and other Latin American countries illustrates that it has both taxed and benefited all countries involved at different points in time. Additionally, the subject has caused new sources of disagreement between country leaders and lawmakers in Congress. Attempts to find a win-win situation whereby all countries benefit has yet to materialize. United States policies aimed at encouraging and then limiting the migration of cheap labor into the U.S. have been a mixture of successes and failures. Available work in the United States and a willingness of immigrants to work for low wages will continue to drive the illegal immigration issue in the future. Understanding Border Threats

Research papers on the primary issues involved with security on the U.S.-Mexican border discuss the following problems:

  1. Drug trafficking
  2. Illegal immigration
  3. Security against terrorist threats

There is also a growing issue with violence and lawlessness in the border area, which impacts law enforcement officials and American citizens living near the border. These problems are due to the 1,900 mile length of the border and the ease with which the border can be crossed by foot in many locations. At the same time, the measures that are necessary to fully secure the border such as fencing or extensive patrolling are viewed as contrary to the traditional American ideals.

The issue of drug trafficking across the Mexican border emerged as a priority more than two decades ago. There is, however, substantial controversy regarding the quantities of illegal drugs that cross the Mexican border. Some estimates suggest that approximately 60% of the cocaine and 30% of the heroin used in the United States is smuggled across the Mexican border. Other estimates, however, contend that the amount of drugs coming across the border is negligible with the majority of illegal drugs entering through established ports of entry. One of the difficulties that law enforcement authorities encountered in its efforts to combat drug smuggling across the border was the high degree of corruption in Mexico that reduced the level of cooperation with Mexican law enforcement authorities.

Illegal immigration across the Mexican border has been a chronic issue for the United States, with the number of illegal crossings increasing substantially in the past several decades. The estimates of the number of illegal immigrants that successfully enter the United States via the Mexican border vary substantially, ranging from 700,000 to 3 million per year. The general causes of the illegal immigration issue are the high level of unemployment and the economic stagnation in Mexico that has prompted a large number of individuals to seek residence in the United States. At the same time, the Mexican government views the migration of its population as a solution for its unemployment problem and a source of income when émigrés send a portion of their American earnings back to Mexico. As a result, the Mexican government does not provide significant cooperation with the efforts of the United States to curb illegal immigration.
A Sample Topic to Get You Started on a Research Project on Understanding Boarder Threats

Scenario: The Office of the Secretary in homeland security has assigned a task of working with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is the agency responsible for the administration of immigration and naturalization adjudication functions and establishing immigration service’s policies and priorities. Analyze and prepare a working document that addresses issues concerning immigration and U.S. Border Security. Concentrate on the following topics:

  • What are the reasons illegal immigrants are imposing on U.S. borders?
  • Are there severe security, health, and safety threats to U.S. citizens posed by immigrants?
  • If there are threats, what are they, and what is the evidence that proves they are threats?
  • If there are no real threats, what are some contributing factors to why people would think immigration threatens the health, safety, and security of existing U.S. citizens?

Be sure to expand on immigration globally. Do not concentrate on just one country or area.

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