How Will the Myth of the ‘Secure’ Border Affect Immigration Reform?

How Will the Myth of the ‘Secure’ Border Affect Immigration Reform?

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As immigration reform talks begin to dominate the conversation in Congress, the inevitable conversation about border security has as well. But what always seems to get lost in this conversation is the definition of “security.” Right now, the border is actually more secure than it’s been before, according to most experts.

What, then, will be the benchmark for “securing” the border before comprehensive immigration reforms can kick in?

“The incessant focus on security is largely, if not purely, a political ploy,” said Miguel Levario, a history professor focusing on the U.S.-Mexico borderlands at Texas Tech University. “What is hugely disturbing is how 9/11 somehow meant militarizing our southern border — when we all know the southern border had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.”

Levario notes that, in terms of infrastructure and personnel, the border is safer than it’s ever been. But the enforcement strategy advocated by many Republican lawmakers has one fatal flaw, he said: it’s likely that most of the illegal drugs are coming in through ports of entry in tractor-trailers and that most immigrants without papers are simply overstaying their visas.

So is the border “secure?”

Newly elected Texas Congressman Pete Gallego’s district stretches along 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas and spokeswoman Rebecca Acuña pointed out that, earlier this week, El Paso was ranked the safest large city in the United States for the third year in a row. When asked about Gallego’s position on border security, Acuña noted that Gallego is enthused about the bipartisan legalization effort, but also sees the benefits of enforcement.

On a recent tour of his district, conversations with Customs and Border Patrol officials led Gallego to believe that additional resources would be “helpful in modernizing these facilities,” she said.

Acuña emphasized to Politic365 that immigrants and immigration have a long and rich history in Gallego’s district, and that he supports comprehensive immigration reform above enforcement because, “the men, women and children who have long been a part of our communities should be allowed to earn a path to citizenship.”

Border security, when it comes to resources, is kind of a trade-off. On the one hand, these are federal jobs with federal benefits that are incomparable to most other types of employment people in border regions can typically attain. On the other hand, Levario points out that enforcement is something of a money pit meant to mitigate the flow of people and goods that are driven by economic forces more powerful than Washington’s need to play political football.

“The highly politicized rhetoric of immigration has conflated the discussion with border security and drug smuggling. these are three separate discussions and conflating them into a “one size fits all” only exasperates the problem and the ineffectiveness of past and current policies,” Levario said.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Illegal aliens are not “immigrants.” Immigrants arrive legally, they don’t break into the country and proceed to squat and filch at will. Nope, ILLEGAL ALIENS are criminals and parasites, one and all. Practically everything they do on U.S. soil is illegal. They need to be ferreted out, rounded up like cattle, punished for their numerous crimes, then booted back to whence they snuck in from with such extreme prejudice that they will never, ever think of violating our sovereignty again. Build a wall and deport ’em all. Enough is enough.

  2. Illegal aliens are not “immigrants.” Immigrants arrive legally, they don’t break into the country and proceed to squat and filch at will. Nope, ILLEGAL ALIENS are criminals and parasites, one and all. Practically everything they do on U.S. soil is illegal. They need to be ferreted out, rounded up like cattle, punished for their numerous crimes, then booted back to whence they snuck in from with such extreme prejudice that they will never, ever think of violating our sovereignty again. Build a wall and deport ’em all. Enough is enough.

  3. Illegal aliens are not “immigrants.” Immigrants arrive legally, they don’t break into the country and proceed to squat and filch at will. Nope, ILLEGAL ALIENS are criminals and parasites, one and all. Practically everything they do on U.S. soil is illegal. They need to be ferreted out, rounded up like cattle, punished for their numerous crimes, then booted back to whence they snuck in from with such extreme prejudice that they will never, ever think of violating our sovereignty again. Build a wall and deport ’em all. Enough is enough.

  4. JUST RAVING ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, IS NOT GOING TO DO IT? USE YOUR PHONE?

    ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is overall about cheap labor, it is the global conversion of American workers that are being replaced by job seekers from foreign countries. To me this has been exquisitely planned and carried out, by the open border movement, in collusion with special interest groups. Why employ Americans who can demand a living wage and fair benefits including health insurance, when the business owner can hire a foreigner paying low wages, with nothing else, exploit them and even cheat the taxman? THIS IS THE SILENT INVASION, WITHOUT A SHOT BEING FIRED. The 1986 blanket amnesty didn’t accomplish anything, for at that time zero tolerance enforcement was promised both externally and in the interior–all was ignored. It was beginning of the end of fair and impartial enforcement, that was quietly underfunded and that when the business empires collected fine profits on the back of the population. Now we have a growing accomplishment of balkanization, a growing divide in this sovereign country, with President Obama leading his mentors to America’s financial demise. In 27 years we have accumulated not just the 3.1 illegal aliens given free passes to our countries welfare, which graduated to another 2 million? But as we will implicitly see if there is another Path to Citizenship a sudden escalation of border jumpers and a rise in suspicious airline visitors, looking to be rewarded with automatic citizenship. Please—Ultra Liberal Democrats, Republicans and all those believe in Obama’s promise of the U.S. becoming a national entitlement nation of something for nothing?

    The magnet to America has always been here, for high paying jobs specifically in the STEM industries. There has always been a fair visa compromise for top skilled people. But we cannot accept more people who will never rise above low income, specially foreigners who don’t respect our immigration laws, cannot speak English and rely on our public benefit service to survive; it just breeds more poverty and this society are unable to financially support the world’s population, expressly children smuggled here to attain citizenship in the hundreds of thousands. Finally a word about Guest Workers who qualify for jobs in the fruit and vegetable industry, must be strictly regulated on a temporary basis and leave when visa expired, to return on a new contract.

    This Obama government wants to rule us all, giving out gifts to illegal aliens who he man hopes will vote for democratic/communist policies in 2016. The Immigration Reform and Control Act curtly signed by President Reagan was the inception of a huge emergence of FAMILY CHAIN MIGRATION, adding to future years of poverty. Prior generations for U.S. citizens and green card holders; the latter coming here had to compete with more illegal aliens pouring in through insecure barrier, placed to separate us from even more impoverished people. The intermittent fence just doesn’t do the job, however the 2006 secure double fencing as signed into law by the President George Bush could have proficiently attained that? Not one fence, but two fences, with an open area in between for quick response of Border Patrol vehicles. Today with a reliable estimate of between 20 and 25 million unwelcome persons who are draining the welfare system. This is an accretion of decades of illegal migrants and immigrant, along with family chain migration and the children smuggled here and others born here to foreign nationals.

    GET THE WORD OUT AND BUILD THE DOUBLE LAYER FENCE. THEN RUN THE ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS OUT WITH A MANDATED E-VERIFY PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE LEGAL WORKFORCE BILL. THEN FINISH THE 113 CONGRESSIONAL SESSION BY VOTING INTO LAW THE SIMPLE AMENDMENT TO THE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL. CALL THE SENATORS AND HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE ON THESE TWO POTENTIAL LAWS, MAKE IT REAL AND NOW.

    As a matter of fact, a reader only has to scour the media on the Internet, to locate more than enough comments and blogs to convince me that there is no credence in believing that the larger portion of the American populace think that a Path to Citizenship is a good thing. The only Rasmussen poll that I trust shows that 65 percent of those asked stated that no amnesty should be given or path to citizenship?

    BEFORE IT’S ALL TOO LATE? ENFORCEMENT FIRST, THEN WE TALK?

    Attention; Audit the conglomeration of foreign banks, called THE FEDERAL RESERVE.

  5. JUST RAVING ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, IS NOT GOING TO DO IT? USE YOUR PHONE?

    ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is overall about cheap labor, it is the global conversion of American workers that are being replaced by job seekers from foreign countries. To me this has been exquisitely planned and carried out, by the open border movement, in collusion with special interest groups. Why employ Americans who can demand a living wage and fair benefits including health insurance, when the business owner can hire a foreigner paying low wages, with nothing else, exploit them and even cheat the taxman? THIS IS THE SILENT INVASION, WITHOUT A SHOT BEING FIRED. The 1986 blanket amnesty didn’t accomplish anything, for at that time zero tolerance enforcement was promised both externally and in the interior–all was ignored. It was beginning of the end of fair and impartial enforcement, that was quietly underfunded and that when the business empires collected fine profits on the back of the population. Now we have a growing accomplishment of balkanization, a growing divide in this sovereign country, with President Obama leading his mentors to America’s financial demise. In 27 years we have accumulated not just the 3.1 illegal aliens given free passes to our countries welfare, which graduated to another 2 million? But as we will implicitly see if there is another Path to Citizenship a sudden escalation of border jumpers and a rise in suspicious airline visitors, looking to be rewarded with automatic citizenship. Please—Ultra Liberal Democrats, Republicans and all those believe in Obama’s promise of the U.S. becoming a national entitlement nation of something for nothing?

    The magnet to America has always been here, for high paying jobs specifically in the STEM industries. There has always been a fair visa compromise for top skilled people. But we cannot accept more people who will never rise above low income, specially foreigners who don’t respect our immigration laws, cannot speak English and rely on our public benefit service to survive; it just breeds more poverty and this society are unable to financially support the world’s population, expressly children smuggled here to attain citizenship in the hundreds of thousands. Finally a word about Guest Workers who qualify for jobs in the fruit and vegetable industry, must be strictly regulated on a temporary basis and leave when visa expired, to return on a new contract.

    This Obama government wants to rule us all, giving out gifts to illegal aliens who he man hopes will vote for democratic/communist policies in 2016. The Immigration Reform and Control Act curtly signed by President Reagan was the inception of a huge emergence of FAMILY CHAIN MIGRATION, adding to future years of poverty. Prior generations for U.S. citizens and green card holders; the latter coming here had to compete with more illegal aliens pouring in through insecure barrier, placed to separate us from even more impoverished people. The intermittent fence just doesn’t do the job, however the 2006 secure double fencing as signed into law by the President George Bush could have proficiently attained that? Not one fence, but two fences, with an open area in between for quick response of Border Patrol vehicles. Today with a reliable estimate of between 20 and 25 million unwelcome persons who are draining the welfare system. This is an accretion of decades of illegal migrants and immigrant, along with family chain migration and the children smuggled here and others born here to foreign nationals.

    GET THE WORD OUT AND BUILD THE DOUBLE LAYER FENCE. THEN RUN THE ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS OUT WITH A MANDATED E-VERIFY PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE LEGAL WORKFORCE BILL. THEN FINISH THE 113 CONGRESSIONAL SESSION BY VOTING INTO LAW THE SIMPLE AMENDMENT TO THE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL. CALL THE SENATORS AND HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE ON THESE TWO POTENTIAL LAWS, MAKE IT REAL AND NOW.

    As a matter of fact, a reader only has to scour the media on the Internet, to locate more than enough comments and blogs to convince me that there is no credence in believing that the larger portion of the American populace think that a Path to Citizenship is a good thing. The only Rasmussen poll that I trust shows that 65 percent of those asked stated that no amnesty should be given or path to citizenship?

    BEFORE IT’S ALL TOO LATE? ENFORCEMENT FIRST, THEN WE TALK?

    Attention; Audit the conglomeration of foreign banks, called THE FEDERAL RESERVE.

  6. JUST RAVING ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, IS NOT GOING TO DO IT? USE YOUR PHONE?

    ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is overall about cheap labor, it is the global conversion of American workers that are being replaced by job seekers from foreign countries. To me this has been exquisitely planned and carried out, by the open border movement, in collusion with special interest groups. Why employ Americans who can demand a living wage and fair benefits including health insurance, when the business owner can hire a foreigner paying low wages, with nothing else, exploit them and even cheat the taxman? THIS IS THE SILENT INVASION, WITHOUT A SHOT BEING FIRED. The 1986 blanket amnesty didn’t accomplish anything, for at that time zero tolerance enforcement was promised both externally and in the interior–all was ignored. It was beginning of the end of fair and impartial enforcement, that was quietly underfunded and that when the business empires collected fine profits on the back of the population. Now we have a growing accomplishment of balkanization, a growing divide in this sovereign country, with President Obama leading his mentors to America’s financial demise. In 27 years we have accumulated not just the 3.1 illegal aliens given free passes to our countries welfare, which graduated to another 2 million? But as we will implicitly see if there is another Path to Citizenship a sudden escalation of border jumpers and a rise in suspicious airline visitors, looking to be rewarded with automatic citizenship. Please—Ultra Liberal Democrats, Republicans and all those believe in Obama’s promise of the U.S. becoming a national entitlement nation of something for nothing?

    The magnet to America has always been here, for high paying jobs specifically in the STEM industries. There has always been a fair visa compromise for top skilled people. But we cannot accept more people who will never rise above low income, specially foreigners who don’t respect our immigration laws, cannot speak English and rely on our public benefit service to survive; it just breeds more poverty and this society are unable to financially support the world’s population, expressly children smuggled here to attain citizenship in the hundreds of thousands. Finally a word about Guest Workers who qualify for jobs in the fruit and vegetable industry, must be strictly regulated on a temporary basis and leave when visa expired, to return on a new contract.

    This Obama government wants to rule us all, giving out gifts to illegal aliens who he man hopes will vote for democratic/communist policies in 2016. The Immigration Reform and Control Act curtly signed by President Reagan was the inception of a huge emergence of FAMILY CHAIN MIGRATION, adding to future years of poverty. Prior generations for U.S. citizens and green card holders; the latter coming here had to compete with more illegal aliens pouring in through insecure barrier, placed to separate us from even more impoverished people. The intermittent fence just doesn’t do the job, however the 2006 secure double fencing as signed into law by the President George Bush could have proficiently attained that? Not one fence, but two fences, with an open area in between for quick response of Border Patrol vehicles. Today with a reliable estimate of between 20 and 25 million unwelcome persons who are draining the welfare system. This is an accretion of decades of illegal migrants and immigrant, along with family chain migration and the children smuggled here and others born here to foreign nationals.

    GET THE WORD OUT AND BUILD THE DOUBLE LAYER FENCE. THEN RUN THE ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS OUT WITH A MANDATED E-VERIFY PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE LEGAL WORKFORCE BILL. THEN FINISH THE 113 CONGRESSIONAL SESSION BY VOTING INTO LAW THE SIMPLE AMENDMENT TO THE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL. CALL THE SENATORS AND HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE ON THESE TWO POTENTIAL LAWS, MAKE IT REAL AND NOW.

    As a matter of fact, a reader only has to scour the media on the Internet, to locate more than enough comments and blogs to convince me that there is no credence in believing that the larger portion of the American populace think that a Path to Citizenship is a good thing. The only Rasmussen poll that I trust shows that 65 percent of those asked stated that no amnesty should be given or path to citizenship?

    BEFORE IT’S ALL TOO LATE? ENFORCEMENT FIRST, THEN WE TALK?

    Attention; Audit the conglomeration of foreign banks, called THE FEDERAL RESERVE.

  7. […] Interestingly, the Gang of 8’s principles also focus on enforcement — “greatly boost” border enforcement. Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s new immigration reform group, FWD.us, according to an op-ed in The Washington Post: “Comprehensive immigration reform…begins with effective border security.” This talk is not new, of course, and has characterized the conversation about immigration reform since it began. […]

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