Immigration law in the USA | LegaMart Articles
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Immigration law in the USA

This article is written by Musi Floridah

Border security and immigration control significant challenges facing the homeland security department in the united states. 

The United States of America is one of the world’s most desired places to live in, be it because it is a free nation or because one is greatly affected by chasing the American Dream. This runs across the world; even those, not American citizens always want to be part of this. In pursuit of the” American dream”, a national set of ideals, democracy, rights, liberty, opportunities and equality have seen many defy all odds to enter the united states of America.

However, this poses a great challenge and threat to the country since most of them use illegal ways to get across the borders; hence this has intensified the rate of illicit trade across the country’s boundaries. Every nation deserves autonomy, has its borderlines respected, and has specified protocols for getting across these borderlines. However, for many years the united states have witnessed a lot of illegal immigrants get across the desert to get into the country illegally, more so the Mexican and Colombian border.

Because of that, the states intensified homeland security operations to cover border security control. The idea of border security is a topic that brings about a lot of emotional disarray in consideration of every reason one has to flee their country and get into the states. The government has made significant steps since 11 September 2001 amidst the tragedy of a terror attack; one can see substantial gains in how the country enforces its international borders.

Unfortunately, it has proved hard to differentiate what successful border control is. In this paper, we analyze whether the efforts that homeland security has made have proved futile. It will also investigate if building across the Mexican border has been of help in curbing illegal immigration from Mexico. It will also recommend measures to be put forward to improve the current border security issues. 

Background: Immigration law in the USA

A wall between Mexico and USA

The terror attack that occurred in September was a great wake-up call that had the country enhancing its border security enforcement in all departments, including the creation of the homeland security department in 2002. More policies were implemented, but does that mean that the country is safe from more terrorist attacks, similar to that of 2001?

There are still possible threats from land borders; there are great difficulties in controlling this due to the thousands of miles stretching boundary that requires guarding at every border to stop illegal immigrants from accessing the United States.

The Mexican border is notorious for undocumented migration. Despite the government’s measures of even putting up walls on access points, coyotes have found more ways of getting people across the border, including digging tunnels that still get them into the country. (states, 2012) Even if this Southwest part of the border has not been notorious for any terrorist organizations, what if this fact shall be taken advantage of and the state experiences attacks from that part?

The homeland security border responsibilities have focused on four primary goals. One is to secure and manage air, land and maritime borders. This protects the united states from any illicit attacks and prevents terrorists and transnational criminal organizations from foreign sources.

Studies show that there are incidences of sophisticated smuggling enterprises, elaborate border tunnels, go-fast vessels and other elusive travel methods that have been used to enforce border enforcements on nearly 6,000 miles of land border and 95,000 of borderline. (Lake)

The department of homeland security has reported more than 700 miles of fencing and has registered over 65000 border patrol agents. (Lake) the department uses technology along the border, such as mobile surveillance systems, remote video surveillance systems, unmanned aerial systems, fixed rotary-wing aircraft and Augmented integrated surveillance intelligence systems.

The government increased funding to the homeland security group, thus improving their operations in ports and airports in general, as well as adding more departments that work hand in hand with Homeland security, such as the U.S coast guard, terminal operators and the ports authorities implementing a defence in depth across all ports and airports.

Federal air marshals are also among those that help the homeland in their operations in the air, whereby full-body scanners, metal detectors, and physical screening on all airline passengers are done before authorization to fly. (F, 2005) Any suspected terrorist or anyone who may be deemed a threat to the security of American citizens is put on a no-fly list to bar them from ever travelling to the united states. 

So the question remains with all these security measures that have been put across by homeland security, have they fully guaranteed the safety of the united states at the borders? If not, what are they doing wrong, and what are the more effective alternatives to handling the problems that still exist despite all the efforts put in by the united states government and the department of homeland security in general?

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Alternatives

A presentation on Immigration law in the USA with a USA flag and plane

Many alternatives have been put forward to curb the issues affecting border security, be it illegal immigration, terrorist threats or smuggling and drug trafficking. However, we shall focus on the cost-effective and efficient measures that will completely sort the border security issue out or significantly reduce the existing threats commendably.

They range from the proposed building of a wall across the US-Mexican border, considering how it will hurt the economic co-operations of the two countries and alsensuringre that there will be no more tunnels dug in retaliation of the same measure.

The homeland security department should develop and deploy a predictive and integrated intelligence capability. This shall be done through conducting seamless CPB operations and intelligence and information sharing and collecting information where practical.

This shall provide 24/7 situational awareness about the ongoing operations at all borders, land, sea and airlines through improving intelligence dissemination and targeting efforts. This will mainly formalize and strengthen the information-sharing relationship with all partners and stakeholders to enable quick action in case of breaches of the border security measure.

Homeland security should promote teamwork with government and private organizations. This increases the safety of the supply chain and expedites the clearance of cargo in that any inconsistencies in the market, for instance, illegal smuggling of products and food, are easily noticed and acted upon. This shall be achieved through establishing and strengthening relationships with foreign governments and intra and inter-agency co-operations with the federal government to enhance security measures in the main targeted areas by the smugglers. 

Results will also be achieved through good management practices without sacrificing integrity. This shall be ensured through establishing a task-based operation and mission support training that utilizes the best delivery modes.

Frequent annual assessments ensure continued learning and rotational to avoid attachment and familiarity. Establish a leadership curriculum for everyone from the top tier to the bottom to provide training for all employees. The management should also ensure that it hires the right people with the right skills to avoid compromising situations.

Recommendations

In the wake of building a wall across the Southwest border which will surely decrease the rate of drug trafficking and illegal migration, homeland security should also invest in technology that detects tunnels to ensure that there are entirely no entries at the border points.

The U.S government should also encourage a partnership with the Mexican government to also ensure that their officers and border security first prevent illegal migration into the United States in the first place this will be effective as it will significantly reduce the work that the border patrol officers have to do in the first place.

This will also reduce the number of people seeking asylum from the United States, whether legally or illegally, due to the fear of persecution by the Mexican government in the first place. Enhancing border security ultimately, especially for those who have to smuggle drugs to get a source of livelihood once reaching the States. 

The government should also improve funding to homeland security and its partners and invest heavily in technology which is the most effective way to tackle the border patrol problems since people breach their security measures through hacking of their existing technology in the first place.

Conclusion

Border security is an issue that will exist for quite some time if not handled properly. The United States government and the homeland security department need to do better since measures put in place in 2008 cannot still be those that are still there since complacency is a threat for terrorists, and smugglers still learn new tricks all the time. It is true that the pre-existing efforts they made enhanced security but not to its best standards; they can do better.

Did this blog give a deeper understanding of U.S. immigration law? Interested in learning more about immigration from other countries? Stay updated on the LegaMart blog.

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