The topic of border protection for the United States is generally considered to be a high priority for your government. A decent number of people were inspired to take action on this topic by your campaign pledge to create a wall on the border with Mexico. However, there are several other solutions open in addition to constructing the wall, which must also be considered as being a coherent and successful plan to slow the influx of illegal immigrants. Although a wall is both a mental and a physical deterrent to illegal immigration, there are also viable ways available to improve border protection other than a wall.
As you are aware, enforcement is a key element in any law enforcement strategy. It is no different with border security. In this area, there as several options to the obvious solution of hiring more border patrol agents. One option that is already on the books is the Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST). This option is extremely viable as it enlists the assistance of state, local, and Mexican law enforcement agencies in a collaborative effort to share information, and control crime and other illegal activity along the border (McNeill). The BEST program is a smart option in trying to get the border to a more secure state which is beneficial for both countries.
Another solution, put forth by Dennis E. Nixon, CEO of the International Bank of Commerce, Laredo, Texas, is one that has been on the agenda of past administrations but little has been done about it. The problem is the lack of immigration court judges. Per research by Nixon, there are currently over 500,000 cases waiting adjudication in the immigration court system. As Nixon states “the reward for enhancing apprehension is only as good as the legal process supporting apprehension or the process only becomes a catch and release program which has been severely criticized for years…” There is an immediate need for a doubling of the number of immigration courts in the United States to handle the backlog of cases currently pending. This solution will greatly enhance all aspects of the border security problem as the immediate consequences of illegally entering the U.S. will be felt across a larger cross section of the illegal immigrant population.
The above-mentioned solutions are only two of the number of well thought out and viable solutions to enhance our country’s border and national security posture. There are a number of initiatives both already on the books and in the development phase which would greatly benefit America’s war on illegal immigration. It would behoove you, Mr. President, and the country, to consider multiple avenues to create a comprehensive and lasting solution to the national security of the United States.
McNeill, Jena Baker. “15 Steps to Better Border Security: Reducing America’s Southern Exposure.” The Heritage Foundation. http://www.heritage.org/homeland-security/report/15-steps-better-border-security-reducing-americas-southern-exposure. Accessed February 13, 2017.
Nixon, Dennis E. “Common Sense Border Security Solutions.” IBC Bank Newsroom website. https://www.ibc.com/en-us/Newsroom/Documents/Common%20Sense%20Border%20Security%20Solutions.pdf. Accessed February 13, 2017.