February 15, 2011
Washington D.C. - Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security held a hearing entitled "Securing our Borders - Operational Control and the Path Forward." Continued oversight of border security is commendable, but the subcommittee should avoid falling into the same old paradigm presented today and exemplified by Congressman Mike Rodgers of Alabama. The Congressman asked Michael J. Fisher, Chief of the Border Patrol at the Department of Homeland Security, "What do you need to secure the border?" What do you need to provide that rock solid prevention of illegal immigration?" These types of wrong-headed questions have resulted in a decade of misguided solutions. Congress continues to appropriate record amounts of money for personnel and technology at the border, but refuses to enact immigration reforms that would address the root causes of unauthorized immigration and other border problems.
To provide perspective, the Immigration Policy Center releases Is More Getting Us Less? Real Solutions for Securing our Border by Eric Olson and David Shirk. Their research at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego has shown that record levels of spending on border security have, in fact, made our border less secure. That spending, coupled with a lack of legal avenues for entry, have become a boon to the criminal cartels who have capitalized on a growing industry of smuggling migrants into the U.S. Enhanced security has also had the unintended consequence of interrupting historical, cyclical flows of migration, where migrants would come and go seasonally. The authors disentangle the multitude of issues that arise along the border, and make solid recommendations for seriously tackling our border problems.
To read the piece in its entirety see:
Is More Getting Us Less? Real Solutions for Securing our Border
(IPC Perspectives, February 15, 2011)