September 12, 2011
Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases two “Perspectives” on border enforcement: How to Fix a Broken Border: Hit the Cartels Where It Hurts, part one of a three-part series by Terry Goddard, former Arizona Attorney General, and Guns, Drugs, and Money: Tackling the Real Threats to Border Security, by Josiah Heyman, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Texas, El Paso.
Terry Goddard argues in How to Fix a Broken Border: Hit the Cartels Where It Hurts that “much of the ‘secure the border’ debate is nonsense. Again and again, symbols trump reality, misinformation buries the truth. Programs like building a bigger border wall or enlisting police in the local enforcement of immigration laws are sold as ways to make the border more secure. They will not.” According to Goddard, our border-enforcement resources should be deployed not against unauthorized immigrants, but against the criminal cartels in Mexico that control the smuggling of people, drugs, guns, and money across the border. “A more effective border strategy starts with the…torrent of cash pouring across the border into the cartel pocketbooks. So, go after the money. Taking away the profit cripples the organization. Conversely, as long as the money from drug sales and human smuggling—which may total more than $40 billion a year—flows to the cartels, the violence in Mexico, the sophisticated smugglers crossing our border, and the perception that nothing is being done to defend the border will continue.”
Josiah Heyman argues in Guns, Drugs and Money: Tackling the Real Threats to Border Security that: “1) the U.S. border communities themselves are secure; 2) the main risks to that security are potential, not actual—stemming from the dangers posed by criminal organizations, not by migrants or international terrorists; and 3) there is a mis-prioritization of resources away from ports of entry toward migration enforcement.” Heyman recommends that the federal government “take an intelligence-driven approach to homeland security, rather than a mass migration enforcement approach.” And he recommends that the government “shift resources from enforcement in between ports of entry (border patrolling, fences/walls, drones, etc.) to ports of entry, the higher likelihood travel path for guns, drugs, assassins, and terrorists.”
To view the papers in their entirety, see:
How to Fix a Broken Border: Hit the Cartels Where It Hurts, by Terry Goddard (IPC Perspectives, September 2012)
Guns, Drugs, and Money: Tackling the Real Threats to Border Security, by Josiah Heyman (IPC Perspectives, September 2012)