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Conceptual Proposal for Immigration Reform: Border Enforcement

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Michael J. Robinson, Associate
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A recent press announcement has outlined the “conceptual” proposal for ‘immigration reform’.  The proposal touches on 6 major goals:

1.  Border Enforcement

2.  Interior Enforcement

3.  Biometric Identification and Employment Verification

4.  Maximization of American Economic Prosperity

5.  Registration and Legalization Plan

6.  Reforms to Enhance Efficiency and Effectiveness in America’s Immigration System

In today’s blog I will outline the proposals for Border Enforcement.  Each successive day thereafter I will address the 5 remaining points in this proposal.

Border Enforcement

The stated goal of “Border Enforcement” is to achieve operational control of America’s borders to prevent future illegal immigration (the term ‘illegal immigration’ is an oxymoron).  To achieve this goal the plan proposes to:

A.  Increase the numbers of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers, including increases in the number of CBP inspectors at portsofentry and the resources available to them including vehicles and surveillance; weapons and armor; and training on fraud, vulnerable populations, and the avoidance of racialprofiling.;

B.  Increase numbers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to combat smuggling; ICE worksite enforcement inspectors; and ICE document fraud detection officers;

C.  Increase personnel to inspect for drugs, contraband and illegal immigrants;

D.  Improve technology, infrastructure, and resources to assist CBP and ICE;

E.  Increase resources to prosecute smugglers and unauthorized border crossers; and

D.  Increase immigration court resources.

In addition to the above, this proposal authorizes the use of the National Guard to help with border enforcement issues.  What that means exactly is not yet clear.  Moreover, the proposal recommends scrapping the controversial SBInet satellite program in favor of a high-tech ‘ground sensor’ system.  Again, how this ground sensor system is to be developed and implemented is not yet clear.

One of the other proposals in the plan that the American public may find effective is the increase in the number of ports of entry into the United States.  This means more ‘boots on the ground’ to borrow a phrase.  Additionally, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms will have more agents focused on stopping the smuggling of illegal drugs and other contraband into the United States.

Lastly, a ‘bipartisan’ commission is to be created to investigate the condition of security on the borders and to issue recommendations on what is necessary to ensure complete border control within ONE year.  In direct response to the current Arizona law, this proposal would eliminate the right of state and local governments to enact laws concerning immigration ONCE COMLETE BORDER CONTROL IS ACHIEVED.

This begs the obvious question:  Who determines when complete border control is achieved?  And that is the rub!  This proposal for ‘Border Control’ is a huge undertaking.  But is it really about border control, or is about the federal government assuming more power and authority from individual states?  Whatever the answer, the debate over border control, and the responsibility for enforcing it are sure to stir up massive amounts of controversy.

Category: Immigration

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