Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12032166 (posted Dec. 19, 2013)"
In recent years, increasing amounts of money have been poured into the protection of the border region in the name of national security and immigration enforcement. Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, Customs and Border Patrol's (CBP) budget has nearly doubled from $6 billion in FY 2003 to $11.7 billion for FY 2012. The necessity of these escalating costs is questionable, especially when considering that no clear metrics exist to measure border security and when apprehensions at the border are at their lowest in 40 years.
2013 Immigration Reform
The U.S. border is safer and more secure than it has ever been, and in recent years the federal government has spent an unprecedented level of resources on border security. Nonetheless, calls for even more border security continue despite a dearth of evidence showing that a huge additional commitment of resources would be cost effective or significantly improve national security. Any border security plan included in an immigration reform bill should be based on performance metrics and measurable standards of border safety that are achievable and fiscally responsible. Border resources should be better balanced by committing resources to improve performance at ports of entry and reducing personnel between ports of entry. Well-substantiated reports have shown a pattern of Border Patrol misconduct against immigrants and U.S. citizens in several states. Training should be increased for all CBP staff to address the use of force, misconduct, and racial profiling.
AILA Press Statements & Correspondence
AILA Report: “Border Security: Moving Beyond Past Benchmarks”
On January 30, 2013 AILA released their report, Border Security: Moving Beyond Past Benchmarks, that urges lawmakers to move beyond massive expenditure on resource buildup at the border. (AILA Doc. No. 13013051.) This report examines past immigration reform proposals, specifically the 2006, 2007, and 2010 Senate bills (S. 2611, S.1639, and S.3932), and evaluates the proposals in these four areas: operational control, border personnel, border infrastructure and technology, and detention.
Read the Washington Post’s article on the report.
Read the AILA Press Release.
Watch Greg Chen and Su Kim, authors of the report, discuss Border Security.