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Immigration

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Increasing the security of the borders in The United States became top priority following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In 2002, 22 federal agencies were united to form The Department of Homeland Security to oversee the security of the country within and outside its borders.
US Custom Border Protection (CBP) is an agency/department of The Department of Homeland Security that perform inspections in border and ports of entry. CBP officers and agents welcome all legitimate travelers and trade while preventing the entry of terrorists and their weapons. CBP law enforcement professionals enforce U.S. law, stopping narcotics, agricultural pests and smuggled goods from entering the country. They also identify and arrest travelers with outstanding criminal warrants.
The number of U.S. Border Patrol agents has risen from fewer than 3,000 to more than 20,700; nearly 700 miles of fencing have been built along the southern border with Mexico; and surveillance systems, including pilotless drones, now monitor much of the rest of the border. In a speech in El Paso, Texas, in May, U.S. President Barack Obama claimed that the United States had "strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible." Yet according to spring 2011 Rasmussen poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans think the border is no more, or even less, secure than it was five years ago. Some administration critics claim that the United States' frontiers have never been more porous.
The border of about 2,000 miles between the United States and Mexico has become a symbol of the hot-button political issues between the two countries, especially illegal immigration to the United States, trade, drug and gun trafficking across the border. In 2006 the Government approved the construction of a border fence aimed to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the border, drug smugglers and other illegal activities such as arm trafficking, and animals. Recently, A deep tunnel snaking nearly 600 yards from Mexico under the border and into a San Diego warehouse is one of the most sophisticated underground drug smuggling passageways ever discovered, complete with electricity, ventilation and an electronic rail system, federal authorities said Thursday. Mexican security officials stood guard Thursday outside a factory in Tijuana where the tunnel’s starting point was discovered. The tunnel, which was shut down Wednesday night after several weeks of surveillance, took about a year to build, the authorities said. Three people were taken into custody, and federal agents seized eight tons of marijuana and 325 pounds of cocaine they said was connected to the investigation. As security at the border — both at the ports of entry and between them — has heightened in recent years, drug cartels have increasingly sought other avenues, including tunnels, maritime smuggling and ultra-light aircraft, to move drugs into the United States. This was the fifth large-scale drug smuggling tunnel discovered in the San Diego area since 2010, the authorities said, and the eighth since 2006, when the Sinaloa drug cartel took firm control of the smuggling corridor along this section of the border. “These cartels have spent years and tens of millions of dollars trying to create a secret underworld of passages so they can move large quantities of drugs,” said Laura Duffy, the United States attorney for the San Diego region. Derek Benner, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Department investigations in San Diego, said sophisticated tunnels like the one found here — which required not only laborers to build but also architects and engineers, and could cost upwards of $1 million to construct — were an investment only a well-financed cartel could afford to make. He said the tunnel — like the two most recent “super tunnels” in the region, which were discovered in late 2011 — was shut down before any narcotics reached the market in the United States, which he called a major blow to the cartel. “This serves as yet another warning to these organizations that mistakenly believe that tunnels will be their ticket to success,” Mr. Benner said. It was the first time cocaine had been seized in connection with a tunnel operation, the authorities said. (By Liam Dillon and Ian Lovett Published: October 31, 2013)
It is clear why the breach of security on the southern border is of concern to both governments as well as to citizens of US and Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working to secure the border by ensuring that an effective combination of staffing, technology, and infrastructure is utilized to protect the more than 8,000 miles of land and maritime areas along both the northern and southern borders, however the current system in place needs urgent changes in order to secure the borders and move forward to target all illicit activities that take place on the border. The next step will be redirect the attention and work on the effects that it brings to citizens of the countries involved. It is easy to think only on the effects that it brings to United States but also for Mexico it has a negative impact. It is often assumed that illegal immigrants are all Mexican citizens crossing the border however this statement is not a fact. Mexico is being used as a bridge by illegal immigration immigrating to United States from neighbor countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Peru. The federal government, the DHS and agencies involved in securing our borders need to create a comprehensive plan to guarantee the DHS gains and maintains full operational control of the borders and to enforce federal immigration laws and system, the government needs to support and work closely with the neighbor countries to ensure countries work together to control the current flow of illegal immigrants and illegal activities on the borders. As the current system weakens States have create anti-illegal immigration laws in an effort to protect their communities as a response to a failing federal system. Arizona, Georgia, Utah, Indiana, Alabama, and South Caroline have enacted immigration enforcement laws and other States have taken steps toward passing similar legislations. Some part of the legislations enacted by States lined up for deportation thousands of illegal immigrants per year. The issue here is that targeting immigrants by racial prefill has consequences to Hispanic communities; the aimed of these states laws was to apprehend and remove from the country criminals that entered the illegally, drug traffickers, and illegal immigrants that had committed crimes in the US. The results of these laws had been devastating mostly for the Hispanic community since it is the target of these laws, entire families have been separated even if they didn’t fit the profile of criminals but entered the country illegally.
The characteristics of illegal immigration have evolved through the years as immigration laws have. An illegal immigrant is not only a person who crossed the borders illegally but also for any immigrant that entered the country legally but overstayed or allowed his/her visa to expire.
Families and individuals cross our borders each day in the search of better opportunities to work and live a better life themselves as well to provide for their families in their home country, however the problem rises when they enter illegally.
Illegal immigration has facets that affect citizens as well as illegal immigrants themselves such as human trafficking, economic disadvantage, criminal acts unreported, lack of education opportunities, to name a few.
Human trafficking women and children are intercepted into the country for sexual exploitation in many cases they are afraid to reach out to authorities knowing they are not legally in the country, it is known that they are infringing the laws but also as humans they have rights and need protection. Economic disadvantage for Illegal immigrants, US citizens often refer to illegal immigrants taking their jobs it does not go that far as US citizen may think since illegal immigrants are known for the low budget work force they bring to the country, which in many cases they work for less than the minimum wage because the employers refer to them as you are illegal here you take this or you do not have a job, the other aspect is that most of immigrants do not report taxes to the IRS.
Criminal acts go unreported by illegal immigrants who are afraid of reporting the committed crime against them for fear of being deported to their country.
Lack of education opportunities, in 2012 the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program enacted by the federal government, DACA provides an opportunity for a segment of the undocumented immigrant population to remain in the country without fear of deportation, allows them to apply for work permits, and increases their opportunities for economic and social incorporation , still this is just the first step for the immigrant community.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Border Security. (n.d.). U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Border Security. Retrieved January 23, 2014, from http://cbp.gov/xp/cgov/border_security/bs/

Are U.S. Borders Secure? (2011, June 16). Foreign Affairs. Retrieved February 4, 2014, from http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67901/edward-alden-and-bryan-roberts/are-us-borders-secure

Tunnel for Smuggling Found Under U.S.-Mexico Border; Tons of Drugs Seized
By LIAM DILLON and IAN LOVETT Published: October 31, 2013 Retrieved February 4, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/01/us/tunnel-for-smuggling-found-under-border-tons-of-drugs-seized.html?_r=0 "United States-Mexico Border Issues." Global Issues in Context Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Global Issues In Context. Retrieved 4 Feb. 2014. http://find.galegroup.com/gic/infomark.do?&source=gale&idigest=87c3696ed657d25964dd4ad8a05241ea&prodId=GIC&userGroupName=rich43584&tabID=&docId=CP3208520105&type=retrieve&contentSet=GREF&version=1.0 Anti-illegal immigration laws in States. (2012, April 22). The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/22/us/anti-illegal-immigration-laws-in-states.html

Gonzales, R. G., & Terriquez, V. (2013, August 15). How DACA is Impacting the Lives of Those Who are Now DACAmented. Immigration Policy Center. Retrieved February 6, 2014, from http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/how-daca-impacting-lives-those-who-are-now-dacamented…...

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