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Why Border Security first?
Border Security is one of those hard to define terms that lends itself to abuse. In our society, not international border can be completely sealed. There is always some risk that a bad guy will cross our border. No matter the resources allocated, there is no way to reduce the risk to zero. This complexity allows some political opportunists to use “border security” to advance their own agendas. Regarding immigration reform, “Border Security” is used as the excuse to oppose any meaningful change to the current system. Ironically, the failure to reform the current broken system makes us less secure, not more. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has met every yardstick that Congress has requires since 2006. Border Patrol Chief MIchael J. Fisher has testified that border security has greatly improved. There are more personnel and technology deployed, fewer apprehenshions of illegal immigrants, more seizures of contraband, and falling crime rates in border communities. Measuring something as amorphous as “border security” is a challenging task. Kevin McAleenan, Acting Assistant Commissioner in the CBP Office of Field Operations states, there are several hundred metrics for gauging border security but no single number that captures everything. There are multiple data sources thata can be used con struct models of border flows. Unfortunately, the complexity is being used as a political tool for inaction. The primary threat to “border security” is transnational criminal cartels which smuggle guns, drugs, money, and people across the border. The threat isn’t “masses of people” but the criminal organizations and infrastructure. Immigration reform would remove the “masses of people” from the equation giving them legal avenues to enter the U.S. That allows enforcement resources to be focused on the cartels. The increase focus on “border security” is pointless. Everybody wants a secure border. But doing nothing won’t get us there.