| |On the Border Ten Years After 9/11
| |WASHINGTON, DC – None of the 9/11 terrorists illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, and no foreign terrorists have been apprehended on the southwestern border over the past ten years. Yet, ten years after 9/11, the border line is where national security, homeland security and border security converge.
Policy on the Edge (PDF | HTML) is a policy report from the Center for International Policy that examines the security buildup on the southwestern border over the past ten years. Tom Barry, director of CIP’s TransBorder Project, chronicles how the security politics of the border have shifted over the past 10 years from an initial focus on terrorism to “illegal aliens”, and then to “criminal aliens,” and most recently drug prohibition and the drug war in Mexico.
Despite massive expenditures and the new commitment to border security, our border policy remains unfocused and buffeted by political forces – with Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry saying that he and the American people are “fed up” with the Obama administration’s border policies.
According to Policy on the Edge, (PDF | HTML) the border security framework has fostered alarmist politics about border threats and wasteful spending. "Absent necessary strategic reflection and reform," writes Barry, "the rush to achieve border security has bred dangerous insecurities about immigration and about the integrity of our border, while giving new life to the flagging war on drugs at home and abroad."
“Like the ill-considered invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the ‘global war against terrorism,’ the post-9/11 border security buildup has drained our treasury while doing little to increase our security,” said Barry.
Barry concludes, "Bankrupt and without strategic direction, it is time to rein in the border security bandwagon and to establish new regulatory frameworks for U.S. border policy."
Ten years after the country embarked on the border security and homeland security bandwagons -- with tens of billions of dollars spent annually to “secure the border” by the Homeland Security, Justice, and Defense Departments – it is time to review, evaluate, and change course.
The report recommends a new policy framework that charts the way forward through regulatory solutions—for immigration, drugs, gun sales, border management—that are more pragmatic, effective and cost-efficient than current policies.
The full report is available on the Center for International Policy's website (PDF | HTML).
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