STRICTER ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION LAWS
There are existing laws in the U.S. that guaranteed augmented struggle to combat illegal immigration including the USA Patriot Act and the Enhanced Border Security and the Visa Entry Reform Act. Aside from these laws, enhanced efforts of the government included reorganization of the federal system and strict implementation of policies by law enforcement agencies to quell illegal immigration within the country. After the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001, the country created the Department of Homeland Security to broaden security measures that address terrorism. The department is tasked to prevent law offenders, immigrants, smugglers and terrorists to enter the country. U.S President Barack Obama has placed an emphasis on the continuing issues of illegal immigrants that increase every year by strict enforcement of immigration laws to prevent potential harm to national security and public safety.
Haines and Rosenblum stated that majority of these people came to the US territory initially with legal documents (2). However, they subsequently overstayed for economic and other personal reasons. Hence, these people are now known as visa-over-stayers or the Nonimmigrants in Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Parlance who violated the terms of their temporary legality, and became illegal immigrants (Haines and Rosenblum 2). While some of the illegal immigrants enter the country as tourists or students and job-seekers on the look-out for odd jobs that will earn income for their families. In order to protect the illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. borders, the law enforcement agents should be more vigilant in fighting against illegal immigration in the country since borders are integral part of the state system (Haines and Rosenblum 4). In fact, these borders are considered as a symbolical mark to indicate who are within the territory or outside of the territory of a particular state. One of the U.S. borders that has been used to illegal enter the country is the portion of the US territory leading to Mexico (Haines and Rosenblum 3). The history of drug trafficking in Mexico to America can be traced back in the in the 1960s. As 1969, as a preventive measure against illegal drug-trafficking, U.S. launched a drug counteroffensive program on the U.S.-Mexican border called Operation Intercept (Huck and Huck 298). The main objective of this program is to conduct a slow, thorough, and individual search for illegal narcotics on Mexican nationals who shall cross the border legally to America. This unilateral policy enforced by the U.S. created tension among the Mexicans who frequented the border and the U.S. law enforcement officers. It further created an impact on commercial businesses on both sides of the border as it disrupted the normal operations of trade and commerce (Huck and Huck 299).
Drug activities may seem attractive for teenaged foster children because it gives them the opportunity to make money. Majority of youth become unhappy because of family problems, social acceptance and poverty which drive them to use marijuana and other illegal narcotics. Due to poverty, some of the youth sell narcotics as a means of livelihood. In the course of selling the drugs, they eventually become drug users as their way to liberate themselves out of the bad situation (Blatt 32). Majority of the youth find comfort by taking drugs because they can forget about their problems when they are high on drugs. While some of the youth become gang members in schools and use prohibited drugs to gain popularity and acceptance which can result to poor mental health, low educational attainment and substance abuse. Marijuana or pot is the commonly used drug among the youth since it is it is affordable and gives the wonderful sensation they seek to achieve (Blatt 20).
The issue of drug production and distribution of drugs from Mexico to U.S. has established a long history concerning the diplomatic ties of these two nations. Over the recent years, the brutality and profits derived from drug trafficking has grown significantly that it has created a mark in world history as the most violent incidents in present time. This resulted to the flow of support coming from the U.S., during the administration of the then President Bush who granted the Mexican government a financial aid amounting to $1.4 billion dollars which to be used to fund and increase the availability of technology and training between the American and Mexican troops along the U.S. and Mexico border (Kirkwood 216). Following the administration of the President Barrack Obama, he acknowledged the efforts of Mexican leader Calderon in his drive to combat drug-trafficking in the country as U.S. expressed support by allocating $700 million budget to assist Mexico in its drive to fight drug production and the drug cartels (Kirkwood 216). Aside from this, U.S. deployed a total number of 500 federal agents to help capture weapons and money that was entering the Mexican border. On the part of the Mexican government, they exerted efforts to combat drug trafficking by destroying poppy and marijuana fields and attempted to limit the flow of drugs coming through and from Mexico by focusing the main trade routes and landing strips (Kirkwood 217).
The best way to monitor the illegal immigration of aliens is for the government to control the border by monitoring that movement by limiting the number of entries in the country. Labor has been the primary motivation why illegal immigrants flock in America. With the recent recession in the country, U.S. residents are also affected by the economic destabilization and the problem on illegal immigration. For some of the illegal immigrants, they resort to illegal means to produce income through buying and selling of prohibited drugs. They consider the unlawful commercial transaction as the easiest means to obtain income. However, the free-flow of drugs and narcotics in the country has affected the labor force and the youth who become patrons of these illegal substances. It is imperative that the U.S. Congress must update their policies in illegal immigration in or to minimize the global problem of corruption, poverty and overpopulation throughout the country.
In addition, there should be a strict surveillance of the Mexican border should be conducted to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country in order to avoid terrorism. Admittedly, there are also certain aspects of a threat that are unknown to the law enforcement agencies such as in the case of the 9/11 attacks where weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) were used by the Al-Qaeda terrorist group (Maras 201). However, as part of the counterterrorism measure campaign of the government, the law enforcement agencies are forced to employ stricter means to combat terrorism, which includes surveillance through the installation of CCTV cameras in critical areas.
There are modern counterterrorism measures that will be able to combat the group more effectively. Majority of these counterterrorism measures that are not yet in place involve the participation of intelligence agencies of the country. The new technology that will help combat the criminal activities of potential terrorist is by using “IMINT (imagery intelligence), SIGINT (signal intelligence) and HUMINT (human intelligence)” (Maras 455). The purpose of “IMINT” is to serve as the early warning method to detect future threats using technological devices such as the photo imaging satellite and to provide a visual image of an impending aim of the concealed operation of terrorists (Maras 455). Such technology has been tried and tested as effective when it was used to locate Osama Bin Laden through satellite images that was able to locate the residence compound of Bin Laden and the plan of his attacks. On the other hand, “SIGINT” technology is a modern device that uses transmissions coming from broadcast systems, radar, communications, and use of visual surveillance and wiretapping activities of potential terrorists (Maras 455). Finally, “HUMINT” is a device that is not operated by technology. It covers the task of gathering intelligence using informers and pervasion of possible terrorist organizations. Another new technology in place is known as the “Radio Frequency Identification” or RFID. It is in a form of a chip that transmits the passport information of a person located inside a digital photo. The biometric data in the passport shall be verified with the data bank that uses facial recognition software. The capacity of this measure uses a standardized photo image has been implemented in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 9303 to act as biometric data interchange formats (Maras 456). This technology-operated measure has assisted law enforcement agencies using facial recognition technology to identify and hunt down future and existing terrorists. The facial recognition software will be able to match the data stored in the device to suspected terrorists, whose information are recorded in the database to be able to combat any act of terrorism. The use of this software will be able to prevent the terrorist to carry out their criminal plans which commonly involve gun smuggling and drug smuggling activities.
The use of modern facilities will aid the law enforcers to prevent illegal aliens from entering the country. There is also a need to increase airport security to avoid terrorism. One of the assigned organizations is the International Criminal Police Organization or “Interpol”. Such agency conducts mass screening of passengers anywhere in the world through the use of a huge biometric facial scan data-base that is being used for international travelers. This verifies and checks every passenger that is about to board that will be verified with the intelligence records in the database. There is a confidential data bank which keeps the record of the identities of terror suspects, international criminals, and other fugitives (Maras 456).
Illegal immigrants can traced through the use of the U.S. National Security Entry-Exit Registration System called the “NSEERS” that was created after the 9/11 attack of in America. Such system will enable the valid issuance of temporary visas to deserving applicants. Such system will screen illegal immigrants and suspected terrorists that monitors and provides the databank of tourists who enter the country.
Another measure to prevent illegal immigrants to enter U.S. is by penalizing those employers who use undocumented labor to save on the labor costs. The federal government should enact policies that will impose harsh penalties on those employers who continue to hire illegal aliens without legal documentation before entering the country. The Udall Center Arizona Fact Sheet No. 3 on Immigration Policy identified the three reasons why illegal aliens are able to seek for possible employment in the U.S.: the lack of reliable mechanism to verify employment eligibility; lack of ample funding of immigration enforcement; and lack of political to solve the problem on the labor requirements of the country.
Thus, the local police officers should enforce standard policies on illegal immigration that will define their shared responsibilities and allow the expanded authority when it comes to arresting aliens. The local police officers are exposed to frequent encounters with illegal aliens and they must be able to monitor the immigration violations within U.S. borders (Edwards 21). There are current problems that restrict the authority of the local police authorities to enforce immigration laws such as ethnic or racial discrimination and the lack of budget to strengthen the policy on illegal immigration (Edwards 23). Aside from the discussed issues is the prohibition of the police to access the specific information on illegal aliens.
Finally, the country must address the issue on the long queue of illegal immigrants who have waited for the documentation of their status to make their stay in the country legal. Such process causes a delay in documenting illegal aliens causing overstay of illegal immigrants in the U.S. (Haines and Rosenblum 4). Therefore, the country should ensure the stricter policies are enacted to prevent law offenders, immigrants, smugglers and terrorists to enter the country.
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