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America is largely under threats since its land borders are open and unprotected thus urgent need for border fencing. For instance the department of homeland security is advised by the Secure Fence Act to participate in border fencing which is vital processes needed in impacting with the problems that are commonly associated with illegal migration. Duncan Hunter who is the United States representative from the 52nd district of California wrote that the government bureaucracy has been an obstacle to building the fencing needed to secure U.S.-Mexico borders even though it has technology and manpower (par.1). Making decision of not building the border fence as dictated by law in Secure Fence Act will be interpreted as being not serious about securing U.S. borders and enforcing nation’s immigration laws. For U.S. to be safe it means that their borders should be safe; therefore border fencing is crucial in ensuring American security. Because of the availability of manpower and technology, it has become easier to construct border fence and it is upon the Americans to actively participate in building the fence. The secure Fence Act requires that reinforced fencing and related infrastructure be installed along the most dangerous sites along southern land border, where its entry for illegal immigrants, drug smugglers and potential terrorists into U.S.
Effects of Illegal Immigration
Illegal immigration in the U.S. has negatively affected the political, economical and the social life of the people of America. Most of those who support illegal immigration say that illegal immigrant is only “doing work that Americans won’t” (Scherer, par. 1). These illegal immigrants have negatively influenced such institutions as school system, health care, jobs and the depression of wages, law enforcement and the criminal justice system (Mcson, par.4). There has been rise of difficulties in prosecution and justice in U.S. when perpetrators flee to this country. Illegal immigrants would travel through harsh desert conditions thus risking their lives, on the other hand, those who would succeed doing so inspires others to follow the same paths. These people do not get the government reimbursement to offset states’ illegal alien maintenance cost.
Because of imbalance in authorized immigration quotas, the taxpayers funded institutions that are reeling from this huge migration into U.S. are the ones that are primarily supposed to be servicing the low income people of America. As a result, low income families are forced to compete for increasingly limited funds, resources and basic survival necessities (Benavidez par.1). According to Melanie Mason a journalist based in Washington, D.C., the statistics obtained from the Pew Hispanic Center shows that more than fifty percent of illegal immigrants in the united state come from Mexico in order to supply thousands of U.S. employers and farmers with low skilled laborers (par.2).
Curbing Illegal Immigrants
The cost-effective solution to illegal immigration must include a change in federal immigration law (Griswold, par. 6). For instance the state lawmakers in U.S. need to reform illegal immigration act in order to curb these problems. Many of these lawmakers are acting out of frustration, shared by many constituents, regarding the inability of the U.S. congress to agree on immigration legislation. State legislatures consider lots of proposals dealing with illegal immigration, considering the exasperation of many local officials with congress’s failure to contend with many illegal immigrant workers who have entered U.S. recently (Reid, par.3). For example in Arizona, the state passed a proposal to charge fines and other forms of penalties for state officials and companies that would dare to hire undocumented workers. Those illegal immigrants that buy and win lottery tickets are not supposed to pick their presents. The bill concerning illegal immigrants is at a chance of being approved by the senate though there had been failures in the past.
The Secure Fence Act requires that reinforced fencing and related infrastructure should be installed along the most dangerous corridors used by drug smugglers, terrorists and illegal immigrants (Hunter, par.5). The police officers are advised to be cautious of any person that is stopped for a traffic offence. For example, according to a statement made by state Rep. Russell K. Pearce, a Republican he said that “deportation should start with the traffic stop” (qtd. In Reid par. 15). On the other hand, there are some states that encourage illegal immigrants and would provide equal opportunities to all of its citizens. Josh Bernstein director of the National Immigration Law Center once stated that “we’re not going to solve this problem with patchwork approach at the state level since it is a national problem, there is need to repair the national system” (qtd. In Reid par.9).
Impacts of Border Fencing
On the other hand, the policy of border fencing is not a good idea at all; in fact experts recommend that it would not reduce the number of illegal migrants. Most experts say that physical fencing would not drastically decrease the number of illegal immigrants entering the country. Studies from the U.S. Hispanic population have estimated that about fifty percent of the illegal migrants in the U.S. have entered the country through legal entry ports (Mason par. 3). They often use non immigrant visas that have expired or border crossing cards that covers for limited visits to border regions. Even if the physical fence is build, these people would not be stopped. According to Wayne Cornelius, director of the centre of comparative immigration studies at UC San Diego commented that most of the illegal migrants are conscious that illegal migration is “very dangerous” but they often despise it and proceed with their illegal habits (qtd. in Mason par. 3). Most immigrants would find their way to get to their destination and oftentimes, it may involve grave risk to their life. Immigrants often try numerous times before successfully crossing the border. Law enforcement officers that guards the boarder have not succeeds either in reducing or restricting illegal migration attempts on several occasions. Though these illegal migrants from Mexico maybe apprehended, most of them would eventually succeed in entering the U.S. They usually don’t give up until they successfully enter despite many challenges they face in doing it.
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Jonathan Michelon, professor of political science at St. Mary’s university commented that “the idea of border fence would aggravate the problem of illegal immigrants” (p.2). In fact Mexico’s president-elect Vincent Fox wanted the United States to tear the wall down. Making border crossings more difficult has resulted in more illegal male Mexican immigrants staying in U.S. to bring their families to U.S. instead of following a circular migratory pattern. They would then spend most of their time in U.S. instead of returning to their homeland during holidays. For instance, Audrey Singer, an immigration expert with the Brookings institution, comments that “more men are staying, women are coming and families are consolidating on this side of the border” (qtd. in Masons par. 4).
The cause of this consolidating is attributed to more people who take goods into or out of the country illegally while facilitating border crossings. From the studies done recently it showed that more than eighty percent of the illegal migrants used smugglers referred to as “coyotes” that assisted them in illegally crossing the border (US Immigration Support, par.1). Other illegal immigrants may try to cross the border into the U.S. by cramming into shipping containers, trucks or boxcars. They may be able to pay off corrupt authority figures to gain entry. The amount of money paid for coyote’s a lot and making of circular trips is not possible thus this has made more immigrants to remain in U.S. permanently. Douglas Massey, professor of sociology at Princeton University concluded that “the ultimate effect of the border fence policy is to increase the size of the undocumented population and to make it more permanent” (qtd. in Mason par.4).
The border fence policy is a cruel process towards human since major border enforcement operations have focused on urban areas, where border crossers have only short distance to traverse. Due to increased pressure on enforcement, illegal immigrants leave the recommended ways of border crossing and shift to areas with “harsher climates, terrain, and to places of high risk of injury or death” (Scherer par. 5). For instance, this cruelty to human life is also evidencing increased number of women and children deaths as compared to those from clandestine entrants. Also it is said that the cost of building, repairing and maintaining a physical wall as a fence is much more ex pensive and would take an estimate of nine million dollars to build a one mile wall.
Large number of animal species living in the border region is likely to be disrupted while constructing a fence. Those species that often migrate to neighboring countries searching for food are likely to face extinction as it would mean they are confined in one area. Since the secretary of homeland security passed an opinion of waiving all the legal requirements that eases the process of fence construction, it meant that the judicial system would not be largely employed in decision making. The secretary of homeland security in therefore given more powers that can easily ignore most of the laws set to protect the people of America, their land and resources. Mark Krikorian of the restrictions Centre for Immigration Studies believes that “politicians tend to over-emphasize the importance of fencing” (qtd. In Mason par.9). General Barry McCafffery, president Clinton’s “drug czar” gave an opinion of Militarilization of US-Mexico border saying that “I don’t think it’s a useful step, you can’t use military personnel for domestic law enforcement bearing in mind that drug smuggling threat we face is through major port entries. So that doesn’t lend itself to resolution by military combat power…” (Barry, par 10)
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The border between the U.S. and Mexico needs to be enforced to prevent smuggling and uncontrolled illegal immigration. The effects of making border crossing to be more complex has made many illegal immigrants to remain in United States. On the other hand, those who return to Mexico have reduced. If the U.S. would build a fence along the Mexican border, illegal migrant problem is said to be made worse. Border fencing has its negative impacts since it consists of bad set of rules that are not humane and is extremely expensive to construct a fence. Furthermore the process of border fencing is not environmentally friendly since more resources are being damaged in the process of building it and the legal process is dubious. Militarilization of the U.S-Mexican border is useless and endangers the lives of migrant workers.