Melting the Organizational Boundaries in Border Security: An Initiative for the 1990s   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The World Trade Center is bombed. Between two and four million illegal aliens are currently in the U.S. A ship laden with Chinese indentured servants runs aground in New York City. What is the common link? Do we have a border security system or not? Can we improve border security in a way that is consistent with the longstanding humanitarian traditions of this nation? This paper examines the history of border security and the contemporary situation. It reviews various 'fixes' to that system which have been proposed during the past fifteen years. Drawing upon the lessons learned from the case of Sheikh Omar Abdurrahrnan (the 'Blind Sheikh' of World Trade Center fame), the paper develops a proposal for 'reinventing' U.S. border security by establishing a Border Security Agency (BSA). This agency, which would report to the Attorney General, would absorb all immigration and customs responsibilities currently held by the Department of State, the Customs Service of the Treasury and the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Department of Justice. The paper argues that establishing a BSA would help ensure a seamless and effective border security system which would operate from the embassy or consulate in which a visa is issued through port-of-entry processing in the United States."

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