Border Security and the Southwest Border: Background, Legislation, and Issues [September 28, 2005] [open pdf - 317KB]
From the Document: "Border security has emerged as an area of public concern, particularly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Although recent public concerns pertaining to border security may be attributed to the threat of potential terrorists coming into the country, past concerns that centered around drug and human smuggling and the illegal entry of migrants remain important issues. As Congress passes legislation to enhance border security (e.g., P.L. 109-13) and the Administration puts into place procedures to tighten border enforcement, concerns over terrorists exploiting the porous southwest border continue to grow. The U.S. border with Mexico is some 2,000 miles long, with more than 800,000 people arriving from Mexico daily and more than 4 million commercial crossings annually. The United States and Mexico are linked together in various ways, including through trade, investment, migration, tourism, environment, and familial relationships. Mexico is the second most important trading partner of the United States and this trade is critical to many U.S. industries and border communities. In an effort to facilitate the legitimate flow of travel and trade, the governments of the United States and Mexico signed the U.S.-Mexico Border Partnership agreement. The agreement was accompanied by a 22-point action plan that included several immigration and customs-related border security items."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33106