Border Security: The Complexity of the Challenge [Updated January 24, 2007]   [open pdf - 286KB]

"Border security is an important component of the overall homeland security effort. This effort can be seen as a series of concentric circles or screens, with the outer screen being that of preventative efforts launched outside the country-for example, interdicting or arresting terrorists and their weapons abroad before they reach the United States. The next screen is interdiction in the border security system. This series of screens then moves through progressively smaller circles ending with emergency preparedness and response. Congressional concern over homeland security began with broadly defined efforts to learn more about the nature of the terrorist threat, and then moved to much more specific actions following the attacks on September 11, 2001. Congressional interest continues, however, in broader, more strategic approaches. What follows are a series of graphical presentations intended to assist policy makers in visualizing the flow of people and goods across the borders that, when combined with a discussion of current border policies (discussed in the second report in this series), may be useful in seeking new directions for more effective border management policies (discussed in the third and final report in the series). This report will not be updated."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32839
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