Re-Casting the U.S.-Mexico Border Security Net   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the thesis abstract: "The terrorist attack in 2001 left the United States with a sense of vulnerability and generated both demand and need to protect the nation. Fortifying the border has created diminishing returns. In addition, it has created negative side effects and unintended consequences that undermine the very nature and reason for installing border fences. Immigrants have been forced into the hands of criminal organizations and are more vulnerable now than in the past. Building a wall has deterred some illicit activity, but it does not deter the motivational factors. By hardening the borderline, the U.S. has issued a challenge, practically daring anyone to attempt entry though immigration has been reduced, drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) have picked up the gauntlet thrown by the United States and are finding ingenious methods to overcome and bypass the tightening border controls. Determined and motivated people will continue to find a way, even if it takes multiple times to find loopholes and weakness in the border. Border policy has resulted in unintended consequences, specifically, attracting DTOs, stimulating innovation, creating sophisticated networks within the black market arena, and rendering the fence obsolete. The cost effectiveness of current border security practices have reached the culminating point. Policymakers need to find alternative solutions, because current methods are unsustainable."

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