Border Games: Policing the USA

Is the current immigration policy seriously treated as a national security issue? How was it treated before 9/11?

Today the immigration policy is seriously treated as a national security issue. This happens because the government wants to prevent an increase in life-threatening situations. Very often illegal immigrants are connected with drugs or terrorism. The government “considers drug tracking a serious national security threat” as it hurts the mortality rate (Andreas, 2012, p. 69). Immense attention is paid to the connection between terrorism and immigration after September 11, 2001.

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Border and immigration policies produced by the government are to enhance national security by preventing terrorists and other criminals from entering the country. Thus, the “control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States” is now of great importance (Kim, 2009, p. 20). Before these events, fewer funds were spent on the issue, and deportations were rarely maintained. The control of the borders was not that severe.

What does open, but closed borders mean?

The open, but closed borders are a significant step made to support the country and prevent its destruction. The concept includes the idea of border crossing declared by George Bush. The President said that the border is to be “open to business and must be open to people – and it’s got to be closed to terrorists and criminals” (Andreas, 2012, p. 166). Open borders are those that allow uncontrolled access. Closed ones are the opposite variant that allows entering the country only to people with a valid visa.

What does Customs border authority entail?

Customs border authority deals with the protection of the customs and borders of the United States. The authority entails the execution of such rules as:

  • “handling the commercial information as all laws and regulations;
  • conduction of the electronic searches in front of a supervisor;
  • the number of days commercial information could be retained without probable cause be determined;
  • if the information enters the base, the individual is notified, an individual receives a receipt if his device is seized during a border search;
  • an individual subject to a border search of an electronic device receives notice as to how he can report any abuses or concerns related to the search;
  • the rights of individuals are posted at all ports of entry;
  • presence of a privacy impact assessment of the rule;
  • maintaining a civil rights impact assessment of the rule” (Kim, 2009, p. 21).

Thus, its main purpose is to promote safe access to trade and tourism into the country.

What is the functional equivalent of the border?

The functional equivalent of the border is one of the elements of a border search. It is “the first practical detention point after a border crossing or the final port-of-entry” (Kim, 2009, p. 7). In other words, it can be an international port or airport that is located within the territory of the United States. When the transport enters the country, it is searched for illegal things like contraband. This search is likely to be made right after the border was crossed. It enhances security and allows reducing crime rates.

What are border searches under the fourth amendment?

Border searches under the Fourth Amendment are maintained by the representative from a government. The Fourth Amendment protections are needed when the person “held an expectation of privacy in the searched object or place and society is willing to recognize that expectation as reasonable” (Kim, 2009, p. 5). They are to be based on substantial reasons and provided by the suspected cause. A special warrant was even made to perform the searches; otherwise, the procedure is not possible.

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Andreas, P. (2009). Border games: Policing the U.S. – Mexico divide. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Kim, Y. (2009). Protecting the U.S. perimeter: Border searches under the fourth amendment. Web.

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