1) What actions prompted the border control offensive and made the issue of illegal immigration a priority?
The border control offensive was based on a strategy developed by the INS called “prevention through deterrence” (Andreas 2009, 92). The objective was to deter illegal crossings by implementing certain measures such as increased fencing, harsher penalties, more law enforcement personnel, and the use of surveillance equipment. By going to extremes like this, it psychologically had an effect to the on illegal immigrants in a way that they thought there was no way they would be able to cross without detection. Thus in turn a majority of the immigrants would not even attempt an illegal crossing to begin with; and “the ones who did try would fail repeatedly and eventually give up out of frustration and depleted resources.” (Andreas 2009, 92)
I personally believe that all of the above mentioned measures are a good thing. I furthermore believe that there needs to be harsher penalties than what is already implemented. I feel that when someone is apprehended trying to illegally enter the country, that not enough is done. I feel that all that happens is a mere “slap on the wrist.” I think the system needs to be harder on these criminals. I also support the hiring of more law enforcement personal, specifically the border patrol agents. It is a huge battle out there and all it takes is for the illegal immigrants to band together and conduct a “Banzai run” (Andreas 2009, 88) – which was fifty migrants charging the border at a time in order to force their way into the United States; overpowering and outnumbering the border agents.
2) Who is the enemy? From what or whom are we protecting the border? Is the enemy more than terrorism and terrorists?
The “enemy” is illegal immigration; the ones breaking the law trying to enter the country illegally without going through the proper steps. There is a system in place to enter the U.S. legally and that is done in order to track who and what is entering the country. We are protecting the border from just that – illegal immigrants and contraband they may try to bring over. I do not think they are terrorists nor do I think it is terrorism. They may not be hardened criminals, but I do believe they are criminals – since they are breaking the law – and they should be punished.
The “enemy” can also be labeled as a number of people such as someone knowingly harboring an illegal alien or even someone who “encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.” (Title 8 Aliens and Nationality, 1)
Another “enemy” I would say we are fighting is not even a person at all. It is time and money. Without those two or not enough of it, the task at hand is very hard to accomplish.
3) What is the connection between border enforcement and public health and Safety concerns?
Well border enforcement and public health and safety kind of go hand in hand. By having a more secure border and preventing certain individuals and items from entering the country, you are thus keeping up good health and safety within the United States. I have personally experienced this when coming back into the country and going through customs. They will search your bags and also ask if you are bringing anything illegal into the country or any kinds of fruits. This is done in order to keep a good standing of public health and safety.
Andreas, Peter. Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide, Second Edition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009.
TITLE 8. ALIENS AND NATIONALITY: CHAPTER 12–IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY Sec. 1324. United States Code.