A Strategic Look at U.S. Border Security

GMA 460L - Senior Seminar Research Lab

The United States has one of the largest international borders with approximately 7,458 miles of land borders and 95,000 miles of shoreline. The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 forever changed the way the United States treated its international boundaries. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2002 refocused the efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies to develop a new strategy to not only secure the borders against illegal immigration but also against illicit drug trafficking, narcoterrorism, and transnational organized crime both from land and at sea. In the Summer of 2019 the total number of illegal immigrant apprehensions reached its highest point since the turn of the 21st Century. This border "crisis" was the result of the strategic misalignment of America’s overarching objectives, concepts, policies, and resources regarding immigration, border security, and its diplomatic relations with Central and South American countries and Mexico. Although the Trump administration has taken steps to remedy the border crisis, in order to construct a long term solution for ending the immigration crisis, the United States will have to begin by reconstructing their current strategic approach in order to secure not only the Central American countries but the western hemisphere as a whole.