Case Study That Reviews A Current Homeland Security Issue – Sample Paper
Since Osama bin Laden was killed in May 2011, the number of terrorist attacks in the United States has been on the rise. The Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning that terrorist threats, inspired by al Qa’ida, will continue to be a security issue in the United States over the coming years. According to the United States intelligence community, the rising cases of terrorism threats in the United States is attributed to an apparent shift in strategies applied by both domestic and international terrorism groups. International terrorists targeting the United States focus on producing mass casualties, thereby negatively affecting national economy. More than 50 percent of terrorism incidents in the United Sates are executed by domestic terrorist (Perez and Brucer, 2015). It is therefore clear that international and domestic terrorism threats will continue to pose a significant challenge to the Department of Homeland Security in future. According to Moens and Collacott (2008), border failures and lack of proper immigration control is a major contributing factor to international terrorist attacks in the United States.
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International terrorist threats to the United States that pose a big challenge to homeland security can be divided into three categories including, state sponsors of international terrorism, formalized terrorist organizations, and the radical international jihad movement. Al Qa’eda is a good example of a radical international jihad movement. A majority of terrorist incidents in the United States are executed by individuals affiliated with the al Qa’eda organization. These terrorists come from the Islamic countries and enter the United States either legally or illegally. The radical international jihad movement wants the United States government to remove its military forces from the Islamic territories. Its main objective is to plan and implement high profile terrorist attacks against the United States, its allies and citizens (Allen, 2013). As international terrorists continue to expand their strategies, the Department of Homeland Security is working closely with the United States government to make policies that will control immigration and maximize border control as a step towards minimizing terrorist attacks in the country (Moens and Collacott, 2008).
Immigration and border control networks used by the Department of Homeland Security are intended to bring yield three forms of defense. First, immigration and border control networks seek to filter security systems overseas where visas are issued to individuals planning to travel to United States. Here, the Department of Homeland Security works together with visa officers overseas to screen foreigners entering the United States. As Moens and Collacott (2008) points out, conducing security filters overseas is important because it helps to keep potential terrorists from gaining entry into the United States. Furthermore, it much easier to reject a visa of a potential terrorist who lives abroad than to turn away those who have already crossed the border considering the fact that turning away individuals will always require an increased burden of proof. The notion that a comprehensive immigration scrutiny will result into positive security benefits is a fact proved by the September 11 attack on United States. Investigations into the September 11 terrorist attack on United States revealed that fifteen out of the 19 visa applications should have been rejected because they were incomplete, applicants were young unemployed men, and questions were carelessly answered. By filtering visas overseas, the Department of Homeland Security is capable of identifying and turning away foreigners who are likely to pose terrorist threats if permitted to enter the United States (Moens and Collacott, 2008).
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Second, immigration and border control networks examine individuals at the border and specifically at the entry points for passengers who travel by air, sea, or road. Foreigners enter the United States through different entry points and the Department of Homeland Security should not allow people through to the country without proper scrutiny. In 2005 alone, a total of 32 million foreigners entered the United States. In the same year, more than 1.1 million foreigners were arrested while trying to enter the country without legal documents. Border Patrol Agent have been deployed at all ports of entry to ensure that only those who have a legal permission to enter the United States are allowed to cross the border. For instance, the most closely-watched immigration and border control system that located at the border of Mexico and United States. The United States has expanded the military presence at its order point with Mexico to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants into the country (Alden, 2012). Third, immigration and border control networks also screen foreigners who have already gained entry into the United States. There are already so many aliens in the United States who operate with terrorist in other countries to plan and implement acts of terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security is working hard to identify foreigners who have become naturalized American citizens and who are colluding with other international terrorists to execute attack in the United States (Moens and Collacott, 2008).
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The Department of Homeland Security has hardened the United States border by ensuring that all foreigners entering the country follow the legal channels. One of the legal channels is temporary entry as a tourist, business person, or as a student. Alternatively, foreigners can enter the United States to work for a short-time expecting that they will return home. Some may also enter the country to stay there permanently on the basis of their employment skills or when sponsored by their family members (Alden, 2012). The United States, through the Department of Homeland Security has matched land border security to that of the air environment. Apart from identifying those who are entering the United States illegally, border security efforts are also aimed at discovering those foreigners with criminal records, especially those that are tied to terrorist organizations. Currently, all foreigners entering the United States must pass through high-technology security gauntlet that is used to assess an individual’s criminal history. In addition, visa applicants must provide their digital photographs and provide their fingerprints as requested by security officers conducting border screening (Alden, 2012).
The rising trend of international terrorist threats in the United States explains why the national borders will never be loosely guarded. Threats from terrorism are serious enough attract strict border measures intended to reduce illegal migration into the United States. In as much as these measures may target illegal immigrants, they happen to affect the United States economy because they scare away business travelers and tourists (Alden, 2012). The biggest challenge for United States is how it can ensure compatibility between national immigration system and border security in a manner that will strengthen national economy. The United States, in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, will have to consider three different elements to ensure that strategies applied to ensure border security does not interfere with national economy.
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First, the United States must hold constructive political discussions with its neighboring countries on how to approach the issue of border security and the specific people that are being targeted. The Congress as well as the Obama administration should sit down and agree on the most appropriate border enforcement strategy as well as the resources that are needed to reach the targets. Second, the United should design and implement a worker program for Mexicans who form a large percentage of illegal immigrants in the county. Although implementing such a program is characterized by a number of difficulties, it will greatly help to reduce the rate of illegal migration as well as that of international terrorist threats in the country. Third, the United States must develop a flexible immigration and border control system that is tied to national economy. It should form government commissions whose sole responsibility is to adjust national immigration system in a manner that will respond to the state of national economy (Alden, 2012).
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As it tries to deal with international terrorist threats, the United States must understand the relationship between border control and national security. The best example that the country can use in the September 11 attack on the United States where all attackers entered the country illegally from overseas (Moens and Collacott, 2008). Another important factor to consider is the availability of other numerous methods that terrorists can use to attack the United States. Many tourist attacks in the United States have involved permanent United States citizens rather than new immigrants. This explains how terrorists have advanced in their attack strategies, which calls for great need of implementing even tougher border control measures. The biggest threat to United States national security is poorly implemented immigration and border control strategies as this is one of the factors contributing to the rising international terrorist threats. The United States enjoys a strong military advantage and that of an advanced technology system. The country has the capacity to design and implement appropriate measures that will ensure tougher immigration and border controls (Alden, 2012).
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Although domestic terrorism continues to pose a big threat to the United States, majority of attacks are perpetrated by international terrorists (Perez and Brucer, 2015). The September 11 attack on the United States demonstrates the severity of the international radical jihad movement. This calls for immediate action by the United States to strengthen its immigration and border control system to reduce the number of international terrorists who are entering the country illegally. Even if the Al Qa’ida command structure is destroyed, the United Stated terrorism experts must remember that units located in several countries around the world will continue to pose a big threat to the United States. In order to tighten its immigration and border controls, the United States should work in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security to reduce the number of foreigners who enter the United States illegally. In addition, the United States should design and implement counter-terrorism programs that are intended at disrupting already planned terrorist activities. Moreover, the United States should comprehensively screen students, business travelers, and tourists who continuously travel into and out of the United States (Moens and Collacott, 2008). As it strives to tighten immigration and border controls, the United States must always ensure that its control systems match the state of national economy.
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