National Immigration Forum – Summary

The national immigration forum is currently concerned on how to control illegal immigration in the US. President Trump considered the construction of a fence in 2000 miles along the Southwest border. The forum is basically debating about this issue, where different aspects and opinion are considered to determine whether the construction of the wall is the best existing solution. The national security officials approves that it is essential to have effective barriers that enhance safety and security along the US Southwest Border. However, this should not be achieved by undermining the economy of the country or American workers benefits. The 21st century system of immigration should also promote earnings from law-abiding undocumented immigration (Penichet-Paul, 2017). The forum contributors are also concerned about cultural and economic bridges that make the Southwest Border to flourish.  The Mexican and U.S. border stands for the 4th largest economy in the world. About six million jobs in the U.S. rely on the Mexico trade directly. In this regard, the Southwest Border does not need a wall but bridges. The committee members need to select policies that would promote the US safety while promoting the economic health, tourism, and trade in the country (Penichet-Paul, 2017).

The use of wall fence is considerably expensive. While everyone is advocating for a safe and secure border, people also feel that a more cost effective measure with high efficiency in regulating illegal immigrant would serve better than a wall. The wall would cost between $21.6 billion and $31.2 billion to construct. More cost will be incurred to maintain the wall year after year amounting to extra billions over the following ten years (Penichet-Paul, 2017). This is without considering the compensation that may be needed to be paid to land owners who will be affected. The entire process may not be easy given that those living along the border are against the wall construction idea. Moreover, the idea of fencing was discussed in 2010 and a solution was reached where around 652 miles that really needed a barrier were fenced. The initial analysis did not find it necessary to fence the remaining part and thus, it should be left as it is for the

Based on the statistics,the number of individuals crossing the border to US has been declining over time. There is a reduction of 75% from the number of people crossing the border to US in 2000 compared to those who crossed the border on 2016. There 2017 has experienced another decline of the people crossing the border by 40% (Penichet-Paul, 2017). Actually, more people are currently leaving US to Mexico than there are people leaving Mexico to US. Thus, a wall may not be necessary since the number of people trying to cross the border is going down.

The contributors also feel that there are better methods to secure the southwestern border other than the wall. CBP depends extensively on technology to secure the entry ports and borders in the U.S. The CBP in2015 contained about 273 surveillance systems containing remote video among other virtual system. This may be a better option than a wall. Congress should consider empowering the CBP to enhance the virtual surveillance other than doing the wall. It should also provide the CBP office of field operations (OFO) with enough staffs since it is understaffed at the moment (Penichet-Paul, 2017). The provision of CBP with all the needed infrastructures would be more important to the country than building a wall. CBP on the other hand should consider assuming transparent border security metrics. The general conclusion is there are better measures to secure our southwestern border without creating a wall.

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