Operation Gatekeeper

History and Purpose

            In 1994, the U.S Border Patrol issued a strategic plan, which was intended to control the borders of the U.S in the port of entry to restore the integrity of the nation in the border. The premise was that with an effective border control, the nation integrity on immigration would be safeguarded thus enhancing national security (Nevins, 2010, p. 4). The epicenter of the strategic move was California, whose southern entry that borders Mexico in the area of San Diego was a common gateway into illegal entry of immigrants into the United States. It was in the events of the great publicity that the need restrictions in the border immigrations generated among politicians and public that President Clinton and his administration launched the Operation Gatekeeper (OG) in the southern California.

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            The result saw a massive outgrowth and infusion of resources and reinforcement apparatus were directed at the Mexico divide in mid-90s. The number of border patrol agents increased and the technology employed for the implementation of Operation Gatekeeper. The main purpose of the strategy was to protect the U.S against illegal entry, smugglers, contraband, violators of other laws, and detection, indictment and apprehension of undocumented entrants (Nevins, 2010).  

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Whether Operation Gatekeeper and Same Types of Operations Are Effective In Controlling U.S Borders

            The Operation Gatekeeper was launched with great enthusiasm and it immediately almost got an approval of success from the officials of Department of Justice, the INS, media, public and Patrol Border. The effectiveness of the strategy upon its inception was tremendous. However, its merits have been discussed immensely, attracting widespread criticism and being declared a failure.

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            Historically, major border patrols in the United States such as Operation Gatekeeper, Operation Hold the Line and Operation Rio Grande, have produced great impact on cross border illegal immigration (Nevins, 2010). These have been a testimony that control is possible in order for the country to gain control of its borders, especially those with Mexico. However, though control is possible, (Arnold, 2011) notes the immigration of other than Mexicans, who illegally enter the U.S. Moreover, there has been significant rise in the number of immigrants who continue to enter the United States despite increased efforts on Border Patrols by the government. Therefore, though there has been a reduction in the number of illegal immigrants cross Mexico to U.S, the Operation Gatekeeper and other strategies have not been effective.

Whether Militarization is Required to Control Our Borders

According to (Arnold, 2011), the increasing economic interactions and liberalization have severely impacted the Border Patrols. As a result, new and emerging immigration challenges offer serious limitations, making border controls unsustainable. Militarized borders, such as the Operation Gatekeeper are continuously complicating government efforts to control borders. Furthermore, there is need for adoption of more effective strategies such as those adopted by the EU, who enjoy European free market with minimal immigrants into the member countries.

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