Security of a nation plays a fundamental role in as far as economic development is concerned. When the security of a country is weak, such a nation is likely to experience a number of attacks, and this tends to discourage local and international investors from implementing their investment decisions, which in the long run contributes to reduced economic growth. For this reason, most nations, both the developed and the developing ones allocate substantial amounts of funds to the security sector. Most countries are embracing and implementing a number of measures in order to enhance security, including training more military forces, installation of surveillance cameras, screening of individuals at the entry points and punitive measures for individuals who are found guilty of criminal activities. In the United States, border security has been one of the areas of key focus, since the American government perceives that most of the criminals seek into the U.S. illegally, and building fences and increasing drones would help in reducing the rates of criminal activities. However, in the book, “Border Insecurity: Why money, Fences, and Drones are not making use Safer” the author, Sylvia Longmire believes that security cannot be achieved by the aforementioned measures. It is shocking to hear that constructing a border fence that demarcates the United States with Mexico will not contribute to the reduction of criminals and illegal migrants in the U.S.
It is worth noting that most of Mexicans had been crossing over to the United States illegally, and this has been a major security threat to the American government. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), it is challenging to establish the exact number of individuals who manage to cross to the United States undetected and illegally. The most challenging aspect is that these individuals stay in the U.S in areas that they would not readily provide their immigration status to any sort of data collection. However, considering that there is no data concerning the existence of such individuals in any of the States that they happen to seek refuge into, they tend to be free to commit any sorts of criminal offenses and escape scot-free (Benjamin n.p). These individuals propagate criminal activities ranging from smuggling of drugs and trafficking of human beings since the security officers have no information concerning their existence in the United States or their whereabouts. It is important that Longmire has stipulated some of the atrocities that are propagated by the illegal immigrants, especially by categorizing them into three groups. According to Longmire, individuals who cross into the United States are classified into drug smugglers, drug cartels, and potential terrorists. However, it is shocking that Longmire does not recognize the aspect of constructing the border wall that demarcates the United States and Mexico as a viable strategy of controlling the illegal migrants.
According to Longmire, the border wall is a waste of taxpayers` money, and the American government should not contemplate on building it with the aim of enhancing border security. Actually, Longmire goes a step further and illustrates that building the wall and implementing technological aspect such as the use of drones and surveillance camera in order to enhance the effectiveness of the wall in as far as curbing illegal immigrants are concerned is a waste of money and resources (Sylvia 56-71). It is important that Longmire considers not only the cost of building the wall but also the high number of border patrols who will be mandated to monitor the wall and individuals and goods being brought into or taken out of the U.S. apparently, Longmire has failed to take time and analyze the benefits that the border wall will contribute in as far as enhancing border security is concerned. Longmire needs to contemplate that the wall will ensure that only the only points that individuals can manage to enter or leave the U.S (Ronald 53). The surveillance soldiers coupled with the surveillance cameras will help in ensuring that no one comes close to the wall, and anyone who intends to enter or leave the U.S must go past through the entry points.
The wall will approximately be a more than a 30-foot barrier, and this means that anyone who happens to come close to it must have a way of dealing with this barrier. Though there are numerous cases that have been documented concerning terrorists using ladders to rise over such a wall or even digging tunnels underground, the high number of law enforcement agencies together with the surveillance apparatus will prevent any of such activities from taking place, and if it happens, it won`t take long before it comes to the attention of the soldiers who will be mandated to monitor the wall (Jennifer n.p).
Additionally, even if terrorists can manage to climb over the wall or even dig tunnels, the wall will greatly reduce the number of terrorists, cartels, drugs, and human trafficking. This is mostly due to the fact that vehicles cannot breach the barrier, and this means that vehicles loaded with weapons, sex slaves, drugs, or even something worse cannot manage to pass through the wall, and smugglers can only manage to climb the wall with only what they can carry (Benjamin n.p). Longmire needs to know that though the wall will cost a lot of money, it will help in slowing down the illegal migrants, smugglers, terrorists, and human traffickers from entering the U.S. This does not only allow the border patrol to have ample time of rushing at the scene but also increases the chance of an apprehension as well as limiting the entry of the illegal goods.
Additionally, Longmire suggests that the most effective way of dealing with border insecurity by ensuring that the government improves it information sharing capacities as this will enable it to not only manage to identify the illegal migrants, drug traffickers or gangs but also to know the source and type of atrocities that are propagated by these groups (Sylvia 87). However, though this is a good idea, Longmire needs to understand that sharing information cannot manage to do away with terrorist, human traffickers and drug cartels by itself, but more additional strategies, including the building of the fence, should be included in the plan as well. For example, with the wall in place, the government will manage to collect data concerning the individuals who happen to enter into the U.S, and in case such individuals happen to propagate any unlawful activity, the government can manage to track them down and prosecute them (Benjamin n.p). The fence will enable the government to screen every individual who is entering into the U.S in terms of the type of business he or she has into the country, the goods being carried into the country, origin, and the State that he or she is going to.
Longmire needs to contemplate that the government cannot manage to share information concerning terrorists and human traffickers if the borders are still open to everyone, especially due to the fact that individuals can be sneaking into the country, commit crimes, and then vacant as soon as possible. For example, Longmire has stated about the how ranchers in the borderlands of Texas and Arizona live with the fear for the cattle, their lives, their homes, and their lands due to drug smuggling and human traffic that regularly crosses their properties (Sylvia 119). If the border wall is completed, this kind of tension among the citizens in states that border with other countries like Mexico would be a thing of the past, individuals or foreigners can only enter into these states through specific points that have been allowed by the American government.
Moreover, there is no way the American government can enhance its information sharing capabilities without the allocating money and technology for the same. Additionally, Longmire claims that building the border wall will not help in dealing with border insecurities and the project is a misuse of taxpayers’ money. Longmire forgets that President Trump promised that the Mexican government would fund the wall fully. Even if this may happen, this wall is a long term project, and it may have great benefits to the American government than what Longmire reveals in her cost-benefit analysis. The cost of building the border wall will be less compared to the benefits it will have in the long run.
Benjamin Dierker. Benefits of A Border Wall That No One Is Talking About. Posted on 20th June, 2018. Accessed from, https://thefederalist.com/2018/06/20/3-benefits-border-wall-no-one-talking/
Jennifer McFadyen. Weighing the Pros and Cons of U.S.-Mexico Border Barrier. Posted on 2nd April, 2019. Accessed from, https://www.thoughtco.com/mexico-border-fence-pros-and-cons-1951541
Ronald Rael. Borderwall as architecture: A manifesto for the US-Mexico boundary. University of California Press, 2017.
Sylvia Longmire. Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer. MAC Higher Books. 2014 print.