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Who Is Involved In US Border Security?

Protecting our borders from the illegal movement of weapons, drugs, contraband, and people

Who Is Involved In US Border Security?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is largely in charge of securing the southern US border, but it is once more a divisive topic as more immigrants from Central America, Mexico, and other countries try to enter the country. 

An argument between Democratic legislators and President Donald Trump over money for a border wall resulted in a government shutdown, a presidential emergency declaration, and the sending of active-duty and National Guard troops to the border.

Early on in his term, President Joe Biden started undoing actions taken by the Trump administration, such as stopping the wall’s construction, relaxing certain asylum-seeker limitations, and engaging in regional diplomacy to address the root causes of migration. But more people crossing the border are putting more pressure on American law enforcement.

Who’s Involved in Protection?

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a Department of Homeland Security division, is largely responsible for border security. CBP regulates trade and international travel, working with organizations like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Transportation Security Administration. 

Its responsibilities include blocking the admission of criminals, potential terrorists, and contraband. In addition to other tasks, CBP inspects cargo and visitors at ports of entry, monitors thousands of miles of the country’s northern and southern borders, and aids in investigating criminal organizations. 

Nearly a third of the more than 60,000 personnel of CBP are Border Patrol agents, who only operate between ports of entry. The National Guard, a reserve military unit used for various domestic and international duties, has been requested by American presidents on many occasions in recent years to help border authorities with illegal immigration and drug trafficking. 

A state governor or the president can order the National Guard to respond. The Biden administration said that up to 3,000 military soldiers would aid CBP and DHS in mid-2021. Thousands of National Guard members were also sent to the Texas-Mexico border simultaneously by numerous Republican governors, including those of Arizona, Arkansas, and Florida; many of them are still there. 

Active-duty US military personnel have not frequently been dispatched to the border in the past. Soldiers and border authorities have frequently worked together in recent years to conduct sophisticated surveillance and other forms of reconnaissance. Almost 4,000 soldiers, a mixture of National Guard and regular military men, are now stationed near the border.

Areas of Concern

Long considered the region of greatest concern for Border Patrol personnel, the southern border stretches over two thousand miles from southern California to the southernmost point of Texas at the Gulf of Mexico. 

The easternmost section of the border, known as the Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas, has seen the greatest number of apprehensions in recent years. However, compared to other sectors, the Trump administration erected fewer new border barriers there, partly because it was difficult to secure the property from private landowners. 

Over time, a variety of people have crossed the southern boundary. They were primarily from Mexico and frequently adults looking for jobs during the majority of the 1990s and 2000s. Despite a substantial decline in migration from Mexico starting in the middle of the 2000s, it is still the newcomers’ most common nation of origin. 

In the meanwhile, migration from other areas has increased recently. Many kids and families from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have applied for refuge from the Northern Triangle nations in the past ten years. 

They have escaped poverty, gang recruiting, protection extortion, violent police, and dysfunctional criminal justice systems. More Central Americans fled north in 2021 due to the global pandemic and ongoing unrest; migrants from Brazil, Ecuador, Haiti, and Nicaragua also increased that year.

Biden’s Response to Concerns

Biden has promised to overhaul the US immigration system completely. He submitted the Congress an immigration plan that would improve how CBP handles migrants, strengthen border monitoring, and increase supervision of border officials. 

The American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, a portion of this law, was adopted by the House of Representatives but failed to clear the Senate. Biden chose Vice President Kamala Harris to head the US response in March 2021. 

Under the proposed legislation, $4 billion in fresh funding would be made available for this regional approach as part of Biden’s objectives to assist Central American nations in addressing the underlying causes of migration.

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