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AILA: Border Security Benchmarks From Past Immigration Bills “Have Been Met or Exceeded”

by Mahwish Khan on 02/01/2013 at 1:13pm

In Washington, many of the usual suspects want to have the same old debate about border security. Today, we get further proof that the border is more secure than ever. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) released a new report, “Border Security: Moving Beyond Past Benchmarks”:

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) released a report this week finding that the border security benchmarks of the past immigration reform bills have been met or exceeded. AILA calls on Congress and the President to resist the urge to throw more money and resources at the border when it is unclear that will make our country more secure.

“Almost every discussion of comprehensive immigration reform begins with the “need for more border security” when in reality, over the past few years, we’ve seen more manpower, more drones, more fences and definitely more money poured into border enforcement,” said Laura Lichter, AILA President. She continued, “And the effect is obvious, illegal migration is down to its lowest level in 40 years.”

This is not the first report to note the vast resources spent on border security. Last month, the Migration Policy Institute found that “the U.S. government spends more on federal immigration enforcement than on all other principal federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined, with the nearly $18 billion spent in fiscal 2012 approximately 24 percent higher than collective spending for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.”

Right now, Congress should be working on legislation that focuses on a straightforward path to citizenship for the 11 million.  But since old habits die hard in DC, leading Democrats are still buying into the GOP’s “border security first” talking points–despite the growing body of evidence that the border is about as secure as can be.  More enforcement is not the place to start the discussion in 2013. So, we’d like to encourage everyone on Capitol Hill to read and heed “Border Security: Moving Beyond Past Benchmarks.” 

Here are a couple of their charts:

border infrastrucutre

border personnel

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