The Current US – Mexican Border Policy Failures

Subject: Politics & Government
Pages: 4
Words: 953
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


The war has been lost. Over the past four decades, the issue concerning illegal drug transportation from Mexico to the USA has been brewing, with major political discussions triggered and a series of important strategic steps having been made, only to have the same problem of drug peddling from Mexico to Arizona and back, as Mike Harris explains in his recently published article titled Policy Failure Mexico – Illegal Immigration and the Failed War on Drugs. Unless a series of immediate and efficient measures are undertaken in order to address the issue of drug transportation across the U.S. – Mexican border, the United States will face not only a major drug abuse issue but also the problem of a massive influx of illegal immigrants into the country and the following sharp increase in unemployment rates.

The problem of immigrants entering the U.S. from Mexico has been viewed as a threat to American national security for quite long (Harris 1). The government passed immigration laws under the US–Mexican Border policy to address the issue. However, the policy in question has not been successful in reducing the number of human trafficking cases. There is clear evidence that the resources required to maintain border security are increasing exponentially. In addition, the amount of human trafficking, undocumented immigrants, and deaths of border-crossers has also been growing. Through reunion and employment visa, entry of immigrants, who have never engaged in crimes, will be possible.


Argument One

The border policy has good intentions concerning the national security of the U.S., yet in practice, it violated immigrants’ rights, which makes it unacceptable. As such, the policy aims to reduce the number of immigrants entering the US from Mexico and other Latin American countries. The policy aims at blocking the entry of criminal immigrants, such as drug and human traffickers. A proper examination of the past records of the immigrants helps differentiate between the safe immigrants and illegal ones.

The military exercise helps in safeguarding the security of the US since it does not allow for the entry of criminals. In the past, the national advisors of the US-Mexican border policy came up with a good legal frame that was meant to reduce the number of immigrants and instances of human trafficking (Romero 125). Everyone supported the policy because of its objectives and framework for national security. Border policy success was expected to support the enforcement of the policy. However, several facts and evidence indicate the failures of the US-Mexican border policy.

Argument Two

Over a decade, the problem of immigration has gained attention, and the US government has adopted a tougher approach of using the military as the key tool, which seemed a reasonable step to make yet was soon ruined with a range of wrong decisions. In fact, in 1994, the Clinton administration came up with an immigration policy known as Prevention through Deterrence (Boeri 228). The plan aimed at preventing the entry of immigrants through the traditional routes in the Southwest. It involved blocking off those routes compelling the immigrants to use the harsh terrain. The implementation of this border policy demanded many resources, especially at major ports such as California and San Diego.

From 1993 to 2004, the government of the US budget on the border policy rose by about $3 billion (Loveman 34). Security personnel patrols were increased from 3965 to 10,385. The discussions of the 9/11 attacks have been used to justify the policy and the need for extreme military operations while enforcing the policy. The aforementioned steps led to the construction of a 2000 mile long fence stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to Southern California.

Another point, which demonstrates the failure of the US-Mexican border policy, is the fact that the US government based its argument solely on Title VII of the Common Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA). The law states that any non-US citizen, who has entered the country without the approval of the US immigration officers, violates the law. The application of the ‘deterrence’ on INA, implicated the immigrants crossing into the US border as a security threat. I believe that the US government failed to know that the immigrants were only crossing to the US in search of employment and family reunion and not for terrorism intentions. The US national security advisors on the border policy missed the point from the start of the policy. I believe that there was a failure from the formulation of the US-Mexican border policy.


The rationale behind the Prevention through Deterrence border policy has been proven unsound and containing numerous errors (Harris 1). The plan relied on the fact that by making it difficult and expensive to cross the border, the U.S. government would reduce the number of immigrants into the United States. When the policy was enacted, it turned out effective only in urban regions and major ports in the Southwest. Consequently, the number of human trafficking cases increased. In fact, statistics indicate that the number of illegal immigrants rose by about 18% between 1992 and 2004 (Harris 1). Thus, a close relationship between the enacting of the border policy and the drastic increase in crime human and drug trafficking cases can be spotted. The deaths of immigrants crossing the border doubled since the inception of the policy. Thus, the policy violates the rights of the immigrants.


I agree that the current US border policy is a failure by its definition, and the enactment of the Prevention through Deterrence policy should be encouraged, as there has been a significant increase in the number of border crossers, human and drug trafficking crimes and deaths of trespassers. The policy has not achieved its primary objective of reducing immigrants entering the US.

Works Cited

Boeri, Tito. Immigration Policy and the Welfare System: A Report for the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print.

Harris, Mike. Policy Failure Mexico – Illegal Immigration and the Failed War on Drugs. 2014. Web.

Loveman, Brian. Addicted to Failure: U.S. Security Policy in Latin America and the Andean Region. Lanham, MD.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006. Print.

Romero, Fernando. Hyperborder: The Contemporary U.S.? Mexico Border and It’s Future. Barcelona: Actar, 2008. Print.