What is the functional equivalent of the border?
The United States has to confront various threats at its borders, varying from transnational criminals trying to smuggle counterfeit goods or drugs, to terrorists transporting mass destruction weapons, to the migration of unauthorized individuals intending to stay in the country illegally (Kim, 2010). Customs and Border Protection agents protect the nation by ensuring illegal goods do not get cross the border; they also detect individuals trying to enter the country using fake documents to either live or work in United States.
A border's functional equivalent is its territorial boundaries which connect a country with other countries; it can be from the sea, land or air. The United States has two borders; one connects it to Canada, while the other one connects it to Mexico (Kim, 2010). Border searches are not only conducted on sea, land, and air, but also on the extended border. The decision on whether someone crossing the border should or should not be searched lays on the hand of border agents who secure it.
What is the Fourth amendment exception as it pertains to border searches?
The primary laws which regulate search and seizures by the government agents are spelt out in the fourth amendment; it also outlines what they are expected to do or not do, regarding border searches (Kim, 2010). According to Rosenblum, Bjelopera & Finklea (2013), the law agents are not required to have a warrant or a probable cause for a search, since it is a matter of national security. The fourth amendment exception about border search means that the purpose of customs agents is not apprehending individuals nor is it the enforcement of criminal laws. Instead, customs agents ensure collection of duties and that any merchandise enters or leaves the country in accordance to the rules. The agents also have a duty of seizing, for forfeiture, unlawfully imported or exported products or any merchandise exceeding $10,000 and that individuals did not report (Rosenblum, Bjelopera & Finklea 2013)
How are seizure statistics used to justify the mission of border security?
The border security uses seizure statistics to vindicate their mission of securing the border, by displaying noticeable data which is presented to the Congress, for an adjustment of the budget which would maximize the agents' ability to get a better visual of the border and adequate resources to secure it (Makinen, 2011). If the agents report high numbers, it is an indication that they are doing their job but it also means there is an increase in the smuggling of weapons and drugs. The data dictates the need to increase security in the entire country including airports, and not just the borders. The results are also used to prove that border patrol is needed for America's security and economy prosperity (Office, 2016).
Explain "open markets and closed borders" as it pertains to smuggling, free trade, and border enforcement.
Open markets and closed borders policies, pertaining to smuggling, free trade, and border enforcement, are adopted to ensure free markets that enhance trade while, at the same time, preventing illegal migration of labor, drugs or weapons. It increases the globalization problem because the free movement of products results in an influx hence increased demand for labor (Makinen, 2011). The mobility of labor then encourages smuggling thus increasing pressure on customs and border agents to ensure border protection and prevent unauthorized access.
Customs and border agents are not only tasked with ensuring that United States borders are secured, but also, ensuring the safety of imports and exports (Kim, 2010). The border should stay closed to individuals or any products that might harm the country and its citizen. Open Markets and closed borders strain the border enforcement agents. The free trade policy open American borders to the legal migration of people trade of legitimate goods. However, due to the open borders, criminals also find a way to get into the country or import illegal products either by land, sea or air. With the rise in trading activities within the last decade, it has become challenging to differentiate legal trade from illegal trade. Therefore border enforcement has to maintain security while ensuring open markets while at the same time, ensuring closed borders.
What are the challenges of facilitating legal border crossings while maintaining secure borders?
Illegal movement of people, drugs, counterfeit goods, and weapons threatens the country's security. The agent must find out if the products are legitimate or not. However, in doing so, they are faced with the challenge of maintaining an open border, while at the same time, hardening it. The nation's effort in hardening borders has seen the establishment of physical barriers like walls and maintaining tighter security to curb illegal flow of immigrants (Makinen, 2011). This, however, slows down commerce and crime increases since smugglers craft new and better methods of smuggling their products. But, if the country uses an open border, there would be less security although there will be the development of legal trade policies and movement of people. Therefore, to ensure the citizens still benefits from free trade and at the same time ensuring their security, there has been an improvement of technology for better screening at the border. The government also works with home companies and those from other countries to ensure illegal merchandise do not cross the border. Containers form foreign countries are pre-screened before leaving and also when they reach the border.
Also, it is challenging for the agents to combat the aspect of blending in the border and ensuring efficient movement along the border. Illegal immigrants mix with other people crossing the border legally hence making it difficult for them to be detected. Additionally, inadequate funding, budget cuts, and low technology make it difficult to acquire staff required in maintaining high-level security.
What has been the economic impact of terrorism on U.S. and Global Markets since 9/11?
Economic impacts from the 9/11 terror attack devastated united states in more than one way, resulting in long-term effects. According to Kim (2010), direct costs from the attack resulted to approximately $1.5 billion to the local governments, $14 billion for the private sector and $11 billion for the rescue team costs. It led to massive spending which resulted from the decision by President Bush to begin a war on terror. The repercussions destabilized the country's economy and also inspired the changes in the U.K and U.S foreign policy (Office, 2016). The terror aggressions saw a withdrawal of many foreign investors and, as a result, the country recorded high losses, especially in the insurance sector. Since then insurance is written differently; there has to be a clause to protect the public business from terror attacks since they are the primary focus. Moreover, the economy was negatively affected since the government invested more on upgrading the country's security by hiring more personnel in the border patrol, hiring more air marshals, funding the military to put reserves on active duty and in increasing airport security. Apart from the effect on the budget, unemployment rate also rose, affecting a previously down economy. Also, the unemployment rate increased from 4.9% to 5.3%, after 9/11, due to the effects of the attack (Rosenblum, Bjelopera & Finklea 2013).
Kim, Y. (2010). Protecting the U. S. Perimeter: Border Searches Under the Fourth Amendment. Tokyo: DIANE Publishing.
Makinen, G. (2011). Economic Effects Of 9/11: A Retrospective Assessment. Tokyo: DIANE Publishing.
Office, U. S. (2016). U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Review of the Pay Assignment Continuity Plan. Washington: United States Government Accountability Office.
Rosenblum, M. R., Bjelopera, J. P., & Finklea, K. M. (2013). Border security: Understanding threats at US borders.
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