Argument: Greater border efforts actually incentivizes more organized crime


  • Foreign Affairs article 3/12/03 by Stephen E. Flynn, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies – “The experience over the past decade of stepped-up enforcement along the Mexican border suggests that U.S. efforts aimed at hardening its borders can have the unintended consequence of creating precisely the kind of an environment that is conducive to terrorists and criminals. On the face of it, an emphasis on tighter border controls appears logical. Stopping threats at the frontier is better than trying to cope with them once inside the country. Customs inspectors and immigration officials also have the strongest legal authority for inspecting and searching people and goods. But, draconian measures to police the border invariably provide incentives for informal arrangements and criminal conspiracies to overcome cross-border barriers to commerce and labor movements. In addition, unilateral measures pursued on one side of the border create political impediments for enforcement cooperation on the other. The result is that the border region becomes more chaotic which makes it ideal for exploitation by criminals and terrorists.”