Border Issues

In the past ten years, the United States government has spent $90 billion on the attempts to secure the border between the U.S. and Mexico, data shows.  The focus on strengthening the security of the U.S.-Mexico border began after the terrorist attacks in 2001. Soon thereafter, President George Bush introduced the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would be in charge of sealing off the border to illegal immigrants, which was initially intended to keep Americans safe from terrorism. Later on, since the threat of terror from Mexico became less of a concern, the new focus was to stem the flow of illegal drugs passing from south to north. According to the Associated Press, the $90 billion spent in the past ten years have contributed to a significant reduction in the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border. However, it seems that the terrorist threat has changed little, and the flow of drugs across the border seems almost constant. A decade ago, 1.6 million illegal immigrants were caught by the border patrol-more than three times as many as last year when 463,000 were caught. The drop in illegal immigration is partly due to the economic recession, but there is also evidence that fewer try to cross the border illegally. Even though record amounts of illegal drugs were seized at the border last year, the amount of drugs in U.S. streets remain unchanged mainly because Mexican drug lords respond by sending more drugs. Last month the Department of Justice announced that the total cost of illegal drugs to the U.S. society amounts to as much as $193 billion every year. Evidently, just as it is true in the case of human trafficking, the battle against the influx of illegal drugs is far from being over.

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