250 discussion response

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There are three major issues that render border security a crucial consideration for the United States. The primary issue in border security is the mitigation of foreign physical access to America’s population and key infrastructure. Of the nineteen hijackers that perpetrated the September 11th attack against the United States, all had entered the United States legally on a temporary visa. Fifteen of the nineteen entered the country only once and within no more than five months of the attack. The four terrorists who conducted pilot training in the U.S. were in the country beyond their allotted visa times and at least three of them were here illegally. Aside from the terrorists who played direct roles in executing the attack the coordinator (Khalid Sheik Mohamed) obtained a visa three months before the attack and five others recruited to participate were denied visas for entry (FAIR, 2011). Accounting for all known planned participants, twenty of the twenty five were granted legal access to the United States, and those nineteen that perpetrated the attack inflicted severe damage to America’s physical infrastructure and economy and killed 2,996 Americans. Al Qaeda very deliberately planned and resourced the September eleventh attack, as indicated by the careful exploitation of vulnerabilities in the United States’ immigration policies and with this in mind, measures that will mitigate accessibility of the country to threats are foremost in border considerations. This same consideration applies to the issue of foreign influence in American politics. Illegal entrants are counted among America’s citizenry in the apportionment of representatives within congress. Additionally they actively participate in the voting process, resulting in the swaying of elected representatives (FAIR, 2016). Thus people illegally living in the United States, even passively are affecting the American political system. Both the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) must work together to both prevent illegal entry into the country as well as track down and deport those who have illegally entered or surpassed their authorized residency timeline.
The smuggling of illicit materials into the United States is another issue within border security. Former and current members of CBP and ICE explain how smugglers utilize ever-evolving techniques and tactics to support the million-dollar drug trade in the U.S., flooding the country with dangerous narcotics, fostering criminal activity, and bleeding law-enforcement organizations of resources and personnel (USA Today Network, 2017). Mitigating these materials entering the United States falls within the responsibility of the U.S. CBP.
The final and overarching issue in border security is U.S. Federal Government policy. There seems to be a wide divergence among American politicians and their constituents in how the issue of border security should be addressed, however in order to sustain the sovereignty of the United States a well-constructed and enforced set of regulations must be sustained within the country. While many representatives agree that border security is essential some politicians are calling for the dismantling of federal border and immigration agencies and proposing that the nation open its borders completely (Maitra, 2019). Frighteningly this sentiment is gaining popularity among Americans as indicated by the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to represent New York’s fourteenth congressional district as well as the near election of Robert O’Rourke in Texas, both of whom staunchly support the opening of America’s borders.

Unified command within the National Incident Management System is a structural concept that enables incident commanders controlling separate response organizations to consolidate and synchronize efforts through cooperation in a consensus decision making process, in order to organize the most effective response for the incident. Put simply “Under the UC [Unified Command], the various jurisdictions and/or agencies and non-government responders may blend together throughout the operation to create an integrated response team” (NIMS on-line, 2004, ‘What is a Unified Command (UC)?’). This concept enables the effective individual management of multiple entities responding to an incident, as well as provides a platform for leaders to collaborate and most effectively focus the broader efforts in an incident response.

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). (2011). Identity and immigration status of 9/11 terrorists. Federation for American Immigration Reform, Washington, DC. Retrieved from: http://www.fairus.org/issue/national-security/identity-and-immigration-status-911-terrorists

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). (2016). Noncitizens, Voting Violations and U.S. Elections. Federation for American Immigration Reform, Washington, DC. Retrieved from: http://www.fairus.org/issue/societal-impact/noncitizens-voting-violations-and-us-elections

Maitra, S. (2019). Don’t let Ocasio-Cortez and her party dance around the facts of immigration. The Federalist. Retrieved from: http://thefederalist.com/2019/01/09/dont-let-ocasio-cortez-party-dance-around-facts-immigration/

NIMS on-line. (2004). NIMS FAQ. NIMS on-line. Retrieved from: https://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/hsem/documents/NIMSQA1305.pdf

USA Today Network. (2017). The wall: Over and under. USA Today Network. Retrieved from: https://www.usatoday.com/border-wall/story/drug-trafficking-smuggling-cartels-tunnels/559814001/