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In terms of security, since its current borders were defined, the United States of America has been blessed with two vast oceans to its East and West, a friendly neighbor to the North, and a non-threatening neighbor to the South. This traditionally afforded us the luxury of not having to invest in, or be much concerned with, the security of our physical borders. Instead, our border security efforts were focused on the legal immigration infrastructure, including the system of quotas and processing of inbound soon-to-be Americans, mostly from Europe, at places like Ellis Island.
After the Great Depression, when legal immigration plummeted, the legal framework and processing capacity never recovered. Instead, we mostly adopted a “look the other way” approach to immigrants, the vast majority of which were coming from Mexico and points further South, many illegally and motivated by the same thing that drew earlier waves of European immigrants – the prospect of a better life.
The attacks of September 11th will forever mark a dramatic turning point in the history of the United States and a moment when everyday Americans and policymakers could understand what those of us in the security business had known for a long time: Our geographic isolation could no longer protect us from the dangers of the modern world. The unfortunately usual political bickering, grandstanding, and stratification of our society have since prevented the implementation of a common-sense approach to securing our border in the modern age that, on the one hand, recognizes this new security reality, while on the other, respects the foundation of this country as a nation of immigrants and addresses the needs of our economy. As a result, our ability to maintain a safe, prosperous, and spiritually healthy country is suffering.
To read the full article please go to: The Cipher Brief