US Border Patrol: Pros & Cons


The U.S. Border Patrol is the organization that polices the
entry of illegal immigrants into our country. The official
mission of the United States Border patrol is to protect
the boundaries of the United States by preventing illegal
entry, and by detecting, interdicting, and apprehending
illegal aliens, smugglers, and contraband. Today, the
United States Border Patrol consists of 21 sectors. Each
sector is headed by a chief patrol agent. There are 145
stations located throughout the continental United States,
and in Puerto Rico. The Border Patrol controls the border
by land, sea, and air. The Border Patrol has jurisdiction
across all United States borders and at least 25 miles off
the border. The Border Patrol agents are responsible to
check factories for illegal workers. As of September of
1995, the Border Patrol had 530 agents.
The Border Patrol's efforts may be sufficient but many
people believe that there are many problems in the methods
of the Border Patrol. First, many people think that all of
the equipment is costing the taxpayers too much. An
estimation by TIME magazine states that in California
alone, $400 million is spent on healthcare for illegal
immigrants. CNN says that the care of illegal immigrants in
one hospital in Jacksonville, Florida costs taxpayers $44.5
million. A Federal Government estimate says that $1.6
billion dollars is spent on the education of illegal
immigrants each year in California alone. Just think of how
much money is spent on illegal immigrants across the
country. Now this is just the cost of the immigrants that
get through the border patrol. These costs could be greatly
lowered if the Border Patrol would do its job. Let alone
the cost of the illegal immigrants that manage to get
through the Border Patrol, the Border Patrol alone is
costing plenty. In an overview, some people believe that we
are spending too much money on the border patrol,
considering that they simply are not doing their job. We
are giving them so much money to get the latest equipment,
but still people are getting through.
The people in favor of the Border patrol have the basic
idea that, yes, the Border Patrol used to be ineffective,
but now due to many improvements in federal money,
manpower, and technology the Border Patrol is very
effective. They say that the reason for all the illegal
immigrants in the U.S. is due to when the Border Patrol was
not as effective as it could or should be. From the start
of the Clinton administration, a $500 million crackdown on
illegal immigration was put into effect, most of that money
put into the Border Patrol. "Operation Gatekeeper" financed
new lights, fencing, vehicles, equipment, and agents. It
was the most extensive crackdown ever made against illegal
immigrants. Robert Bach, the top policy and planning
official for the immigration agency states, "It is a
wonderful progress in an area where, frankly, most of us
never believed that government intervention like this would
work", "This is historic. These routes of travel that
Mexicans have been using for decades. We have broken that
up." After only one year of "Operation Gatekeeper," the
size of the Border Patrol has doubled. The amount of
immigrants caught has also almost doubled. In an overview
of the supporters argument, they believe that new
improvements in the Border Patrol have indeed decreased the
amount of illegal immigrants and should be allowed
continuing funding to further decrease the amount of
illegal immigrants entering the country.
As you can see, there are many different views toward the
processes of the Border Patrol. There is no doubt that the
Border Patrol and the illegal immigrants getting into the
country is costing the American Government a lot of money,
but is the money being spent as well as it could be? Do you
think that there should be more or less funding of the
border patrol? Where do you find yourself in this debate?
Are you for or against the efforts of the United States
Border Patrol?


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