E.g., 07/02/2016
E.g., 07/02/2016

Border Security

Border Security

In an era when countries and their populations are increasingly exposed to the opportunities and risks associated with the ever-expanding global movement of people, policymakers are rethinking approaches to border controls and border management. These policies and programs run the gamut—from facilitating the legitimate movement of people and trade to thwarting the unauthorized movement of humans and contraband, the latter a significant preoccupation in the post-9/11 era and as publics have become ever less accepting of illegal immigration. The research offered here examines the management of borders, enforcement policies and initiatives, and technologies used in pursuit of border security.

Recent Activity

Commentary
December 2014
By Kathleen Newland
Online Journal
Online Journal

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Online Journal
Approximately 400,000 migrants transit through Mexico each year in order to reach the United States, many of them women from Latin America. Gabriela Diaz and Gretchen Kuhner explain how the detention system's structure and new detention procedures affect women.
Online Journal
Since 2000, Spanish authorities have used a technology-driven system for detecting and apprehending migrants attempting to reach Spanish territory by boat. Jørgen Carling of the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo explains how smugglers have responded and why illegal migration to Spain continues.
Online Journal
In no state is the immigration debate more polarized than in Arizona. Malia Politzer examines the proimmigrant and border watch groups active in the state and how they seek to influence policy.
Online Journal
Since 2000, Mexico has further intensified efforts to detain and deport irregular migrants. Gabriela Diaz and Gretchen Kuhner investigate the experiences of women migrants, the majority of them from Latin America, who have been detained in Mexico en route to the United States.
Online Journal
With so much political attention focused on the southern border, the MPI staff has updated this guide to regional population numbers, border crossings, border enforcement, and the economic ties between the United States and Mexico.

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Video, Audio
April 22, 2010
'Securing Human Mobility' book release discussion with Susan Ginsburg, Michael German, Luis Rubio, and Donald M. Kerwin.
Video
January 25, 2010
For MPI's Leadership Visions Speakers Series, John Morton, DHS Assistant Secretary, candidly spoke about his pespective on ICE, its mission, and its future.

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Recent Activity

Reports
February 2014
This report, based on an undercover exposé of Punjabi visa agencies by The Sunday Times, sketches one immigration loophole into Europe: so-called “donkey flights” by which Indian migrants obtain a tourist visa for a Schengen-zone country in order to enter the United Kingdom through the back door. Thousands of visa agencies operate in the Punjab region alone, with varying degrees of legality, some having links to criminal smuggling networks across Europe.
Reports
February 2014
This report examines human trafficking and smuggling trends and routes to Europe, and profiles the facilitators and clients/victims of such activities. It also offers a menu of policy options that are likely to reduce trafficking and smuggling flows, noting that such policies must be multifaceted to address a variety of contributing factors simultaneously.
Reports
February 2014
This Transatlantic Council on Migration statement assesses the continuum of policies needed to disrupt illegal migration-related activities and addresses the conditions that make them possible. It examines the role of migration "bad actors"—human traffickers and unscrupulous employers, among them—who operate and profit in this environment, and considers how governments can deploy resources to discourage their actions.
Policy Briefs
January 2014
This policy brief traces the successes and failures of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which represented the first and most comprehensive legislation to take on the issue of illegal immigration to the United States. The brief makes the case that IRCA's major flaws were rooted in statutory design more than regulatory challenges and implementation by the administrative agencies.
Reports
January 2014
This report analyzes how governments ought to best allocate their resources to address the risks associated with migration—the "immigration harms" that undermine the positive economic and social benefits of immigration—including choosing which threats to tackle and where to prioritize enforcement efforts. Immigration policymakers can learn from other public policy regulation efforts to ensure that regulatory actions advance the public interest.
Reports
January 2014
This report outlines the security-related challenges that borders are intended to address—including terrorism, human smuggling and trafficking, illegal migration, and drug trafficking—and, in turn, the perverse consequences that tighter border enforcement can generate. As states implement extensive border controls and deterrence measures to prevent illegal migration, they indirectly push unauthorized migrants into the hands of smugglers and traffickers.
Reports
January 2014
Policymakers confront significant constraints in addressing the population of unauthorized migrants, including tackling illegal migration. This report, part of a Transatlantic Council on Migration series focused on migration "bad actors," explores the trade-offs that policymakers face with respect to comprehensive enforcement efforts.
Reports
January 2014
This report analyzes the exploitation of migrants in three spheres: the domestic care sector, the labor market, and the sex industry. It details several obstacles governments face in their efforts to weaken the "bad actors" that profit from exploitation, and shows how one of the biggest challenges facing law enforcement is that serious criminals and lawbreakers often operate on the edge of legality and exploit legal routes wherever possible.

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