E.g., 06/27/2016
E.g., 06/27/2016

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

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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.
Online Journal
After watching the immigration reform debate intensify in the last few months, Thor Arne Aaas, Norway's Director General of the Department of Migration and a Visiting Fellow at MPI, characterizes the debate as "unfocused, unstructured, and very emotional." More on his views in this interview with Migration Information Source Editor Kirin Kalia.

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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 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
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 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.
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 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
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.
Books
December, 2013
This edited volume showcases approaches toward border management in Europe, Central America, and North America, and reflects on the challenges that countries in these regions face in managing their borders. The book brings together perspectives from both sides of the Atlantic on what border security means in practice, the challenges that continue to evade policymakers, and what policies have been the most (and least) successful in achieving “secure” borders.
Video, Audio
October 31, 2013

The 10th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference featured keynotes by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, as well as panel discussions covering a range of key immigration topics.

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