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.
The U.S. government has increased its attention to public security issues in Mexico and Central America since 2007. This report suggest the policy emphasis has begun to shift away from the earlier focus on combating drug trafficking and transnational crime toward addressing the citizen security crisis.
Over the past two decades, governing institutions in Mexico and parts of Central America have proven too primitive to cope with the volatility of democratic transitions. Organized crime has taken over key activities of various levels of government and corruption has become more entrenched. These regions must face the challenge of building democratic institutions capable of engaging in good governance.
The U.S. government spends more on federal immigration enforcement than on all other principal federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined, allocating nearly $187 billion since 1986. This report traces the evolution of the immigration enforcement system, analyzing how programs and policies resulted in a complex, interconnected, cross-agency system.
Crime and insecurity are undermining economic and social prosperity in Mexico and Central America, eroding public trust in government institutions. This report examines current economic, social, and political costs resulting from insecurity, and future implications.
The growth of organized crime in Mexico and Central America has dramatically increased the risks that migrants crossing the region face. As this report outlines, migrants increasingly are forced to seek the assistance of intermediaries, and those unable to afford one are more likely to be abused along the way.
This report outline the long-standing pattern of northern Central American governments' inattention to their borders – probing root causes that range from institutional, economic, and resource challenges to corruption and weak government structures.