Home > News

The Implacable Logic of a Wall

Article author: 
Dan Cadman
Article publisher: 
Center for Immigration Studies
Article date: 
February 13, 2018
Article category: 
National News
High
Article Body: 

... Among the pillars of the White House's recently promulgated immigration framework, constituting the underpinnings necessary for immigration reform before the president will commit to signing a bill, was the proposal for a $25 billion trust fund for border security enforcement, including most specifically the wall....

In the decades I worked as an immigration agent with the now defunct INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service), we too were often told to "work smarter, not harder". The other verbal shoe that usually dropped right afterward was the observation that in doing so, we would be able to "do more with less"....

When I began government service in the mid-1970s, there were around 2,000 investigators nationwide; by the time I retired, we had been allowed to shrink to a low of about 850.

Even 2,000 agents was a totally inadequate number, but at the point of low ebb, as I have pointed out before, there were more Capitol Police officers guarding the 535 members of Congress in the few square miles of the Capitol grounds than there were agents to enforce immigration laws in interior of the 3.8 million square miles of the United States.

...There are several points contained in my ruminations that relate directly to "the wall".

First, a wall exists independent of the waxing and waning of the available cadre of border enforcement agents, something that has always been subject to the vagaries of the legislative and executive branches...

... Every kind of technological advancement, whether it is drones, military-grade sensors, forward-looking infrared radar (FLIR), tower-mounted high powered cameras, or something else, requires a sufficient number of human beings — of trained agents — to respond to intrusion alerts....

Third, and this is critical, all of the smart technologies that have been mentioned in the context of border technology are reactive in nature. They alert agents to respond after an alien has crossed into the United States, and thus has been imbued with constitutional rights to hearings, to make claims, seek various forms of relief, and to stall in each and every way possible his or her removal, no matter how immediate in time or place he was arrested relative to his illegal entry.

... The immigration courts are thoroughly backlogged into the several hundreds of thousands....

With an intelligently (dare I say "smartly") built border barrier, aliens don't make it into the United States. They have no due process claims; they don't need to be arrested, or detained, or put into an interminable court queue....

When all is said and done, that salient fact, ladies and gentlemen, is the implacable logic behind erecting a wall.