Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy

"Beyond Border Enforcement: Enhancing National Security Through Immigration Reform" (2007)

"Since 9/11 the watchword in the debate over immigration reform has been 'security.' As a result, most policymakers and pundits now approach the subject of immigration largely from a law-enforcement perspective. That is, the focus is how best to fortify U.S. borders so as to prevent the illicit entry into the country of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction. This concern has been especially acute in the case of the U.S.-Mexico border, across which hundreds of thousands of unauthorized immigrants enter the United States undetected each year. However, the current border-enforcement strategy, which tends to lump together terrorists and undocumented jobseekers from abroad as groups to be kept out, ignores the causes of undocumented immigration and fuels the expansion of the people-smuggling networks through which a foreign terrorist might enter the country. As a decade and a half of failed border-control initiatives have illustrated, law-enforcement efforts alone are not sufficient to achieve security. As long as U.S. immigration policies remain unresponsive to the economic forces which drive immigration, U.S. national security will be continually undermined by a system that sends the dual messages 'Keep Out' and 'Help Wanted' to the immigrant workers upon whom large sectors of the U.S. economy depends..."