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Immigration and Security at the Southern Border

By Shelbey Diamond-Alexander

What has President Biden done to secure our southern border?  On his first day of office, he called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.  Little to no action has occurred because it is not politically advantageous for extremist Republicans in a bi-partisan manner to solve our immigration problems.

As of September, 17,000 human smugglers have been arrested followed by thousands of convictions.  The DOJ is vigorously prosecuting those who unlawfully bring in, harbor or transport migrants.  Military and National Guard personnel have been brought in to support Customs and Border Protection agents.  DHS has expanded programs to quickly remove noncitizens without a lawful basis to remain here.  Thousands of individuals have been returned to 152 countries.

Autonomous surveillance towers, installed from the  California coast to the tip of Texas are outfitted with AI software that distinguishes people from desert animals.  Images are fed back to Border Patrol personnel who can deploy agents where activity is detected.  Towers are solar-powered, able to be erected in a matter of hours without drilling holes or requiring concrete, which means they can also be moved with ease. Border Protection officials have praised autonomous technology as a great asset that helps agents do their jobs.

The President and Democrats have put forward a $13.6 billion package for border security that includes 1000 drug enforcement agents and more drug inspection machines.

Immigration reform is complex.  Loopholes in policy need to be closed, the Dreamers need a path to citizenship and above all, decent humanity towards others needs to be applied in whatever we do.  We can’t solve our immigration crisis, if it is politically advantageous for one group to not do so.

Shelbey Diamond-Alexander is a resident of Winder

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