An Arizona border wall case study
Bristow, Justin Alexander
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Illegal immigration is a popular topic. Obtaining operational control of the southwest border and adding infrastructure was deemed necessary and important when Congress voted for the Secure Fence Act in 2006. This thesis determines how much, and where, additional infrastructure should be added. How effective can a border wall or fence be in securing the U.S.-Mexico border? Under what circumstances are walls and fences effective? When are other types of security measures more effective? The Yuma and Tucson sectors are examined to determine the current border infrastructure's effectiveness using arrest and geographical data. Current border infrastructure, the complete wall system's cost, and results realized in reducing illegal crossings are reviewed. Government documents, congressional testimonies, and think-tank analyses are analyzed. This thesis focused on barriers and tactical infrastructure on the southwest border. It found that a wall or fence is a viable option to improve the security of some border sections. The Yuma sector is already under operational control and is lower priority. The Tucson sector is higher priority and needs additional infrastructure. It is recommended that all urban and rural zones under 80 percent effectiveness be upgraded to modern fencing, while very remote areas below 80 percent effectiveness remain exempt if zone activity stays low.
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