THE UNITED STATES’ BORDER WALL: A MARITIME PERSPECTIVE
Fontana, Christopher B.
Dahl, Erik J.
Simeral, Robert L.
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The President of the United States has requested increased security at the southern border, mainly by investing in and building a border wall. Some argue that this will cost too much money, and some argue that it simply will not be effective. Conversely, others would argue that it is a necessary tool within the United States’ border security policy. This thesis examines a potential border wall’s effectiveness by analyzing illegal immigration apprehensions and drug seizures. Furthermore, this thesis uses the southern border’s existing border fencing as an example of how border infrastructure affects the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs. In addition to the land border, this thesis hypothesized that, based on historic border security data, an increase in land border security will result in an increase in illegal immigration and drug smuggling through maritime routes. So, illegal immigration and drug smuggling data from before and after large amounts of border fence mileage were constructed was compared from land and maritime perspectives. This research found that a border wall can be effective at redirecting the flow of people and drugs, but ineffective at the greater goal of stopping it. Also, this thesis discovered changes in maritime border security data that suggest that as security is increased on the land border with border barriers, the maritime domain will experience significantly more drug smuggling and illegal immigration.
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