The immigration challenge: the use of U.S. Military Force to control illegal immigration from Mexico
Grissom, Bruce W
Bruneau, Thomas C.
Tollefson, Scott D.
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Controlling illegal immigration into the United States has become a major issue in U.S. politics. A February 1997 report released by the INS estimates that there are currently 5 million illegal aliens in the United States. In 1986, when the estimated number of illegal aliens was also 5 million nationally, the U.S. Congress passed an immigration reform that allowed for many of the undocumented workers in the United States to become legal residents. Approximately, 3 million illegal immigrants have become legal residents since the passage of the 1986 legislation. The latest estimate confirms the claims of some U.S. lawmakers and immigration activists that U.S. immigration policy is largely ineffective. In 1995 two bills were introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives that called for the use of U.S. military forces to assist the INS in controlling the flow of illegal immigration. Both bills were killed in committee. With the most recent INS estimate, it is possible that similar legislation will again be introduced. This thesis examines the military option for border control. The findings are that the use of the military to control illegal immigration would result in lowered military readiness, and that the militarization of the border will produce tensions in U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Latin American relations. Therefore, it is recommended that the military not be used to supplement the Border Patrol
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