Ideally, American border security is a controversial issue that creates a huge ethical dilemma for the National Security Professional. Many individuals and advocates underline that America seems to be using the terrorism tag as a pretext to complicate immigration to America. The security departments have been accused of using terrorism to deny entrance, deport immigrants and detain noncitizens unlawfully.
Evidently, terrorism has a critical impact on human rights. It has devastating effects on the ability to enjoy liberty, right to life and physical integrity of victims.
Terrorism has also a destabilizing effect on the government as it undermines national security and peace. It undermines civil society and poses a great threat to the economic and social development.
Accordingly, the government has a fundamental responsibility to protect every individual’s right to life. The state should take every possible constructive action to protect the citizens against any potential terror threat. It also takes responsibility to ensure that the terrorists are brought to justice.
Currently, America has adopted different measures to combat terrorism. However, some of the directives have created serious challenges that undermine the rule of law and human rights. Therefore, there a need to find a balance or middle ground to ensure that the fight against terror is in the best interest of human life. Ideally, the rule of law and human rights have to be the substratum of America’s fight against terrorism.
The issue on national security law has become a serious and challenging aspect of the legal disciplines in the twenty-first century.
National security is the most primary function of the government. The supreme court underscores the Haig V. Agee, which literally means, that it is unarguable and obvious that no governmental interest is more gripping than national security. Ideally, this issue held more water after the tragedy of the 9/11/2001 attack in America (Valeriano,2010). Before this devastating happenstance, America had no experience of terror on her own soil. America fought terror in Iraq and Afghanistan but this situation brought a shuddering change to its view on immigration and terrorism. Further, it deepened the reality that the American national security is intertwined with international events and security. As a result, there is a growing pertinency of law for all international events.
Ideally, the big question is: Is America using terrorism as a charade to deport, deny entry and detain immigrants unlawfully?
Current research indicates that America’s immigration policies changed after the 9/11 bombing. The cabinet and parliament created drastic laws and actions against all illegal immigrants. For example, the SB1070, a law enforcement, and safe neighborhood act were enacted (Valeriano,2010). This law encouraged racial profiling and interrogation of immigration status. Ideally, Americans realized that the terror groups had used prolific strategies to gain entry without being detected. They realized that the screening process was wanting hence called for the closure of American borders. The legislation in Washington DC created policies and laws grounded on ‘War on Terror. As a ripple effect, all courts, federal agencies, and lawmakers followed suit. They implemented harsh regulations that had a very negative effect on the immigrants especially from the MASA countries (Nowrasteh,2016). The following are examples of the measures implemented.
Firstly, the immigrants were detained for forty-eight hours or more without being charged in case of an extraordinary event or emergency. Research indicates that about seven hundred and sixty-two immigrants were detained and mistreated after the 9/11 bombing until August 2002(Valeriano,2010). These individuals’ names were listed on the suspects’ list. The nation also frustrated and distressed the immigrants’ families by denying them information on their whereabouts. Secondly, aliens without proper documentation, asylum seekers were also subjected to mandatory detention. They did not consider that the asylum seekers were running from threats in their own countries. Thirdly, the government complicated the process of acquiring temporary visas for students, business visitors and tourist (Cornelius,2005).
Further, the lawmakers implemented the National Security Entry and exit registration System (NSEERS). This system required all men from the MASA countries to register with immigration authorities (Bensman,2018). They were perceived as potential terrorist threats. Accordingly, the system conducted inquiries on immigrants’ bank accounts, travel, political and religious affiliations. Accordingly, about eighty-three thousand men were registered with the immigration authority. Sadly, about thirteen thousand males were listed for deportation. This drastic measure had a huge negative impact as families were broken and businesses closed. The lives and livelihoods of many immigrants took a bad and sad turn. Additionally, research indicates that individuals worthy and needy of asylum were denied entry at the expense of their safety. Despite fleeing away from harm and human torture, most immigrants were turned down in their time of need (Nowrasteh,2016).
Research indicates that the ‘War on Terror’ also led to a complicated naturalization process for immigrants. The naturalization applications for immigrants from the MASA countries were either denied or delayed for up to two years (Bensman,2018). The other immigrants got their feedback within a hundred and twenty days. The immigrants were also deported on delinquency claims. Most immigrants from the MASA countries were detained on basis of eliminating criminals in America.
Bensman (2018) highlights the threat of terrorist infiltration in the Southwest border which creates a national security gap. America’s immigration enforcement debate points out the emergence of Special Interest Aliens (SIAs) who pose a great threat to national security (Bensman,2018). Accordingly, this has led to negative profiling of every person from the Middle East, North /East Africa, and South Asia (MASA) nations. Research indicates that such terrorists use the South and Central America and Mexico border before starting their journey to the USA. Research indicates that the Special Interest Aliens are mostly terrorist groups that plan attacks as far as Brussels, Paris, and Europe (Bensman,2018). Ideally, hosting immigrants who come as asylum seekers has also made America susceptible to terrorist infiltration.
Clearly, America is not keen on rejecting the expansionary immigration policy. Similarly, it does not want to slam the door completely for immigrants (Cornelius,2005). This creates an impasse situation since there are a good side and a flip side regarding immigrants. It is also unfair to give blanket restrictions on every Muslim affiliate on basis of terrorism. Research indicates that some immigrants have brought both intellectual and entrepreneurial benefits (Cornelius,2005).
Cornelius (2005) gives insight on different ways of controlling unwanted immigration. Research indicates that America has received about eleven million immigrants since the year 1990. It continues to receive about one and a half million new immigrants every year. However, statistics indicate that there about five hundred thousand illegal immigrants. One of the main hindrances to positive and ethical immigration reforms are the slow-paced politicians who only offer lip-service. They have failed to amend the old-fashioned policies regarding immigration controls and anti-terrorism efforts. Cornelius (2005) suggest that America and its neighbors could implement policy reforms. They could implement creditable intelligence sharing to ensure that culprits are apprehended in due time. They could create humane policies that are sensitive to the needs of immigrants. Effective information sharing will provide safe and secure borders hence a decrease in the potential terrorist intrusion.
Ideally, the entry to the United States of America is a privilege rather than a right. It is granted solely on the discretion and good will of the American citizens. However, the Americans harbor a lot of fear and mistrust since their goodwill agenda opened up their borders to harm. Therefore, it is in the best interest that the government keeps its people safe from tragic and inhumane attacks from extremist societies. However, there are scores of people that perceive the border issue as an obstacle that immigrants and businesses have to overcome to gain entry. The advocates underscore that the link between immigration and terrorism is negligible. They insist that the Bureau of Consular affairs should boost its security protocols (Krikorian and Camarota, 2011). Ideally, the bureau should invest in changing the system to accommodate machine-readable visas that are impossible to falsify. It should also use biometric identity machines to assist in tracking people leaving and entering the country. Further, the biometric machines will enhance in tracking and apprehending terrorists who are already on the watchlist (Krikorian and Camarota, 2011).
Nowrasteh (2005) underpins terrorism as a major hazard to human life, businesses, and material prosperity. It causes wanton destruction and many deaths that are indeed unnecessary hence the drastic measures to combat it. However, it is important to address this predicament in a sensible manner without jeopardizing the peace, security, life and material prosperity. Current research statistics indicate a very different scenario on immigrants and terror. Investigations indicate that from the year1975 to 2015 about a hundred and fifty-four foreign terrorists killed about three thousand and twenty-four people. Below is a statistical breakdown of the terrorists involved.
The above figures, clearly stipulate that illegal immigrants have a 1:1.2million chance to execute murder and destruction (Nowrasteh, 2005). Therefore, the America government needs to get to work to realize and abort potential threats who are living and working in America, while planning terror attacks.
What to do to solve this issue:
Valeriano (2010) highlights that the United States and Mexico need to work together to alleviate terrorism. However, this strategy has been curbed by the corrupt nature of the politicians who opt to use blame game rather than find practical solutions.
Accordingly, there has been mistrust between the two nations especially after the U.S terminated the policy agenda for Latin America and Mexico. Ideally, Mexico and USA need to work on rebuilding the lost trust to implement: the immigration reform agenda, consolidation of democracy in the region and the free trade agreement (Valeriano,2010). Such strategies will help have a common purpose targeted on sharing intelligence, conquering the common enemy, controlling drug cartels and boosting economic growth.
Moving forward, America needs to identify practical approaches that create a balance between genuine national security responsibility and concern, and having a more humane immigration system. Ideally, it is clear that only ten out of a hundred and fifty-four terrorists are actually illegal immigrants. This portrays a deficiency in the screening process to track any other individuals who enter the country on the pretext of tourism, education, marriage, asylum seeking, green card opportunities and visa waivers. The government needs to understand that terrorist have also become savvier in using technology.
Accordingly, the Bureau of Consular affairs must invest in foolproof systems that can easily detect forgeries and create alarms for those on the watch list. Further, sharing intelligence, eliminating corruption from border patrol officers and having an integrated database is necessary. It will ensure that the National Security Professional is able to abort planned attacks, share information and bring the terrorist to justice without affecting other innocent lives. It will uphold the security of the American people and keep the rule of law and protect the right to life for every citizens and non-citizens in America.