Research Paper

Research Paper: Border Security
Andrea Gilbert-Wright
Liberty University
AbstractThe terrorist attack on the United States of America, on September 11th, 2001, prompted the United States government and citizens to be more concerned about security measures, both domestically and internationally. However, this unexpected and surprising attack on US soil, triggered an even more detailed look at border security measures. The group that claimed responsibility for the attack, al Qaeda, engineered a terrorist attack on the United States of America, that involved the hijacking of airplanes by alleged foreigners who lived in the United States of America for quite a while, and even studied at US universities. This further precipitated the United States government to investigate the procedures involved when granting student visas to individuals from countries that harbored al Qaeda and also produced the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to oversee the security of American borders. The passage of several bills by Congress to further ensure the safety of Americans, on American soil included S. 4 Improving America’s Security Act of 2007 and H.R. 3548 Border Security for America Act of 2017. Both bills sought to improve and enhance security measures for the borders of the United States of America. (CBO,
Keywords: homeland security, foreign policy, issues, border security,
Border Security
Defining the Problem
Overview
The terrorist attack on the United States of America, on September 11th, 2001, prompted the United States government and citizens to be more concerned about security measures, both domestically and internationally. Hence, the birth of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose mission was “to secure the nation from the many threats we face” (DHS, n.d.). So, armed with over 240,000 employees, doing various jobs dealing with security measures aimed at keeping America safe, the DHS stepped into its and vowed: “With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values” (DHS, n.d.). The Department of Homeland Security includes the following divisions:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
The United States Coast Guard
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
The United States Secret Service (USSS)
The Management Directorate
The National Protection and Programs Directorate
The Science and Technology Directorate
The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD)
The Office of Intelligence and Analysis
The Office of Operations Coordination (Homeland Security, n.d.)
Border security fell under the umbrella of the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), whose mission was to keep terrorists and their weapons out of the one of the United States. It was also responsible “for securing and facilitating trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of U.S. regulations, including immigration and drug laws.” Another division, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), “promoted homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration.” While yet another, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) “administered the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.” All these divisions helped in one way or another to ensure that the borders of the United States remained secure and safe with no threat of terrorists entering the country. (Homeland Security, n.d.)
Root Causes
Shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which stunned the nation of the United States of America, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge was appointed as the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security. In November 2002, Congress passes the Homeland Security Act, that gave the DHS the authority to carry out measures of national security. It then became the task of the DHS to set up and implement a comprehensive national strategy to not only safeguard the country against terrorism but as well as to prevent or respond to any future attacks.

Competing Interpretations
While everyone agree that the border security needs to tighten to prevent terror acts, there are disagreements as to some methods that are being used to try and secure the borders to make America safe for its citizens. In his video presentation entitled, Introduction to the Study of Public Policy and Policy Analysis, Shawn Akers, Dean of Helm School of Government, at Liberty University, defines public policy as anything a government chose to do or not do. Public policy ideas, he went on to say, come from “someone who influences a governmental factor to do or not to do” (Liberty University, 2013)
Impacts
After 9/11, the United States of America knew that it had to not only increase its security around its borders, but it also had to toughen up its security measures to deter any threats from would-be terrorists, illegal drugs, and immigrants. During this time, then President Bush and the leader of Mexico, were on good terms and had been toying with the idea of open borders. However, all this was forgotten due to 9/11 and resulted in the Mexican President claiming that the policies that the US were starting to create, only served to create hostility with its neighbor and that it was hurting the economies of both countries. The Mexican president went on the say that any efforts made to stop drug flow were going to be futile and that the United States, had not then and will never be able to stop the flow of drugs by making war on drugs. In his opinion, all efforts only served to worsen the situation with the trafficking of illegal drugs into the United Stated from Mexico. (Robey, 2006)
However, while it is perfectly natural and legal for the United States of America to declare war on its attackers, what is not legal is to declare war on everyone else. Yet, this did not stop the United States government from creating the Department of Homeland Security and creating various divisions each tasked with differing jobs that all intended to prevent any more terrorist action on US soil.

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Policy Alternatives
S. 4 Improving America’s Security Act of 2007On February 22, 2007, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs publicized the passing of the bill, S. 4 Improving America’s Security Act of 2007. This bill allowed for the appropriation of funds during the years 2008-2012, with the intention of creating programs that would improve information sharing, combat human smuggling, and protect civil liberties. Additionally, the bill would provide for a division called the International Cooperative Programs Office within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was responsible for working with other nations around the world to combat terrorism. The S. 4 also made provision for ways in which the United States of America would protect itself from acts of terrorism or any other threats to its national security.
H.R. 3548 Border Security for America Act of 2017
Another bill, on January 10, 2018, was broadcasted by the House Committee on Homeland Security, H.R. 3548 Border Security for America Act of 2017, which authorized the appropriation of about $12 billion over the 2019-2023 period. These monies were to be distributed to the Department of Homeland Security, so that it could enhance security measures at borders of the United States of America. This enhancement also included building new border infrastructure and hiring additional personnel. H.R 3548 was another effort to increase border control and additional security measures around the United States borders.

May
S. 4 Improving America’s Security Act of 2007
Biblical guidelines.

Matthew 24:6-8 tells us, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (KJV). Being forewarned in the Bible that there will be wars and that all these things must come to pass, as Christians we are not surprised by these evil actions. Instead, we understand that these things must happen before the Lord returns but in the meanwhile we are not to stand idly by and not say or do anything to prevent these acts of sin from occurring.
God does not want man to be sinful, but because he gave man a choice, he knows that there will be those who will do their own thing, no matter what he desires for us. His Word says, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;” (2 Timothy 3:2-4, KJV). But Deuteronomy 20:4 gives us permission to protect ourselves in times of war: “4 For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you” (KJV), hence protecting the borders is a way to defend itself from its enemies and permissible by God.

Constitutional guidelines.

“It surely is just to protect men, women, and children from death such as almost three thousand of our fellow citizens suffered on 9/11. This is a part of government’s God-given duty to promote a just order in society” (Monsma, 2008, p. 198). By protecting its borders from criminals who wish to harm its citizens, the United States government has the right to do so as it is just to protect the basic human rights of citizens, which includes the right to live. These rights of the government are also established within the Constitution of the United States of America in various ways. Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution, in making provision for the common defense and general welfare of the United States, gives Congress the right to:
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations:
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water:
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years:
To provide and maintain a navy:
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces:
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions:
To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. (The United States Constitution, n.d.)
H.R. 3548 Border Security for America Act of 2017
Biblical guidelines.

God hates sin, but we are all sinful and he is aware that some of us would allow our sinful nature to rule our lives. When we are faced with moments where we have to defend ourselves from those who wish to harm us, God wants us to be prepared and we realize this with this scripture which says, “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31, KJV). By letting us know what to expect from man and what to expect as the time approaches for his ultimate return, the Lord prepares us for battle with the enemies. In Ecclesiastes 3:1-3, we are reminded, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;” (KJV). So, we are aware that there will be a time when wars will occur, but we know that we will have God’s help to defend ourselves. Likewise, God expects the government, the law of the land, to justly protect its peoples from criminals and justly and rightly punish those who disobey the laws or commit crimes.

Constitutional guidelines.

Protecting the inalienable rights of its citizens is a job for any government and the United States government is within its rights to do just that when it seeks to protect its borders from those who wish to harm its citizens. It may also legally do this as written in its Constitution, which sets the laws of the land, and sets the tone in the preamble to the Constitution by stating that the purpose of the Constitution was to establish justice and peace for its citizens by defending and looking after their welfare. In more detail, Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution authorizes Congress to:
1.To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations:
2.To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water:
3.To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years:
4.To provide and maintain a navy:
5.To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces:
6.To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions:
7.To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. (The United States Constitution, n.d.)
Can
S. 4 Improving America’s Security Act of 2007
Political feasibility.

The passage of the S.4 Improving America’s Security Act of 2007, would not see any political fallout as it deals with securing the borders of America against such evil as the occurrence of 9/11. The day when terrorists attacked the United States of America, there was a show of solidarity like never before all throughout America and the rest of the world. Politicians forgot lines and policies and for that moment in time, and still today, when it comes to security measures to protect its borders, American politics is forgotten, and oneness is achieved.

Financial feasibility.

S. 4 would cost the American government and people about $15.8 billion over the 2008-2012. A break down of the costs included about $3.3 billion for an emergency communications and interoperability grant program; another $170 million to install programs that improved information sharing, combat human smuggling, and protect civil liberties. New staff would be hired and trained costing roughly $175 million and the creation of a division to ensure that communication with allies were constant and necessary was done in the establishment of the International Cooperative Programs Office within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The cost of implementing this bill is $12.755 billion while the cost of no action is $27 billion. Implementing this bill is costlier than implementing H.R. 3548, which only costs $2.9 billion to be implemented. However, overall, it is more beneficial to implement H.R. 3548 than it is to implement S.4, -12.9 positive impact as opposed to 0.755 respectively.

Practical feasibility.

S. 4 made provisions for the additional personnel needed to secure its borders and took into consideration the length of time and additional new hires and training that would be necessary to implement the bill. In short, there was no amount of money too great or number of persons that could be hired to complete and add to the task of border security within the United States of America. The money and resources were made available for the task at hand by the government and there were no objections by politicians or citizens.

H.R. 3548 Border Security for America Act of 2017
Political feasibility.

Politics, when it comes to matters of national security and border security are usually not a key factor when passing bills that secure and make safe, the United States of America. Of course, there may be additional things that are included in bills that may cause controversy, but ultimately, American politics are unified when it comes to securing its borders. There were no blocks to the passing of this bill on record.

Financial feasibility.

About $12 billion was authorized to be spent with the passage of H.R. 3548 for a period of 5 years, 2019-2023. This bill called mainly for security measures that improved the security that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) already had in place at the borders of the United States of America. Additionally, the bill approved the building of new border infrastructure and allowed for the hiring of additional employees. Costs for these projects amounted to an additional $7.3 billion over the 2019-2023 period and the cost to implement the bill was estimated at $17.6 billion. Once again, there was no money issues seemingly associated with this bill.

The cost of implementing this bill is $12.755 billion while the cost of no action is $27 billion. Implementing this bill is costlier than implementing H.R. 3548, which only costs $2.9 billion to be implemented. However, overall, it is more beneficial to implement H.R. 3548 than it is to implement S.4, -12.9 positive impact as opposed to 0.755 respectively.

Practical feasibility.

The resources, money and personnel were made available or created for the purposes of this bill. The terrorist attack on U.S. soil was not something that the United States government intended to have happen again, so it ensured the availability of whatever was necessary to implement and have this bill succeed.

Should
S. 4 Improving America’s Security Act of 2007
Border Security is something that the government and only the government has the authority to do since it involves protecting the country. When it comes to such matters, the government has the authority to set policies and put laws in place that would help to protect the country, it also has the finances and the ability to create jobs so that government workers or private contractors can help in whatever way the government deems possible. So, since the government has an obligation to protect its citizens, the means and the resources, it should and must carry out its duty to protect its borders from dangerous criminals. With the war on terrorism unending due to nature of man’s sinful heart, the threat to lives are always there and as such, no politician would prevent the government from taking actions to secure its borders, no matter the difference in political strategies or policies. When it comes to the war on terrorism, politicians become united and so do citizens.

While God hates sin, he also expects and knows that man will sin no matter what and that crimes will occur. However, he also expects us to be able to defend ourselves by trusting in his Word and also with the help of our government. Hence, both we as a people, as Christians and the government, should be able to find ways to make ourselves safe and secure from those who intend to harm us.
H.R. 3548 Border Security for America Act of 2017
Due to man’s sinful nature and crime committed against the laws of the land, the government must sometimes step in and justly punish the criminals and make its citizens feel safe and secure. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God”. God ordered the government and expects us to abide by the laws of the land, the same way that he expects us as Christians to abide by his word and instructions. Punishment also comes from the government and from God for those who disobey.

Covenant, as described in the video presentation on, Biblical Principles of Government and Criminal Justice, is “a commitment for people to care for one another, to love one another, and to go the extra mile for one another”. (Liberty University, 2016, Video Presentation). When we become Christians, we form a covenant with God and the same way when we are citizens of a country we form a covenant one with another. We must protect each other form harm and from harming others as this is the way of love. Securing the borders of the United States of America is necessary for the protection of Americans from those who wish to harm its citizens, so the government should do what is necessary to safeguard its citizens and secure its borders.
Summary
Romans 13:3-4, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (KJV). President Bush, on the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States said, “Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach had been found, stopped and defeated” (Monsma, 2008, p. 202). While trying to prevent terrorists acts are vital and the role for any government, as Christians, we also understand that as much as we would like to rid the world of all its evil, according to the Bible, that will not be the case because man’s heart is desperately wicked: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, KJV)
“Inalienable rights are defined as those rights that are inherent to our personhood. They cannot be taken away, nor can they be given away. Inalienable rights are defined as life, liberty, and property” (Fischer, 2013, p. 2). One of the major roles of Government is to protect our inalienable rights and ensure justice. In this role, the government ensures that these rights are being protected by law enforcement officers and other laws and regulations put in place in the form of public policies.

References
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