US Border Patrol: Pros ; Cons

The U.S. Border Patrol is the organization that polices the
entry of illegal immigrants into our country. The official
mission of the United States Border patrol is to protect the
boundaries of the United States by preventing illegal entry, and
by detecting, interdicting, and apprehending illegal aliens,
smugglers, and contraband. Today, the United States Border
Patrol consists of 21 sectors. Each sector is headed by a chief
patrol agent. There are 145 stations located throughout the
continental United States, and in Puerto Rico. The Border Patrol
controls the border by land, sea, and air. The Border Patrol has
jurisdiction across all United States borders and at least 25
miles off the border. The Border Patrol agents are responsible
to check factories for illegal workers. As of September of 1995,
the Border Patrol had 530 agents.
The Border Patrol’s efforts may be sufficient but many
people believe that there are many problems in the methods of the
Border Patrol. First, many people think that all of the
equipment is costing the taxpayers too much. An estimation by
TIME magazine states that in California alone, $400 million is
spent on healthcare for illegal immigrants. CNN says that the
care of illegal immigrants in one hospital in Jacksonville,
Florida costs taxpayers $44.5 million. A Federal Government
estimate says that $1.6 billion dollars is spent on the education
of illegal immigrants each year in California alone. Just think
of how much money is spent on illegal immigrants across the
country. Now this is just the cost of the immigrants that get
through the border patrol. These costs could be greatly lowered
if the Border Patrol would do its job. Let alone the cost of the
illegal immigrants that manage to get through the Border Patrol,
the Border Patrol alone is costing plenty. In an overview, some
people believe that we are spending too much money on the border
patrol, considering that they simply are not doing their job. We
are giving them so much money to get the latest equipment, but
still people are getting through.
The people in favor of the Border patrol have the basic idea
that, yes, the Border Patrol used to be ineffective, but now due
to many improvements in federal money, manpower, and technology
the Border Patrol is very effective. They say that the reason for
all the illegal immigrants in the U.S. is due to when the Border
Patrol was not as effective as it could or should be. From the
start of the Clinton administration, a $500 million crackdown on
illegal immigration was put into effect, most of that money put
into the Border Patrol. “Operation Gatekeeper” financed new
lights, fencing, vehicles, equipment, and agents. It was the
most extensive crackdown ever made against illegal immigrants.
Robert Bach, the top policy and planning official for the
immigration agency states, “It is a wonderful progress in an area
where, frankly, most of us never believed that government
intervention like this would work”, “This is historic. These
routes of travel that Mexicans have been using for decades. We
have broken that up.” After only one year of “Operation
Gatekeeper,” the size of the Border Patrol has doubled. The
amount of immigrants caught has also almost doubled. In an
overview of the supporters argument, they believe that new
improvements in the Border Patrol have indeed decreased the
amount of illegal immigrants and should be allowed continuing
funding to further decrease the amount of illegal immigrants
entering the country. As you can see, there are many different
views toward the processes of the Border Patrol. There is no
doubt that the Border Patrol and the illegal immigrants getting
into the country is costing the American Government a lot of
money, but is the money being spent as well as it could be? Do
you think that there should be more or less funding of the border
patrol? Where do you find yourself in this debate? Are you for
or against the efforts of the United States Border Patrol?

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