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Border and Coastal Security (Criminal Justice) Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 21 April 2017

Border and Coastal Security (Criminal Justice)

  1. `Hardened Border Paradox’ and `Open Border Paradox.

The `Hardened Border Paradox’ refers to the situation when tougher border controls fail to achieve their objective – stop illegal migrants and smuggling. Instead, it is argued, these tougher controls create an atmosphere ripe for spread of criminal activity. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, in his written testimony before a hearing of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate noted that “draconian measures to police the border invariably provide incentives for informal arrangements and criminal conspiracies to overcome cross-border barriers to commerce and labor movements”.

There appears an industry for helping illegal migrants, whereas the cooperation of law enforcement bodies is reduced when one side unilaterally pursues strict policies. The border becomes more “chaotic”, and tough regulation “creates a demand for those who are in the business of arranging the illegal crossings” (Kirkpatrick, 2004). This paradox can be resolved by combating illegal groupings and promoting cooperation at the border between authorities on both sides.

The ‘Open Border Paradox’ includes the need to combat the movement of terrorists and smugglers across open borders without damaging the free flow of goods and services that benefits the economies of both nations. This paradox exists, for example, on the US-Canadian border where the flow of goods and services is in dependence on anti-terrorist measures.

To overcome this paradox, authorities from both sides can create special projects targeting terrorists without jeopardizing trade flows. Kirkpatrick in his testimony points out the example of a bi-national “Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET)” created on the US-Canadian border to overcome smuggling in 1996.

  1. Is it cost effective to spend millions and millions of dollars in an effort to stop a handfull of people` who are bound to terrorize the United States?

Counteracting the bunch of people bound to terrorize the United States is worth millions of dollars and perhaps even more. This number is commensurate with the devastating impact September 11th and other events had on the development of the American economy and national security. Efforts to combat terrorism within the United States are also costly.

The negative effect of terrorist activities on the economic activities of Americans can hardly be overrated. Terrorism poses a risk to the United States and all of its business. Foreign partners contemplating a deal with US companies will be more reluctant to do so if they perceive the state as being in continuous danger of an external attack. This means loss in indirect costs from dangers to the national security, with the effect similar to that political instability in developing nations has on their ability to attract and retain direct foreign investment.

The costs of failing to keep the terrorists out are therefore serious issues that have to be addressed in order to prevent the possible danger to the economy. In this way, these efforts are similar to risk management in business. The risk averted may never materialize, and all the costs seem to have sunk in vain; however, if the risk did materialize, the impact on business would have been much greater.

Speaking of the need to avert a terrorist attack through anti-terrorism campaigns, one need not forget that it is not only economic prosperity that is at stake. The negative impact on the quality of lives of Americans from September 11th attacks cannot be measured in dollars alone, for here one must factor in the pain, the grief, and the fear that affected even those who only saw the attacks on TV. The government has to deliver public goods to the people, and national security is one of them. Therefore, spending large sums on anti-terrorist measures is a sound idea as long as helps to prevent the terrorists effectively from getting into the country and perpetrating their crimes.

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