After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States’ immigration system was changed to bolster existing security measures. The terror attack led to altering of immigration policies as well. Discussions regarding the immigration policies had been a staple of nightly news since the 1990s while the Free Trade Agreements realigned economies in Central America and Mexico. The changes encouraged refugees to move to North Mexico and the United States. Consequently, securing the borders became a national priority. This study presents an overview of the new regime of a cooperative enforcement immigration policy aimed at securing communities, launched in 2008 by Congress.
New Regime Cooperative Enforcement Immigration Policy
During the Bush administration, the then President acknowledged that the policies ought to be re-enforced to fight terrorism. After the 9/11 terror attacks, immigration policies have become diverse. For example, Congress authorized the New Regime of Cooperative Enforcement as an immigration policy (Chishti & Bergeron, 2011). The policy was implemented to effectively use interoperable databases to enhance national security. Cooperative arrangements among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies were also undertaken to enhance security (Hesson, 2012). The policy continues gaining prominence as Congress strives to counter national security threats.
The program has increased the number of agreements passed for officers to detain and arrest immigrants posing a security threat to the country (Rosenblum & Brick, 2011). According to Chishti and Bergeron (2011), the policy also led to the launch of Secure Communities Program. Since the program was launched in 2008, it has been applied to identify illegal immigrants after they are booked into local jails for engaging in criminal activities. According to Rosenblum (2011), the program has operated in at least 1,500 jails in both state and local levels. For example, the program led to the arrest and booking of 90, 937 immigrants in 2010 (Chishti & Bergeron, 2011). It, therefore, embraces different programs and initiatives aimed at enhancing national security. For example, it is applied to ensure immigrants currently residing in the country update their legal documents to remain within the borders. It also discourages them from engaging in criminal activities as they can be arrested and deported from the country, if found guilty for posing security concerns.
In my opinion, the policy is fair as it does not cause discrimination towards immigrants residing in the United States. It also focuses on ensuring the immigrants remain in the country legally. Moreover, the policy strives to affirm that the immigrants do not pose security concerns across the U.S. The policy has been establishing programs increasingly and effectively tracking, apprehending, and deporting unauthorized immigrants. It, however, fails to consider or determine if the unauthorized immigrants are a threat to national security. The policy, however, can be enhanced to be more effective. For example, the number of local police officers who have been turned into immigration agents should be increased across the country. Moreover, the agents can enhance community policing to identify illegal immigrants, especially those posing a security threat.
In conclusion, the new regime of cooperative enforcement immigration policy ensures that immigrants do not pose a threat to national security. It also ensures that immigrants update their legal documents to continue working, staying, and studying in the U.S. Consequently, crime rates have declined due to the continued surveillance of immigrants’ activities. Cooperation among the various security agencies have strengthened the efforts introduced by the policy towards maintaining and enhancing peace and security within the country.
Chishti, M., & Bergeron, C. (2011, September 8). Post-9/11 policies dramatically alter the us immigration landscape. Retrieved from. http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/post-911-policies-dramatically-alter-us-immigration-landscape
Hesson, T. (2012, September 11). Five ways immigration system changed after 9/11. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/News/ways-immigration-system-changed-911/story?id=17231590
Rosenblum, M. R., & Brick, K. (2011). Us immigration policy and Mexican/Central American migration flows. Retrieved from Migration Policy Institute Website: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/RMSG-us-immigration-policy-mexican-central-american-migration-flows
Rosenblum, R. M. (2011, August). U.S. immigration policy since 9/11: Understanding the stalemate over comprehensive immigration reform. Retrieved from Migration Policy Institute Website: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/RMSG-us-immigration-policy-cir-stalemate