How Border Patrol Units Can Collaborate with Humanitarian Organizations

Border Patrol



The Border Patrol precedence mission is averting radicals and extremists’ weapons, comprising weaponries of mass annihilation from entering the U.S. In contrast, the Border Patrol has transformed extensively since its establishment in 1924, its primary purpose continues unchanged which Is protecting and detecting the prohibited entrance of aliens into the U.S.   Jointly with other law implementation officials, the border traverse aids in maintaining borders that operate in fostering the legal entry and merchandize flow whereas inhibiting the unlawful smuggling of persons and smuggled goods. The border patrol is mainly accountable for traversing roughly more than six thousand miles of Mexican and Canadian global land borders and more than two thousand of coastal waters encompassing the Florida Peninsula and the Puerto Rico island. Agents operate 24/7 on tasks in all sorts of topography and weather circumstances. Agents likewise work in several remote communities in the U.S. This paper discusses the border patrol challenges and budget cost linked with resources, hiring border patrol agents and building a fence along Rio Grande Valley. The paper likewise provides recommendations in the conclusion on how border patrol units can collaborate with humanitarian organizations in tackling some of the challenges encountered with undocumented migrants.


For years, the U.S. federal government has created and executed border safety approaches in countering unlawful cross-border practices. Whereas some methods have removed the inflow of prohibited entry to specific topographical zones, the improved border jurisdiction in these locales has created other less regulated border areas more at risk. Increasing crime and detention proportions and rising public inspection in these less secure places offer apparent proof that border safety is a social, financial, and national defense concern (Patrol,1994). The 2002 Homeland Security law disbanded the Migration and Naturalization Service and instituted the USBP in the Homeland Security Department (DHS).

In the last decade, the USBP budget and personnel has tripled because of congressional apprehensions regarding illegal migration and agency’s implementation of Inhibition Through Avoidance as its primary working approach since 1994 (Patrol, 2004). This approach entails instituting USBP assets and workforce directly at locales of most significant illegal migration in detecting, deterring, and detaining aliens crossing the border between authorized entry points. After 9/11, the USBP re-structured its approach to inhibiting the terrorists and weaponries entry as outlined in the national strategy.  Despite the Bush administration and DHS efforts, the problem endures to degenerate, mostly along the Arizona-Sonora border (ASB). There is a crucial necessity to re-strategize border safety framework mainly along the southwest border. The Southwest border apprehensions rose in 2000 at 16.4M and overall decreased in 2018 to 396,579 as shown in appendix 1. As at 2015, there were 12M migrants residing illegally in America as per DHS estimates. The Pew Research Center approximates the figure at 10.7M in 2016. As border arrests have reduced, estimates indicate a rising rates of the undocumented populace legally entering America on visa, however, overstayed their visas limits.

Defining Borders

The border is particularly the global border between the Arizona state, U.S., and Sonora State in Mexico. The 377-mile ASB is among the world’s busiest global frontiers, and likewise, an overwhelming amount of cross-border illicit and lawful practices happen daily. Though a geo-political boundary exists, detailed comprehension of intricacies and dynamics of ASB needs acknowledgment and community’s analysis on both borders’ sides (Ordonez, 2006). The monetary reliance and the ecological and cultural binds amongst these frontier societies contribute an intricate, lively, and component in comprehending the ASB. 9/11 presents a new focus on the illicit migration problem with likely terrorists endeavoring to enter the U.S. hence promoting border defense to a national concern. The government reacted with the establishment of DHS, tasked with inhibiting U.S. terrorist attacks, limiting America’s susceptibility to radicalism, and limiting the harm and revival from assaults that do happen.

Border Patrol Matters for Congress


9/11 Reportage and the Northern Borderline

The 9/11 Committee Report concentrated its border patrol critique on the absence of a reasonable strategy concerning the northern boundary. The report outlined that congress. With support from President Clinton, multiplied the border patrol agents’ number in 1999 along the southwest border, whereas neglecting efforts to advance the agents number and assets along the northern border. The committee noted that these alterations in urgencies by affirming that in 1999, each quarter-mile of the southwest boundary had one border patrol agent contrasted to one agent of each thirteen miles of the northern borderline (Cornelius, 2005). The report outlined that this absence of equilibrium in the workforce between borders traversing was because congress and INS concentrated on unlawful migration rather than likely terrorists’ intimidations. As per the commission, it was not a priority securing the northern border despite proof that terrorists entered the U.S. from Canada, the recognition that terrorists’ practices happen in Canada, maybe because of its relaxed migration laws and lack of a coherent northern border approach.

Since 9/11, the agents figure employed along the northern frontier has risen in FY2001 from 340 to FY2010 to 2069. It implies that as of FY2010, the border guard hired averagely one agent for each two miles of the northern boundary, contrasted to eight representatives for each mile of the southwestern borderline (Churchill, 2006). But the rise in the northern frontier workforce in the last three years is being the target of the authorization to employ twenty percent of the yearly increase in frontier watch personnel to the northern frontier that was implemented by the Intellect Change and Radicalism Prevention Law (IRTPA). Since FY2006, only twelve percent of the entire rise in the workforce has been employed to the northern borderline. A likely concern for congress interests if the risen border watch representatives’ numbers and assets used near the northern boundary sufficiently tackle the 9/11 committee feedbacks and are adequate in successfully detecting, detaining, and deterring likely extremists from getting into the U.S. across this frontier. Another possible concern might comprise the effect DHS letdown to meet constitutional directive adopted by IRTPA has had on the northern border security.

Migrant Deaths

The precise data collection regarding unlawful migrant demise at the border is still challenging because of the massive number of various local, federal, and state influence entailed. Also, most information accessible does not comprise data from the Mexican border side and hence, most possibly under-count of fatalities numbers (Haddal, 2011). With the introduction of the inhibition via the deterrence approach in 1995 and the re-routing of illegal migration to the Arizona boundary harsh conditions, emigrant deaths seemed to have arisen in late 1990, with the Appendix 1 indicating in 2000 383 deaths occurred amid this period. The general mortality rate appeared to have risen although the death reduced. This proof shows that border overpasses have become more dangerous since the inhibition via avoidance approach was implemented in 1995, outcoming in the rise in unlawful migrant demise near the southwest borderline.

The Border unit has attracted critique from human rights advocates who assert that the agency’s migration demise numbers under-states the fatalities numbers (Shumov, 2019). Some argue that border patrol under-counts mortalities by eliminating skeletal remains, car catastrophes victims, and carcasses found by other bureaus or domestic law prosecution officers. Some pinpoint irregularities in what way the agency tallies refugee deaths, with some subdivisions counting smugglers and guides who die. However, others neglect them although authorized frontier patrol guideline is to incorporate all mortalities in the forty-three counties inside one hundred miles of the America-Mexico boundary. Border watch representatives refute that domestic law enforcement bureaus always never notify the border unit when they get dead emigrants and that demises happen outside the one-hundred-mile strip or on the Mexican border side are beyond their working domain (Meneses, 2003). The quotient between emigrant mortalities and detention indicates the number of illegal migrants’ mortalities there are for each arrest a border unit representative makes near the southwest frontline. Since arrests are, inside their formerly deliberated shortcomings, the ideal statistic accessible for gauging the drifts in the figure of individuals entering the U.S. unauthorized, this ratio indicates lighter on the entire death rates at the border. It demonstrates that even as seemingly fewer people have been entering the U.S. unlawfully, the border crossing has developed progressively risky for people attempting to cross the U.S. unlawfully.

The border patrol has adopted various steps in handling this issue by increasing the number of representatives to line-duty in the Tucson sector, put twenty salvage signals in the desert, and improve collaboration with borderline Mexican personnel (Bohn & Pugatch, 2015)l. A likely administration concern for congress comprises if the measures the border unit adopted are sufficient rejoinder to the migrant demises challenge and harms along the boundary, given the information indicating the border crossing might be rising in peril for illegal migrants.

Assaults on Border Patrol Representatives

The border squad started gathering data on the attacks experienced by agents during work. These data comprise several various attack types, composed of personal assaults, rock-throwing, and shooting occurrences. It is crucial to indicate that whereas throwing phenomenon might seem as not grave as shootings, they are, however, risky to agents. This rise in violence might be attributed to the rising border enforcement (Nyberg–Sørensen, Hear, & Engberg–Pedersen, 2002). As a rising figure of border squad representatives is employed to the southwest borderline, there are extra scapegoats for smugglers and illegal emigrants for assault. Also, the inhibition via deterrence approach with its concentration on putting agents and border squad assets openly in the borderline might promote these types of attacks by offering more detectable targets.

A likely oversight concern for congress might compose if border patrol agents have appropriate protection from these assaults, comprising if the gear given to them are sufficient or if extra safety gear is needed (Ackleson, 2005). Another oversight matter might contain if the border troop has adequate emergency procedures in evacuating agents harmed while at work. Congress might be captivated in investigating if these assaults are connected in any manner to smuggling groups, and if so, what measures can be taken in interdicting these groups afore attacking agents.

Interior Prosecution

The border watch’s power of conducting sweeps for illegal aliens in the U.S. interior has lately been under inquiry. The Temecula unit border patrol representative in June 2004 detained over three hundred migrants in corona, Escondido regions of California, and Ontario. the border and transportation security secretary in the DHS indicated that these specific sweeps contravened the DHS policy since Washington, DC, never authorized them (Haddal, 2009). However, these sweeps were lawful and might be reiterated in the future. The America Code outline that migration officials, as delegated by federal guidelines, are authorized to embark and search every vessel in a judicious border distance and have admittance to private lands and not houses within twenty-five border miles (Williams, 2016). The federal guidelines bestow these authorities on border patrol representatives and characterize rational space from the borderline as one hundred miles, however, permit border unit district executives the capacity of petitioning the commissioner is unique incidences to spread prudent distance. Likewise, federal guidelines outline that border unit representatives are entitled to question suspected unlawful aliens anywhere within or outside the U.S.

A likely concern for congress is if the border unit should have a function in interior prosecution and, if so, how much that responsibility should expand. Others can assert that border watch assets might be more commendably used only along the frontier, and the border squad internal implementation efforts replicates other agencies’ endeavors like the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). Some might outline that border patrol distinctively placed to offer an interior enforcement role since it has a confidential insight of unlawful migration practices and drifts and that it can employ uniformed personnel much more quickly than other bureaus (Hernandez, 2010).

Agent Attrition

It is not apparent if border unit representative attrition maintains as a predicament currently. In the past border, the watch was facing severe challenges with representatives departing the force to look for other openings. It made it challenging for border squad to increase representative to its entire personnel in present years since many of their new hires were substituting representatives who left the staff (Customs & Protection, 2016). This high turnover rate might be due to the absence of job satisfaction, low compensation when contrasted with other personnel doing the same tasks, absence of upward and horizontal movement, and poor working conditions. A likely oversight role of congress comprises if DHS is promoting the retention of current agents (Heyman, 2017). Policy alternative includes offering supplementary promotional chances for agents and advancing working situations to the degree that this is evident in the perplexing border setting.

Cost of Border Patrol

Since the DHS creation in 2003, $330B has been spent by the government on agencies undertaking migration enforcement as highlighted in appendix 3. Presently, the figure of border and interior implementation officers is over 50,000, with ICE and CBP hiring more than 84,000 individuals. The border unit representatives’ number has doubled from FY2003 to FY2018. Likewise, the ICE representatives number committed to its bureau of implementation and Removal Operations (ERO) tripled from FY2003 to FY2018. In February 2019, Congress struck a deal with the President, providing $1.375B for fifty-five miles Rio Grande valley fencing.

In addition to the above cost, the President will get $600M from Treasury Division’s Drug Forfeiture Fund, $2.5B from Defense Department Drug interdiction project, and $3.6B from Defense Department military construction account. The number of CBP officers staffing ports of entry (POEs) grew from 17,279 in FY 2003 to 23,002 as of February 2018 (appendix 4). The U.S presently has approximately 700 miles of fencing near the Southern borderline, together with fleet of drones, workforce and other resources. Some resources have been used on impractical projects, like $1B challenge of constructing a virtual fence near the Southwest borderline. It was a project started in 2005 and was later removed because of being ineffective and costly. Although spending levels on enforcement is high, enforcement only isn’t adequate to tackle the undocumented migration challenges.


By intensifying border security implementation exertions, it might augment humanitarians’ issues along the America-Mexico border. As migrants shift from high enforcement zones to low administration zones. Meaning they change from zones where there is useful border security alert and are hence displayed to massive natural perils. Accordingly, as operational architects and policymakers devise new methods, these humanitarian issues and outcomes should be captured in reducing demises in the desert and improving bi-national interactions with Mexico. Border organizations like Samaritan Patrol and Humane Borders offer humanitarian relief like medical necessities and drinking water to unlawful immigrants. Such practices concern persons who trust that the humanitarian aid no matter how well intended, help illegal migrants in their exertions to undermine migration regulations and enter America.  Others imagine that migrant deaths numbers are incredibly excessive and that these charities are sparing lives via their humanitarian support. Nevertheless, border patrol unit should collaborate with these humanitarian organizations in addressing some challenges they experience with illegal immigrants.