[immigration] Militarizing the Border
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Militarizing the Border
By Frida Berrigan
As with so many other pressing issuesfrom terrorism to oil dependencythe White House is turning to the military industrial complex for help on immigration. The Secure Border Initiative is the Department of Homeland Securitys plan to erect a "virtual fence" of monitors, sensors, unmanned planes, and communications to help border agents catch illegal immigrants crossing the southern border.
It's unclear how much SBI will cost. Also, to put military contractors in charge of building this surveillance network, given their record in Iraq and charges of wrongdoing stateside, is a recipe for disaster. But the issue of militarizing the border goes beyond questions of accountability. In order to craft truly effective, humane and comprehensive immigration reform, the president must learn that the border is not a war zone, Mexicans are not combatants, and military contractors are not the solution.
FPIF columnist Frida Berrigan is a senior research associate at the New School's World Policy Institute.
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