Is More Getting Us Less? Real Solutions for Securing our Border

Eric L. Olson and David A. Shirk, Ph.D.


February 15, 2007

Ongoing reports about Mexico’s bloody conflict with organized crime have raised again the question of whether the United States should do more to prevent such violence from “spilling over” into the country. While officials have documented few cases of actual “spill over,” fears of exploding violence in Mexico and concerns about illegal migration are driving a policy debate that is centered on “securing the border.” To whit, President Barack Obama announced last May the deployment of 1,200 more National Guard troops to enhance border security, and requested an additional $500 million from Congress to further modernize southwestern border security. In August, the U.S. Congress approved a $600 million “Border Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010” in near record time. The question is whether such policy actions are effective.

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