Last summer, the U.S. Senate passed an immigration reform bill that included $46.3 billion for border security, including 18,000 new agents, 750 miles of new fencing and $3.2 billion in high-tech surveillance. The Senate was willing to commit to such a large sum because of the wide-held belief that past efforts to control illegal immigration failed to secure the border. With such a large sum of money involved, it is appropriate to ask: What does border security mean?
When will we know the job is done? Simple - when there are zero unlawful entries. How will we know that? Not so simple. That involves being able to count how many people enter illegally, and we can’t do that – yet. In this session, we will discuss how Congress has approached the issue of operational control of the border, and how the Department of Homeland Security has responded - and why tension has been created between the two bodies. In addition, we will review technical solutions to the problem and how technology might be used to provide useful metrics to determine if and when the border is secure.