McCain: Fighting to Secure the Border With Common-Sense Solutions

By David Bakardjiev

Securing the U.S.-Mexico border has proven to be no easy task. But some, it can be assumed, believe it is easy, however, because the only thing the U.S. obviously must do is force Mexico to pay for a nearly 2,000 mile-long impenetrable wall (that will presumably be negotiated as a peace offer for “screwing us” and “sending their rapists and drug dealers”).

Others – proven leaders – like Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain know this issue is hugely more complex; and they’ve been sending their best common-sense solutions to Congress so the U.S. can secure its borders and keep its relationship with Mexico on good terms.

For almost three decades, Senator John McCain has been sponsoring and supporting bills to increase personnel, fencing, and high-tech surveillance for border security. Because of his direct efforts, deportations of illegal immigrants have increased almost two-fold since 2005.

Senator McCain is also a staunch advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. But although he strongly supports guest-worker programs and faster pathways to citizenship for hard-working immigrants, Senator McCain believes securing the border is the first priority.

If we don’t secure the borders first, we will find ourselves with another group of people who have come to this country illegally, and then we’ll have to do it all over again.”

It would be among my highest priorities to secure our borders first, and only after we achieved widespread consensus that our borders are secure, would we address other aspects of the problem. 

Earlier in January, Senator McCain sponsored a legislative companion to H.R. 399, Secure the Border First Act of 2015, which “requires the Department of Homeland Security to obtain the advanced technology and manpower to get the job done,” said Senator McCain.

The United States faces a complex and challenging array of threats around the world, but none more immediate to Arizona than the security of our southern border.”

In March, Senator McCain co-sponsored the Arizona Borderlands Protection and Preservation Act, which would “enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel to gain full access to federal lands on the Southwest border of Arizona for border security activities, including routine patrols and surveillance.”

“More than 80 percent of the land directly on the Arizona-Mexico border is comprised of lands controlled by the federal government.”

Our common-sense legislation would cut unnecessary red tape and enable Border Patrol agents to have access to all federally managed land in Southwest Arizona so they can perform their jobs effectively, keep our communities safe, and secure the border.”

In May, Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake proposed that the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security partner up to help upwards of 2,000 veterans and military service members reentering the civilian workforce get jobs at understaffed ports of entry along the border. The Border Jobs for Veterans Act was passed in June.

This bill offers a common-sense solution to help separating service members find much-needed jobs, overcome staffing deficiencies at U.S. ports of entry, and enhance the security of communities in Arizona and across the U.S. on our southern border.”

And just a few days ago, Senator John McCain co-sponsored the Border Security Technology Accountability Act of 2015, a bill that follows numerous reports showing the Department of Homeland Security acquisition programs are at “high-risk” for waste, fraud, and abuse.

Widespread mismanagement and a lack of accountability within our federal bureaucracy continue to prevent us from stopping illegal immigration, putting an end to human trafficking, and reducing crime in communities in Arizona and across the Southwest.”

There is no doubt that new technologies such as video and radar surveillance tools are improving the way we secure our vulnerable borders.”

Leaders like Senator McCain understand the complexities of securing the U.S.-Mexico border. His solutions to this problem are making our border stronger. The common-sense ideas McCain brings to the table is what the United States needs – not overly-simplistic, one-track thoughts.

David Bakardjiev
President of the Executive Moot Court Board 
Executive Editor of the Jurimetrics Law Journal
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
J.D. Candidate 2016

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