Border security is a complex issue. From conflict zones like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, to geo-political hot spots like Israel and North Korea. International borders are often where military, law enforcement, crime, politics and policy collide. Rarely do countries have the ability to control their entire borders, leaving open the possibility of smuggling and illegal immigration. The United States is among the world’s countries facing a very challenging border security dynamic. Just in the last 12 months we’ve seen controversy surrounding the use of military troops to bolster border security, a crisis over children being separated from their families, heated political debates over budgets and walls, senior leadership in DHS seemingly at odds with White House policy, and intense diplomatic negotiations between the United States and Mexico. Against this backdrop is a worsening humanitarian crisis that is claiming more lives and exhausting resources.
What we’re NOT talking much about in media conversations, is the increased security risk the U.S. is facing due to the crisis. Drug traffickers, human smugglers, and gang members are some of the groups exploiting the current situation. What does that really mean to overall U.S. national security?
State Secrets spoke with two experts on the issue, to see if we could cut thru the rhetoric, politics and sound-bytes, to get to the root of what’s really going on.
Michael J. Fisher is the former Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol and a member of the Senior Executive Service. He was responsible for planning, organizing, coordinating, and directing enforcement efforts designed to secure the Nation's borders.
Chief Rowdy Adams retired in June 2011 as a career Senior Executive Service member in the DHS, CBP Office of Border Patrol after almost 30 years in law enforcement, specializing in border security operations, enforcement technology, strategic and tactical planning, and immigration issues.
We caught up with Mike and Rowdy to talk about the complicated dynamics surrounding the southern U.S. Border in what became a two-part series that can also be found on The Cipher Brief.com.