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Immigration Policy: Border Security

Border Security

  • Strengthen Border Security with Additional Personnel and Infrastructure.
    2008 year-end targets:
    • 18,000 Border Patrol agents
    • 370 miles of fencing
    • 300 miles of vehicle barriers
    • Three additional UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)
    2009 targets:
    • 1,700 more Border Patrol Agents
    • One additional UAV

  • "Catch and Return" policy for illegal aliens caught at the border. A policy of "catch and return," ensures that aliens trying to cross the border illegally are held until they can be removed.
    • Increased funding will ensure enough detention beds for 31,500 illegal aliens until they can be returned.
    • Work with recalcitrant countries to repatriate their citizens who are in the U.S. illegally.

  • Strengthen legal efforts to keep international gang members out of the U.S.
    The federal government already refuses visas to known members of certain gangs. The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security are expanding the list of of internation organized gangs whose members are automatically denied admission to the U.S.

  • Expand exit requirements to better identify those overstaying limited-duration visits.
    • The US-VISIT exit requirement will be in place at all U.S. airports and seaports by the end of 2008. The Department will explore means of establishing biometric exit requirements at land borders.
    • The pilot program of new land-border exit system for guest workers will help ensure that temporary workers follow the mandate to leave when their work authorization expires.

  • Require all travelers to use passports or similar secure documents for U.S. Air travelers have been required to carry a passport for U.S. entry since January 2007. That requirement has also been applied to sea and land travelers since January 31, 2008.

  • "State of the Border" Reports. Since the fall of 2007, the Secretary of Homeland Security has delivered regular "state of the border" reports to discuss progress in securing the border.

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This page was last reviewed/modified on April 20, 2009.