US Border Security: A More Cost Effective Solution

By Scott Morgan

One of the most contentious issues in the 2016 Campaign, here in the United States, was border security. President Trump was adamant in building a wall along the border with Mexico. This issue rose up again during the recent debate of a CR (Continuing Resolution) that would fund the operations of the Federal Government. It will be risen again as we get closer to voting for the FY18 budget.

What if there was a more cost effective solution to dealing with the underlying issues of migration, such as Human and Drug Trafficking? There is a possibility that could actually happen, one meaning the US should not place as many resources along its border with Mexico but should instead go to the epicenters from whence such activity takes place.

Already in the Northern Triangle of Central America such an effort is underway. In these countries (El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala) over 50,000 murders have been occurred over the last three years. That is an excellent motivator to encourage flight to areas where safety can be secured.

Another major factor for movements northward is the lack of economic opportunities in all three nations. The lack of jobs poses grave risks in societies that show violence. In the poorer neighborhoods gang activity thrives - which can be construed as a way out of poverty for poor and other fragile families and residents. The commercial sector infrastructure needs to be improved if growth is to be fostered. This can be achieved by investing in a fund that promotes public-private partnerships while addressing corruption - a key impediment to growth.

Improving customs enforcement between these three nations could improve trade between the countries and also assist the US Economy with exports as well. But while these are noble goals they are just that until the Security Situation improves.

Earlier, it was mentioned that over 50,000 murders have taken place in the Northern Triangle over the last three years. 95% of these crimes go unsolved. A recent poll found that three out of four respondents to the poll have little or no trust in the Police. The region has become a major corridor in the transportation of narcotics and even victims of human trafficking into the United States. The activities of gangs have a role to play in this issue as well.

It is clear that reform in the Criminal Justice Sector has to be part of any strategy that addresses the rampant insecurity in the Northern Triangle. This also includes clearing judicial backlogs providing technical training and assistance to local police forces and even holding law enforcement accountable to their  misdeeds.  This is going to be a critical element in any strategy for improvement as an increase of deportations from the United States are expected to increase soon. This means that the sharing of information among these states will be paramount.

In order for any improvement to take place these reforms must be implemented concurrently not one at a time - as some politicians would like to have done. El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are currently at a crossroads. They have to take some action to keep a spiral downward that would potentially increase migration northward towards the United States. Economic Investments have to maintain a delicate balance to encourage people to remain home and not join gangs while rampant corruption is dealt with.

This is a better way to do Border Security.

(Image: Mexico-US Border - Google Images)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]


  1. Scott, I applaud the fact that you are trying to come up with a solution instead of just criticising POTUS for his border security policy. However, this slightly reminds me of the argument that terrorists seek to be become so cause they don't have jobs, they are poor, uneducated, the usual lot of arguments to justify the crime.
    I remember Max and others asking one simple question, one that I will ask now: how come most poor people do not engage in criminal activities?

    Is it poverty the problem or is it an individual proclivity for crime? Perhaps, if Mexico were a richer country, with better human development, it would still have the same problems? Poverty is not an excuse and besides we have plenty of well-off individuals working in those gangs too.

  2. With corruption and fear so deeply ingrained into these nation's societies, no ordinary political movement nor economic enhancement can win a change. The criminals outnumber and outgun by far any police force and can easily assassinate any political leaders who oppose them; and rule an unarmed population by fear, torture and killing. The only practical solution is for the army to actually want a just system, and the army to act to remove the criminals. That will require a military dictatorship as only generals can fully protect themselves from assassination, political leaders are far too exposed.


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