Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer
by Sylvia Longmire
Palgrave Macmillan Trade (2014) HC, 256 Pages (Non-Fiction)
If you watch the National news with any sort of regularity, you have probably noticed that there is much to be said about illegal immigration and our border security-primarily the Mexican Border. Since 9/11, border security has become a hot button issue and a highly contested political talking point during each election cycle. Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, And Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer by Sylvia Longmire is a comprehensive, and well researched look at the many issues involved with the security of our borders with Mexico, and to some extent Canada.
This is not a breeze of a read, but is easy to follow and quite interesting. Sylvia Longmire has done her homework, offering the latest in Government and University statistics, as well as personal anecdotes from those who either work in border security, or are involved in the political leadership on both sides of the fence. I learned a lot from this book, because like many Americans I only knew what was fed to me via news outlets, or politicians who are not always forthcoming with the whole story. Within these pages I have found an explanation of the problems, and the many botched solutions that have been tried over decades.
For instance, the U.S./Mexican border encompasses over 2000 miles of terrain, and it was estimated to cost approximately $2 million per mile to build a fence from beginning to end as of 2008. In 2012 it was re-estimated at roughly $20 million per mile. This is just one of many signs of ineptitude that is brought to the surface; billions have been spent over the years for security measures that have been proven untenable, and of little help in our fight to secure our borders.
Border Insecurity goes deeper than just cost analysis and political intrigues involved with the issue. There are numerous stories of drug cartel violence, political corruption, drone technology, citizen’s groups-both for and against immigration, as well as first-hand accounts of American land owners being treated unfairly, with issues such as Imminent Domain and government over-reach being investigated.
As we witness the issues of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and it’s connected violence, and the wasting of billions of American tax dollars spent on a fool’s errand, Border Insecurity by Sylvia Longmire offers anyone with an interest in this important issue a very well researched account of the history and processes involved with our border security issues. She lays out a meticulous accounting of all issues attached to America’s struggle to offer its citizens not only security from foreign threats, but also a mechanism that will stem the tide of illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
In addition to the comprehensive information presented here, Longmire also throws her two cents into the discussion, and frankly, her ideas may be some of the better ideas offered in many years. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in domestic politics, homeland security, immigration issues, current events and history.
(4 out of 5)