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Border Crime


Submitted By acesurfer125
Words 1261
Pages 6
Brian Piersall
Vincent Portillo
Proposal for an Inquiry Paper
Border Crime
The blanket topic of border crime has always held a great amount of interest for me. I have done a few other papers on the topics of immigration, and the Mexican drug cartels. Through those papers I have learned a great deal, however I have only ever researched the problems along the Mexican-American border. Through this paper I have started branching my research out to include criminal activities along the other border as the Canadian-American border and the oceanic borders. In addition to already having done some research on one part of this topic, there is another reason that caused me to be interested in this topic as well. This reason was the main event that was the spark that lit the flame of curiosity in me, and it occurred on one of the many trips down into Baja Mexico that my father and I take almost every year. This particular incident took place around two to three years ago in some small Mexican down about some odd two hundred miles down into Baja. Back then I had no real interest in the problems that occurred along our borders any more than what I would see from time to time in the newspapers or on TV. I didn’t really realize that there was a real problem with the Mexican Cartels; I like many Americans was blind to what was going on outside of my own little bubble in my own little town. However after this trip I realized that there were problems in Mexico. My realization of this occurred in a small town on our way down to Rosarito, we had stopped off in this random little town for some gas, and as we entered I heard the lead of our convoy come over the radio and tell everyone “Keep your eyes peeled guys, according to the Federales earlier, this town is a haven for the cartels.” At first I couldn’t grasp the concept that some illegal gang owned the entire town, but soon enough I began to realize that there was definitely something off about the town. Every person that we passed in town was staring at us intently, and not in the usual way we get from the Mexicans who stare at us because we are American. The feeling inside the town was ominous to the least, and the occasional Mexican with a gun didn’t help with the mood very much, and so as soon as we were fueled up, our convoy shot out of that town as fast as we possibly could. As we were leaving all doubts about the town being a drug town vanished when, as we were leaving I caught a massive whiff of Marijuana, and as I looked out my window down onto the town, I am pretty sure that I saw the fields in which they grow the product a little ways behind the end of the town. Needless to say this experience sparked my curiosity about what the Cartels were into that they were able to control an entire town. So once I got back I began some research into the Mexican Cartels, which in the end led me to research the topic that I am doing today. One thing that I have learned through my research so far is that border crime has an incredibly long history, stemming back to even while our great nation was still thirteen separate colonies. Although there may be more types of crimes that take place along our border than there was back then, many of the crimes of today are the same as they were back then. For instance the smuggling of back then only slightly differs from the smuggling of today. Both smugglers from the past and present smuggle the same types of things across; arms, drugs, and people, the only real differences are that back then human trafficking was not illegal, and that the smugglers of the past smuggled their goods into the US on ships with sails, and it was a lot easier for smugglers to get away with their crimes than it is today. Thus with such a rich history it is no surprise that there are many people and organizations that have researched and wrote about this topic before. Such organizations include many government agencies such as the Border Patrol, or the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE for short. There are also many individual people who like me have researched this topic based solely on interest, people such as people like Wayne Cornelius, Philip Martin, and James Hollifield who all wrote the book Immigration: A Global Perspective which in chapter three has a very interesting article on the US border policy. Through all the research I have done I have uncovered two slightly different viewpoints on the problem of border crime. One being that the criminal activity along our border is out of control, and that our government as well as the foreign governments that reside next to us need to do something to stop all of it. The other viewpoint is that the governments involved are doing a pretty good job of keeping it under control, and that the border crime rate is declining from earlier years.

Research Throughout this topic I have tried to focus my research on a few general questions that I had in mind. Such as who are the main perpetrators behind smuggling crimes and why? Why do people trust these smugglers to get them across? What is our government doing about this mess? What are the penalties once caught by the authorities? Who is winning? And finally, what are border crimes and rates along our other borders? By following these general questions I have uncovered a modest amount information on my topic. So far most of my research has been aimed at the domestic side of the border crime, but not limited to just the Mexican-American border. Most of my research has come from the government organization ICE, through their records on recent criminal activities that either has to do with customs or immigration. I use this site a lot because all of their information is most likely to be accurate, due to the fact that it is run by the government agency itself, and because they update with new news articles daily. To make my paper amazing however, there is still some focused research that I need to do. Such as the criminal activities that take place along our American-Canadian border, and more information on the arms smuggling that is occurring across our borders.

Benefits/Audience To me this paper will hopefully bring me two things; one being the most obvious, a good grade, and the second being more knowledge and hopefully a general understanding about a topic that I have a great interest in and why border crime even exists to begin with. The only people I can imagine reading my article would be people who like me are researching into border crime, and stumble across my paper in their searches for articles on the topic. My hope is that if someone ever does read this paper, that they gain some understanding of border crime, and also that it helps people to get out of the common perception that the Mexican-American border is where all the crime is taking place, and from this I hope that they can write an even better paper than my own.

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