Balancing Priorities: Immigration, National Security, and Public Safety

Earlier this month The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Bipartisan Policy Center published a report on immigration and its relationship to the safety and security of the nation. “Balancing Priorities: Immigration, National Security, and Public Safety” examines the U.S. government’s ability to balance the country’s immigration, national security, and public safety priorities as threats continue to evolve.

The authors note that “the immigration system has become much more sophisticated and effective since [the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)] was created in 2001,” but that more needs to be done. DHS’s partnership with local law enforcement and federal intelligence agencies can be improved through several changes laid out in the report:

  • Develop comprehensive, consistent metrics to (1) measure the effectiveness of immigration and enforcement efforts, (2) better allocate resources at the border and beyond, and (3) inform the public and policymakers on the state of border security.
  • Complete a connected entry and exit system to track and deter visa overstayers and disrupt the international travel of dangerous individuals.
  • Foster greater cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials to more effectively remove high-risk individuals from the US interior while building trust with immigrant communities.
  • Screen unauthorized immigrants living in the United States via a mechanism for documentation, allowing immigration enforcement officials to focus limited resources on individuals of concern.
  • Update and expand legal immigration visas to redirect illegal immigration flows to vetted channels while meeting economic and humanitarian priorities.

The report allows that immigration reforms alone cannot address all the security threats facing the country, and notes that much relies on the combined efforts of defense, intelligence, and law enforcement.

Balancing Priorities - Oct2016

For more information about this report, please follow the link below.
Balancing Priorities: Immigration, National Security, and Public Safety, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

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