WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
27 Jun 2013

Seven Bad Consequences of the Senate’s $46 Billion “Border Surge”

In the aftermath of the Senate's passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill, we want to share with you the most recent analyses of the legislation from the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). There has already been a historic security buildup at the U.S.-Mexico border, and for over two years, WOLA has been studying its extent, its effectiveness, and its impact on border communities and migrants. We have been closely following the border security debate within the immigration reform process.

From spiraling costs to inexperienced Border Patrol agents to increased migrant deaths, WOLA Senior Associate Adam Isacson spells out the negative consequences of the Senate bill’s hastily written border security provisions.

Migrant deaths on the U.S. side of the border have reached record highs in recent years. WOLA Senior Associate Maureen Meyer explains why the Senate's provision to deploy 1,000 rescue beacons is needed to prevent this human tragedy.

Maureen Meyer questions the cost effectiveness of the Senate bill’s doubling of the Border Patrol, which is estimated to cost upwards of $34 billion over the next decade.

Adam Isacson points out that since the Border Patrol was last doubled (between 2005 and 2011), apprehensions of migrants per agent have dropped to an average of 19 per year, meaning that any additional investment in Border Patrol agents would yield diminishing returns.

While the Senate prepared to adopt the "border surge" provision, Adam talked to Christian Ramírez, the San Diego-based director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition.

Please feel free to contact our experts, Adam Isacson and Maureen Meyer, if you have any questions.