As President Joe Biden continues to push for a progressive agenda to tackle our nation’s immigration issues, his latest move of reducing the fleet of surveillance blimps along the US-Mexico border has been met with both support and criticism. According to reports from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), funding concerns have led to a decrease in blimps from 12 to four, leaving many wondering if this decision will have an effect on border security.
Despite the immediate reduction in surveillance equipment, U.S Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) statistics show that there has still been an increase in activity at the US-Mexico border since January 2021. To date, CBP has reported 770,175 total encounters at the US-Mexico border this year alone, which include both apprehensions and expulsions. This data indicates that illegal immigration is continuing to be a pressing issue that requires ample attention and resources.
The decision by DHS to reduce surveillance blimps as well as other aerial monitoring vehicles like drones along the southern border has been met with mixed reactions. While some argue that relying too heavily on surveillance tactics can be costly and inefficient, others worry that removing effective tools used for detecting illegal activity may make Americans less safe. Indeed, The Border Patrol Union recently released a statement expressing disappointment with Biden’s decision to cut back on these resources.
It is clear that Biden’s efforts are commendable for increasing transparency when it comes to immigration policy reform; however, it seems his move towards reducing surveillance blimps creates more questions than answers when it comes to protecting our borders more efficiently without relying too much on technology or staffing cuts. In light of this latest information regarding aerial monitoring capabilities being reduced while illegal activity remains steady across borders, it is essential for members of Congress as well as other public officials to come together and discuss potential solutions that allow us not only to secure our borders but also uphold justice when it comes to individuals attempting entry into our nation through legal means. Only then can we begin creating meaningful change within our immigration system without compromising its integrity or national security.