February 11, 2019

Border Perimeter Security Basics

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 5:40 pm

Physical Security System Functions Graphic

One of the most frequently-heard objections to President Trump’s proposed border wall goes something like, “Well, the wall won’t stop everything and everyone.”  Usually that objection or some variation of it is made by ignorant and uninformed elected or appointed officials.  They usually utter their proclamation in an effort to deceive listeners into believing President Trump has asserted that a wall will stop everything and everyone.  He has not.

What President Trump has asserted, correctly in my opinion, is that a wall (or a series of strategically placed wall segments) complements other physical security measures which, taken together, can effectively help ICE and CBP agents interdict human traffic and contraband entering and leaving the United States illegally across the US – Mexico border.

Interdiction of illegal human traffic and contraband is a physical security function.   Laws to interdict human traffic and contraband passed by legislators are completely useless (except for generating campaign contributions and face time on Eye NitWit News) in the absence of systematic physical security measures.  Too often, however, legislators feel that their oh-so-superior knowledge of the law empowers them to prescribe and then micromanage the applications of physical security measures about which they know pitifully little.

The graphic “Physical Security System Functions” comes from a 2013 US Department of Defense publication entitled UFC 4-022-03 — Unified Facilities Criteria — Security Fences and Gates.  Though this publication does not pertain explicitly to securing our nation’s borders, it’s a good 83-page place to start to learn about the challenges, benefits, and limitations faced by the Department of Homeland Security in devising systems of physical security measures to perform that duty.

As the chart shows, the primary functions of physical security measures are to detect unlawful or potentially unlawful border crossings, then delay those illegal crossings until a timely response team can arrive to assess and then act appropriately and lawfully.

The physical security measures most applicable to any segment of the border are best determined by the CBP and ICE agents assigned to that sector, not to the Fools on the Hill in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac.

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