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 “Agencies are charged by their governments and by extension their citizens, with security responsibilities….as well as raising revenues - all whilst not inhibiting the movement of tradable goods or passengers and their means of conveyance ”  

Border management has evolved from its historical “gatekeeper” role at the border to the important role it has to both regulate and facilitate trade in the current complex global trade environment.

  1. What are some of the factors that have caused this role to change: particularly those factors that have developed in recent times (625 words)
  2. Describe two of the major regulatory roles that border agencies undertake today and explain how trade facilitation impacts on these roles. (625 words)

This assessment task will assess the following learning outcome/s:

  • be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the internationally recognised government structures for border management.
  • be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the policy responses of government to border issues.
  • be able to analyse and interpret international and national developments affecting border integrity and security
  • be able to apply international legal principles and best practice administrative approaches to border management issues.
  • be able to demonstrate an informed understanding of the role of customs and border agencies and their environment
  • be able to critically assess the challenges faced by customs and border agencies in the delivery of their services
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the impact of international organisations, treaties and conventions on border management
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the principles of strategic planning in border management

The purpose of this assignment is broadening your understanding of how border management has evolved into its present day role(s) and the factors that have caused the change from the historical “gatekeeper” role.

Factors influencing evolution of border management

1. The terrorist attacks and commercial interdependence are some of the key factors that have influenced the situation of the border management. From the attacks of 9/11, and within the framework of operation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), an unprecedented cooperation was developed to increase the surveillance of all export merchandise transported to the US as well like millions of people who arrive in Mexico at international airports (Wilson, 2014). The terrorists of September 11 entered the country legally, with tourist visas, business visas and even a student visa. Several studies highlight that this fact unleashed a direct link between immigration and terrorism. Five days before the terrorist attacks, the presidents of the United States and Mexico, George W. Bush and Vicente Fox, took the first steps towards immigration reform. But the attacks froze this reform (until today) and immigration became a matter of national security. Before 9/11, immigration matters depended mainly on the Department of Justice, and before the Department of Labor. Initially the immigrants were seen as a labor issue, then legal and are currently seen in terms of security. In 2002, a year after the 9/11 bombings, a new department was created in the US government in one of the most important reorganizations of the federal administration since the Second World War was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (Bachmeier, 2013). Similarly, the US-Mexico Border Partnership Agreement was signed, also called "Smart Border", in order to allow, with the use of high-end gamma-ray technology, the revision of all merchandise that It crosses the border and passes through border security ports. However, as was emphasized by members of the Border Trade Alliance in 2004, the challenge is how to become fully involved in the management and administration of border growth (Fernandes, Fernandes, Hillberry & Mendoza, 2017).

The binational phenomenon exceeds the border security issue and includes the facilitation of trade, the issue of integral border development and what concerns the orderly migratory flows (Bachmeier, 2013). In sum, the binational economic and social development, as well as the structure and dynamics of the rules of the cooperative game, lead to focus on the relevant agencies and institutions that face constraints to achieve growth of well-being within the security and facilitation link of the Commerce.

In 2005, the Association for Security and Prosperity of North America (SPP) was created, which after only one year of operation has defined concrete actions separating the prosperity or trade part from security especially in the US and Canada. Furthermore, in the case of the USA and Canada, concrete processes were initiated for border infrastructure, customs coordination, trade and transport standards, in the so-called "common security / common prosperity" concept. However, it is important to note that the Association for Security and Prosperity of North America does not replace the successful activities of NAFTA, the smart border initiative initiated in 2002, or the free and secure trade initiative, which precede the SPP but are not comprehensive like this one (Richardson, 2017).

Impact of 9/11 and cooperation between US and Mexico

Association for Security and Prosperity of North America covers the following aspects of trilateral policy, bilaterally and cooperatively in each country: 1) Security working groups, under the leadership of the US Department of Homeland Security, at the highest level, and 2) Working groups on prosperity, under the leadership of the Department of Commerce, at the highest level (Bachmeier, 2013). For the number of items, it would seem that there is more emphasis on the prosperity agenda, but this does not necessarily correspond to reality, since the form of relationship or rules of the game of security serve center-periphery visions, while those of Prosperity or trade facilitation means using institutional structures that have been proven since the beginning of NAFTA and that now must coexist with security ones. Therefore, the present work focuses on this topic.

2. One of the regulatory roles of border agencies is to facilitate the movement of people. The second role is to provide improved protection against drugs, smuggling and illegal and irregular movement of people. These regulatory roles have really facilitated trade because in process of achieving this mission, the different agencies have managed to come up with better technologies of facilitating trade (Pirlot, 2017). 

For example, the first joint project was to solve the infrastructure, standards and paperwork problems at the specific Fort Erie-Buffalo bridge on the Niagara River border (Kunaka & Carruthers, 2014).. Then followed the project of detection of chemical pollutants and X-ray systems against smuggling, as well as a project of gamma-ray images to check without intrusions, and in less than three minutes, tractors, trailers and passenger vehicles, which was then applied at the Pharr-Reynosa border. On the other hand, since 1999, percentages of federal budgets for investment in border infrastructure have been agreed upon, in places such as Sweet-grass, Montana-Coutts with Alberta; Poker Creek Alaska with Little Gold Creek in Yukon; and the Oroville, Washington project, with Osoyoos, British Columbia (Canada-US Accord on Our Shared Border 2000, and subsequent reports) (Kunaka & Carruthers, 2014).

In the customs administration part, since 1995, the highway simplification project (In-transit Highway Simplification Project) was carried out, to reduce the paperwork of cargo, from four to two steps in the transportation of goods between the two countries. . With electronic documents and pre-certifications in internal customs, it was possible to: a) classify the cargo open and containerized according to risk levels; b) value and standardize pedimentos, certificates of origin and shipping documents in advance; c) transport goods without stopping at borders and with electronic cards at junctions. All of the above was based on trust as a basis for rules of the game, as well as the fact that the projects were concrete, transparent and open to scrutiny (Kunaka & Carruthers, 2014). 

Creation of Department of Homeland Security

In the case of passenger traffic, the Canadian Passenger Accelerated Service System (CANPASS) high-way program (PORTPASS dedicated commuter lanes in the US) was implemented for those who live on the border and travel frequently to the other country, especially in border cities. Given that this type of transfer facilitation is common, it is not surprising that a recent proposal in 2006 by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to require passports from Canadian citizens has caused criticism in Canada.

As of 9/11, the governments of Canada and the USA signed the Smart Border Declaration (December 12, 2001), with a previously traveled path and also with the important legal framework of NAFTA (Bachmeier, 2013). Had it not been for NAFTA, the US would have probably increased its isolation not only in terms of security but also in trade. This is evident in the statements of DHS Secretary Tom Ridge in 2002, emphasizing maintaining trade flows and integration with its North and South partners. In sum, the security measures together with the facilitation of trade between the US and Canada did not arise only in reaction to the terrorist acts, although they made it urgent to deepen them.

In the case of Mexico, efforts were also made, though less profound, to implement coordinated security measures with trade. Unlike Mexico, Canada accepted points from the US Patriot Act, signed in October 2001, to allow in personnel and the State Department to be present at the ports of entry and also at all consulates of the United States (Bachmeier, 2013). US abroad, as well as keeping an eye on international students on Canadian soil.

As can be contrasted, unlike the Common Border Agreement of 1995, previously analyzed, the intelligent border declaration emphasizes security, maintaining points on flows of people and goods, adds points on infrastructure and on coordination and sharing of information, respectively , but the point of cost savings for government and society is removed. This is a clear change of the "rules of the game," (Bachmeier, 2013).

References

Bachmeier, J. D. (2013). Cumulative Causation, Coethnic Settlement Maturity and Mexican Immigration to U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 1995-2000. Social Forces, 91(4), 1293–1317. Retrieved from: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=87826741&site=ehost-live

Fernandes, A. M., Fernandes, A. M., Hillberry, R., & Mendoza, A. A. (2017). An Evaluation of Border Management Reforms in a Technical Agency. Washington, D.C: The World Bank.

Kunaka, C., & Carruthers, R. (2014). Trade and transport corridor management toolkit. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank

Pirlot, A. (2017). Environmental border tax adjustments and international trade law: Fostering environmental protection. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.Bottom of Form

Richardson, K. E. (2017). Knowledge borders: Temporary labor mobility and the Canada-US border region. Northampton, MA : Edward Elgar Pub

Wilson, M. (2014). NAFTA’s Unfinished Business. Foreign Affairs, 93(1), 128–133. Retrieved from: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=93322523&site=ehost-live

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