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The Laws Against Border Crossing

The Laws Against Border Crossing


The laws against border crossing have been a topic of debate and controversy for many years. Some people argue that these laws are necessary to protect national security and prevent illegal immigration, while others believe that they are too harsh and violate basic human rights. In this article, we will explore the laws against border crossing in detail, including their history and current status, the reasons why they exist, and the arguments for and against them.

History of Border Crossing Laws:

The first laws against border crossing were put into place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These laws were designed to prevent Chinese immigrants from entering the United States. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first federal law to restrict immigration on the basis of race and nationality. It was followed by the Immigration Act of 1924, which established national quotas on immigration and effectively banned immigration from certain countries, particularly those in Asia and Southern and Eastern Europe.

Since then, the laws against border crossing have become more complex and extensive. In 1952, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) was passed, which consolidated and revised existing immigration laws and established the legal basis for modern immigration policy. The INA created a system of immigration categories, such as family-based and employment-based visas, and established certain eligibility criteria for each category.

Reasons for Border Crossing Laws:

There are several reasons why laws against border crossing exist. One of the most important is to protect national security. This includes preventing terrorists and other criminals from entering the country, as well as ensuring that only those who pose no threat to public safety are allowed in. The United States government has a responsibility to keep its citizens safe, and the laws against border crossing are an important tool in fulfilling that responsibility.

Another reason for border crossing laws is to prevent illegal immigration. Illegal immigration can have a negative impact on the economy, as undocumented workers may be paid lower wages and may not have access to basic rights and protections. It can also strain public resources, such as healthcare and education. By enforcing the laws against border crossing, the government can reduce the number of undocumented immigrants in the country and address some of these issues.

Arguments For and Against Border Crossing Laws:

There are many arguments for and against laws against border crossing. Those in favor of these laws argue that they are necessary to protect national security and prevent illegal immigration. They point to the fact that there are many people who try to enter the United States illegally, often with nefarious intentions, and that without the laws against border crossing, it would be much easier for them to do so.

Those who are against laws against border crossing, on the other hand, argue that these laws are too harsh and violate basic human rights. They point to cases of people who are seeking asylum or fleeing from persecution in their home countries, and argue that these individuals should be allowed to enter the United States regardless of their legal status. They also argue that the laws against border crossing can have a negative impact on families, as undocumented immigrants may be separated from their loved ones, and that they can create a climate of fear and distrust in immigrant communities.

Current Status of Border Crossing Laws:

The current laws against border crossing are complex and varied. One of the most important is the INA, which sets out the legal framework for immigration policy in the United States. The INA defines who is eligible for a visa or green card, and establishes the process for obtaining these documents. It also includes provisions for the removal of undocumented immigrants and the prosecution of immigration violations.

Another important law against border crossing is the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). This law increased the penalties for immigration violations and instituted new measures to prevent illegal immigration. It also made it more difficult for individuals who were in the United States illegally to gain legal status.

In recent years, the laws against border crossing have become a topic of intense political debate. The Trump administration, in particular, has taken a hard-line approach to immigration, implementing policies such as family separation, a travel ban on several majority-Muslim countries, and a wall on the southern border. The Biden administration has promised to take a more lenient approach to immigration, and has already implemented some changes, such as halting the construction of the border wall and proposing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.


The laws against border crossing have been a contentious issue for many years. Supporters argue that they are necessary to protect national security and prevent illegal immigration, while opponents argue that they are too harsh and violate basic human rights. Despite this ongoing debate, these laws remain an essential part of the US immigration system, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Any changes to these laws will require careful consideration of the complex issues involved, as well as a willingness to find common ground between those who support and those who oppose them.

U.S. legal context for Border Crossings

A border crossing in the U.S. will be subject to the authority exercised through the Department of Homeland Security, a U.S. governmental federal agency, through various administrative and enforcement divisions. Accordingly, a border crossing which occurs in the manner generally meant by this terminology, which is to say illegally, will accordingly come under the coverage of the U.S. Border Patrol, as is tasked with preventing such occurrences.

If the particular instance of an unlawful border crossing occurs with success, then the illegally resident immigrant to the U.S. can then become subject to the effort of deportation proceedings transacted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Administrative history for relevant federal agencies

Both the U.S. Border Patrol and the USCIS formerly carried out administrative and enforcement measures toward allowable and illegal border crossings in the context of the overall administrative framework of the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS).

As of 2001, the bureaucratic context for the regulation and prevention of border crossings was altered along with the nation’s overall shift toward a strengthened focus on the issue of national security, as provoked the shifting of both agencies into the newly created Department of Homeland Security, and the simultaneous closure of the INS as an effective sector within the U.S. government.

Geographic extent of potential border crossings

The locations in which border crossings might potentially occur into the legal and political jurisdiction of the United States without the involved authorization of the federal government can be noted as comprising some 6000 miles, also noted as comprising 9700 km, worth of border shared by the nation with Canada and Mexico.

Moreover, border crossings occurring in a way other than over land could also occur through border crossings over U.S.-maintained boundary waters. Toward this aspect of border crossing prevention and border patrol, the U.S. Border Patrol has been vouchsafed with the ability to guard against border crossings of some 2000 miles’ worth of water along the coasts of the Florida Peninsula and around Puerto Rico.

Legislation pertinent toward border crossings

The high border crossing rate currently known to be in effect for the legal jurisdiction of the U.S. has operated to make effective and wide-reaching legislation toward generally addressing the issue difficult to achieve in the current context of the U.S. Congress. Accordingly, the U.S. Border Patrol has been affected in the functions which it is allowed to exercise through the passage of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.

This law was intended to stem border crossings specifically from the area of Mexico and without the coverage of legally furnished permission toward cutting back on the U.S. employee-provided incentive for such border crossings.

Economic and social conditions prevailing in both nations have combined, however, to ensure a continued high rate for illegal border crossings and subsequent part played by such migrants in the U.S. labor market despite pertinent legislation and law enforcement measures undertaken. Border crossings have accordingly provided for political controversy in the United States.