When confronted with the challenges of border security and illegal immigration, government officials are fond of saying that our borders have never been as safe and secure as they are now. But ranchers in the borderlands of Arizona and Texas fear for their lands, their cattle, their homes, and sometimes their lives due to the human and drug smuggling traffic that regularly crosses their property. Who is right? What does a secure border actually look like? More importantly, is a secure border a realistic goal for the United States? Border Insecurity examines all the aspects of the challenge—and thriving industry—of trying to keep terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal immigrants from entering the United States across our land borders. It looks at on-the-ground issues and controversies like the border fence, the usefulness of technology, shifts in the connection between illegal immigration and drug smuggling, and the potential for terrorists and drug cartels to work together. Border Insecurity also delves into how the border debate itself is part of why the government has failed to improve information sharing and why this is necessary to establish a clear and comprehensive border security strategy.
Longmire (Cartel), a national security analyst and consultant for the National Geographic's television show Border Wars, argues for delineating a hierarchy of threats along the border: "e must focus the vast majority of our border security apparatus on preventing from even attempting to enter our country." In a conversational tone replete with entertaining and unsettling anecdotes, Longmire introduces readers to those guarding the border, those trying to cross it, and members of nearby communities. With particular expertise on the Mexican cartels, she believes that "the fight against cartel money laundering deserves a much bigger share of the border security spotlight." Disparaging costly walls and fences and hi-tech gadgets as ineffective and wasteful, she makes the case that no amount of machinery is more valuable than highly trained and motivated agents, whether human or canine: "There is nothing in the entire technological arsenal of the planet Earth with a sensory capability superior to Fido's nose." Longmire also suggests that more attention should go to the northern border, enumerating several recent incidents where terrorists and criminals crossed over from Canada. With practical suggestions for policing the borders, informed by experience on the ground, the book provides an easy, quick, energetic, and nonpartisan introduction to the subject.