Border Security and Immigration

The U.S. is an arctic nation. It’s also a Caribbean nation.

While Alaska and Puerto Rico put the U.S. into those categories of nations, the interests of those states don’t typically make it to the top tier of American concerns. These forgotten borders were the topic of the International Committee meeting discussion Friday morning.

The U.S.'s borders with Canada and Mexico are the subject of frequent and sometimes heated debates regarding trade, security and immigration. America's frontiers across the Caribbean basin and along the Arctic, however, have received little attention, but are just as vital for the future of commerce and public safety. This session featured discussions of the economic opportunities and security challenges along these forgotten borders and the impact that developments in these regions will have on states.

The November/December 2011 edition of Capitol Ideas lists immigration as one of the top 15 issues facing the states. Listed below are several recent examples of how states are addressing immigration, as considered by CSG’s Suggested State Legislation Committee (SSL). 

The transportation systems of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are tied together in myriad ways and support hundreds of billions of dollars in commerce. Each nation faces its own unique challenges in the years ahead to ensure those systems continue to allow them to remain competitive in the global economy. This session examined how each country is addressing those challenges and what innovative ideas to improve transportation are worth examining elsewhere in North America.

CSG Research & Expertise in the News: 6/5-6/11, 2011

The following compilation features published news stories during the week of June 5-11 that highlight experts and/or research from The Council of State Governments. For more information about any of the experts or programs discussed, please contact CSG at (800) 800-1910 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff.  Members of the press should call (859) 244-8246.

Like Arizona before it, Alabama has become the latest state to up the ante on illegal immigration. Gov. Robert Bentley signed the controversial measure into law today and it’s slated to take effect Sept. 1st.

Maryland became the 12th state in the country to allow illegal immigrants living within its borders to attend colleges and universities at in-state prices when Gov. Martin O’Malley signed Senate Bill 167 in early May.

The homeland security challenges facing the nation today are more complex than they were on September 11, 2001.  The transition of newly elected and appointed officials at all levels of government represents a loss of institutional knowledge for the homeland security enterprise.  The recession has affected the abilities of state and local governments and the private sector to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond and recover from disasters and emergencies.  Most ominously, there is steadily increasing attempts to bring terror and manmade destruction to the homeland of the United States.

According to a new report released today by the Pew Hispanic Center, the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has dropped to 11.1 million in 2009 from a peak of 12 million in 2007, an 8 percent decline.   The researchers note that this is the "first significant reversal" in illegal immigrant growth in the last twenty years.

The study found that fewer illegal immigrants came to the United States every year between 2007 and 2009 than in years in the first half of the decade.   Specifically, approximately 300,...

Earlier this year, the National Homeland Security Consortium (NHSC) developed a white paper which contained recommendations designed to provide national policy guidance for both short and long-term strategic homeland security issues. The white paper, Protecting Americans in the 21st Century: Imperatives for the Homeland, represents an effort by various disciplines and professions to come together and acknowledge that homeland security is a shared responsibility between all levels of government, the private sector and citizens. Further, the white paper clarifies that these entities should be equal partners with the federal government in setting national goals and their supporting policies and procedures.