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President Donald Trump held talks with leaders of both political parties on Tuesday to discuss a major agenda item for this year: immigration.
This issue, specifically illegal immigration, is one that Trump has devoted great energy to since the early days of his campaign. And it’s one conservatives must make a top priority this year.
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We’ve made some important strides in this area. 2017 saw border crossings fall to their lowest level since 1971, thanks to the Trump administration’s policies. But there are still hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants trying to cross into the U.S.
There are also hundreds of thousands of visitors to the U.S. who continue overstay their visas. So it’s worth considering, at the outset of 2018, how to solve this problem.
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For a lot of people, border security is what first comes to mind—often embodied by Trump’s appeal for building a “wall.” This focus on border security is a valid priority.
It’s clear that the U.S. can make improvements at its borders to stop additional illegal immigration. These include adding physical barriers where they would be effective, improved technology to monitor the border, and ensuring that we have appropriately equipped border patrol agents watching our border.
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This holistic approach of combining barriers, technology, and people is the cost-effective way to secure the border. Build “the wall” is not enough.
Congress and the administration could build a large wall on a mountain in the middle of a desert in New Mexico, but that would not be the best use of limited security dollars. The mountainous terrain already acts as a natural wall that prevents border crossing.
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Furthermore, a wall in a remote desert would barely slow down illegal immigrants....
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