Department of Homeland Security Aims to Beef-Up US-Mexico Border Policy

On March 24, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security laid out a plan to respond to the rise in cartel-on-cartel violence spilling over from Mexico into the United States. More specifically, the DHS wants to decrease the amount of illegal weapons entering the U.S. via the border with Mexico.

In this plan, Mexico and The United States are partnering to ensure secure borders and decrease cross border contraband exchange.

The first part of the plan invests $700 million in inspection technology, information technology to improve communication, helicopters to establish air mobility, and the development of effective witness and victim protection programs.

The second part of the plan increases task forces, intelligence, law enforcement support and enhancement, canine units and mobile license plate readers.

The FBI, DEA, and ATF are also increasing their efforts to fight contraband exchange.

Armas Cruzada, a bilateral information exchange operation between Mexico and the U.S. aimed at thwarting the exportation of arms, plans on staying the same.

Dustin Bolton, WCU senior and a rifle, shotgun and handgun owner states that, “I feel that the partnership between the U.S. and Mexico is a good strategy in our effort to reduce the number of guns that end up in the wrong hands and that are subsequently increasing violence in the U.S.”

Current gun laws vary by state. The majority of states permit citizens to own guns provided that they are registered, making them traceable. The illegal guns crossing into the US are not as traceable.

Weapon trafficking is a serious offense that carries prison time.

Increased border patrol and intelligence has already lead to the arrest of Vicente Zambada Niebla, known as “El Vicentillo,” and five of his body guards. Zambada’s organization is supposedly responsible for trafficking and illegal dealing in Mexico.