To ensure the Department of Homeland Security makes progress in the current constrained budget environment, its new secretary must put in place a strategic perspective to guide priorities for how to address the country's most pressing problems in disaster management, immigration reform, cybersecurity, violent extremism, and nuclear terrorism.
Two important aspects of border security bear continued attention: strategy must be developed as one part of a holistic system of immigration management and any progress on improving this system is reliant on having concrete and sensible objectives and measures of success.
The current debate regarding comprehensive immigration reform offers an opportunity to redesign the worksite immigration enforcement system to achieve more efficient enforcement with better intelligence on where undocumented workers are employed, say Andrew Morral and Peter Brownell.
The White House and a bipartisan group of senators recently unveiled proposals for comprehensive immigration reform. The proposal raises a number of questions, says Peter Brownell: How would success in securing the border actually be determined? Would it mean absolutely zero unauthorized immigration across U.S. borders?
Is there a way out of the dilemma? I think there is: a simultaneous combination of a pathway to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants already here and a serious commitment to enforce the law without ambiguity in the future, writes James P. Smith.
Published commentary by RAND staff.