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National Security Leader Responds to Recent Immigration Measures, Calls for Legislative Reform

January 13, 2023


Elaine Dezenski

While long overdue, it was encouraging to see President Biden visit our southern border. For too long, the Administration and Congress have neglected the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, to the detriment of migrants, asylum seekers, and Americans.

The recent strategy announced by the President is a step in the right direction towards securing the border, particularly efforts to find alternative legal pathways for those who otherwise would make a dangerous journey to the border. The movement of resources and personnel to the border to improve border management, along with new tools to allow individuals to initiate protection claims outside the U.S. instead of at port of entry, also are promising.

However, the strategy relies on Title 42, a temporary, pandemic-era policy, instead of existing immigration enforcement authorities, which have proven to be more effective. Over the past three years, Title 42 has failed to stem increasing border encounters and was never meant to be the backbone of our immigration system. To its credit, the administration’s strategy also provides for increasing the use of more effective, non-Title 42 enforcement mechanisms, like expedited removal. Over time, a shift away from Title 42 and towards these traditional immigration enforcement mechanisms is likely to yield positive results.

Our broken system unnecessarily impairs our economic and national security in two fundamental ways: by failing to deal with pressing humanitarian issues, and discouraging legal immigration to the detriment of the U.S. businesses that face worker shortages. The recent attention by President Biden on the southern border is welcome, but the Administration and Congress need to work together to pass needed reforms to fix a dysfunctional immigration system.

About CNSI Leader Elaine Dezenski:  Elaine Dezenski is the founder and CEO of LumiRisk, an international risk advisory advancing transformational initiatives in transparency, anti-corruption, good governance, and security. Previously, Dezenski served in various senior positions in the US government, including Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. You can read Elaine’s full biography here.

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