After the 2001 September terrorist attack, the United States saw the need to realign itself to efficiently deal with future attacks and more so the immigration system. These included various activities that revolved around securing the borders and all the other entry points in the country. The national security and other enforcement dominated the immigration system as the consequence of the post 9/11 era. Thus numerous changes were made in the system as one way to ensure maximum security in the country.
One of the changes that dramatically occurred after the attack was the development of the department of homeland security. This department brought together close to 22 federal agencies, and most of the activities of the US immigration and naturalization service (INS) was left to the DHS. Their duties were eventually packaged out in three, main components which consisted of the US customs and border protection (CBP), US Immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) and eventually the citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) (Christi et al. 2). The creation of the homeland security was the most prominent realignment strategy that the government undertook, and it was mainly geared towards the prevention of another terrorist attack (Garcia, Michael, & Ruth Wasem 3). So much spending has been directed towards this body which is an indicator of its importance to the society.
Secondly, the different agencies that operated at the borders were combined to form one body that was known as the customs and border protection agency, and a lot of resources were pumped into the agency. More so there was the formation of the USCIS that was mainly responsible for the application and the processing of lawful permanent residence and citizenship among other legal immigration benefits. Also, the body is responsible for ensuring the verification before employment using the Verify program (Krikorian 93).
The intelligence and counterterrorism bodies were created in the dimension of immigration. Counterterrorism came along with various advantages that include the following. There were increased data collection and the screening of the international passengers intensified. More enhancements in traveling to the United States were developed, and also there was an agreement that was established (Christi et al. 5). Another series of 9/11 operational programs for the noncitizens were designed, and new policies that permitted the detention of illegal immigrants that were not cooperative was also created.
To improve the security more national specific screening and enforcement programs were developed that were mainly focused on immigrants in the United States. Among them was the national security entry-exit registration system (NSEERS) that was initiated back in September 2002 with a primary aim of registration of every non-citizen in the country and it mainly targeted those that were coming from Muslim countries. Later on, the department of homeland security did away with the program as other effective initiatives that could play the same role came on board. The second program was the enforcement initiative geared at priority absconders, and these fugitives were several men and women that had been in countries where al-Qaida terrorist presence or activity was high. Many unauthorized immigrants were interrogated with an ambition to recognize those that disobeyed the immigration orders or any of them that had ties with terrorism. It was done through compiling ties in a database in the computers (Garcia, Michael, & Ruth Wasem 5). The operation liberty shield was also launched that required the detention of any asylum seekers from 33 countries where al-Qaida had been known to be operating. More so various interviews of Muslims and other Iraqi immigrants to determine any of them that had ties with al-Qaida was performed and several of them were detained. A new policy on secret hearings and detention were initiated after the 9/11 attack. Again despite the fact that the Miranda agreement granted the suspects the right to contact an attorney, these were defied for once and the amount of time that one could be detained without charge was increased (Andreas 3).
Still, there was a need for document and security validation to be developed as the 9/11 hijackers had acquired the US identification card through some dubious means. The government begun to concentrate on how to tighten their measures before the issuance of any identification document of the United States among them includes the driver's license. First, the Real ID act was developed that issued the minimum standards to be followed in acquiring the driver's license and the identification document. There was enhanced border security and visa entry reform act. It was mainly aimed at seeing the minimum requirements are met (Christi et al. 7). The secure border initiatives were also established that primarily aimed at physical fencing and more technological improvements and the increased law enforcement to gain operational control on the southwest border.
The federal also developed other enforcement initiatives such as the 287g which was derived from the stature of 1996 legal reforms on immigration. The primary goal of this program was to engage in the screening of individuals who were to be jailed and the program mainly concentrated on identifying dangerous criminals from the population. More so the secure communities act was established that primarily aimed at identifying immigrants booked into the jails who had a history of criminal activity. They are screened against some databases and information sought on whether they are eligible for deportation or not (Garcia, Michael, & Ruth Wasem 3). The national fugitive operation program was also initiated that mainly requested the apprehension of dangerous fugitives in the country and all the non-citizens who had been ordered out of the state due to criminal charges to be deported.
Several legislative reforms have also been implemented that have mainly targeting the immigrants around the country. Among them includes the monitoring of individuals that are getting into the state. These were aimed at intercepting the criminals who were getting into or leaving the country. The enhanced border security and the visa reform act fall under this law. In doing this, some proposals have been passed. The government also established a removal, criteria to be used in eliminating the aliens from the country. Moreover, asylum and other forms of relief were taken away from the United States (Rosenblum 6). The security of personal identification documents act was also established.
In conclusion, it is evident that the 9/11 attack in the United States was a significant turning point and one that will impact the nation for many ages to come. As at the moment, several laws and regulations have been passed that are aimed at enhancing the security of the country. These laws to a large extent have affected the immigrants, and most of them have been deported on the same grounds. More rules are still being passed to regulate their entry into the country and also to expel those that unlawfully exist in the nation even after deportation.
Andreas, Peter. A Tale of Two Borders: The U.S.-Mexico and U.S. - Canada Lines after 9-11Regional Review, no. 3, 2003, p. 3.
Chishti, Muzaffar et al. "Through the Prism of National Security:" Major Immigration Policy and Program Changes in the Decade Since 9/11, 2011, Accessed 26 Apr 2018.
Garcia, Michael, and Ruth Wasem. "9/11 Commission: Current Legislative Proposals for U.S. Immigration Law and Policy". 2004, Accessed 26 Apr 2018.
Krikorian, Mark: The NEW CASE against IMMIGRATION." Kirkus Reviews, 2008
Rosenblum, Marc. "U.S. Immigration Policy Since 9/11: Understanding The Stalemate Over Comprehensive Immigration Reform". 2002, Accessed 26 Apr 2018.
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