Comment: Real Border Security

The House Republican Conference is struggling to make progress on comprehensive immigration reform. The sticking point for many Republicans is border security. The Senate attempted to purchase border security by spending tens of billions of dollars on many things including 20,000 sinecures for CBP. It is clear that Congress is simply looking for a perception of border security rather than actual border security-and this is especially true of those most loudly demanding it.

All measures attempting to create the perception of border security are like using chewing gum trying to block the massive water pressure behind a border dam. If Congress is serious about actually achieving border security, it should acknowledge the cause of the border problem: Mexico is an economy now dominated by the narcotic trade. Approximately 100% of the profits generated by the Mexican economy come from this drug trade (bear in mind that our statement is about profits, not revenues - even though the revenues of the non-drug portion of the Mexican economy make it one of the largest in the world, it is a completely different matter with profits). This drug trade builds up such a massive quantity of incentive to infiltrate the border, that even massive brute-force measures intended to block the border are rendered porous. And when drugs flow across the border, routes are created for people, too, to cross that same border without authorization.

Lets take a generous view of the motives of those in Congress, and presume that they are serious about securing our southern border. There are 3 measures that will materially improve border security, and each of the players in Congress should find something to like about at least one of them.

  1. Legalize marijuana: That will reduce the profits from the drug trade by half, dramatically cutting the primary incentive driving the porousness of the border, i.e. people transporting drugs.
  2. Create large legal channels for the movement of people: Dramatically liberalize employment based immigration for low skilled workers, both temporary and permanent, and reduce regulations governing the flow. This will cease to make the legitimate movement of people a border security issue, since no one will want to cross a border without authorization when legal authorization is readily available.
  3. Incentivize profits in Mexico: The Mexican giant PEMEX is the single greatest economic entity in Mexico and the single greatest source of inefficiency in the Mexican economy. Encouraging Mexico to privatize PEMEX will create profits throughout the Mexican economy, providing capital in Mexico a productive outlet and one which can generate superior profits. Our Congress can make a difference on this sovereign Mexican issue by making CIR applicable to Mexican nationals contingent upon Mexico's privatization of PEMEX by amending the Mexican constitution. This would effectively move 70% of legalization off the table, and into the hands of the Mexican people, while still permitting the rest of CIR to move forward. There is no reason why Canada and Mexico should be lumped together with other countries when legislating CIR - these countries are our neighbors, and we should make every effort to be friends with them.

Expect to see lots of posturing as one unlikely idea after another is put forward in the coming days and weeks on border security. We encourage Congress to consider the ideas put forth above if real security, as opposed to a perception of security, is the goal. Please let us know your thoughts by writing to us at

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Focus: Forming and Operating an EB-5 Regional Center Book
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Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Florham Park, NJ; Philadelphia, PA - Greenberg Traurig is seeking several college graduate Paralegals for the Immigration Practice group in two cities. The position if temporary with the possibility of future employment. The EB-5 Paralegal team will assist attorneys with complex investor visa cases. Job duties are as follows: review financial documents, including tax returns, financial statements, and banking recording; audit of money trails from abroad to the United States; preparation of reports that will be submitted to the federal government; and case management. Ideal candidate will have a Bachelor's Degree and strong academic credentials. No prior paralegal or EB-5 investor visa experience required. Training will be provided. Employment or academic background in finance, accounting, business, legal studies, or a related field is helpful. Second language proficiency, particularly in Mandarin, is a plus but not required. Qualified applicants will be detail-oriented, have the ability to perform through document review, and have excellent writing skills. Please visit and click on Careers>Business Staff to apply; please submit your CV/resume and a writing sample.

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