Anyone in West Chester who has been following Congress’ slow progress on immigration reform will likely remember the debate between granting a pathway to citizenship for immigrants without a legal status and border security. In order to get immigrants green cards, work permits and eventually let them naturalize as American citizens, the Senate also had to agree to greater border security. While the House has not taken up the Senate’s reform bill, any talk of border security has got several security and defense contractors excited.
Some of the biggest groups in defense and security are vying for increased spending and contracts with the federal government.
Although a safe and secure border is a good thing, there are more considerations than just preventing immigrants from crossing the southern border into the United States. Anyone who lives near a border will certainly be affected by increased spending on defense and, thus, an increased defense presence. Surprisingly enough, most of the local law enforcement agencies near the border do not believe that the security situation is out of control.
The Senate will consider an amendment to the bill that it recently passed earlier this summer which would increase border security spending by $38 billion. Why the Senate believes the border regions need this increase in security remains to be seen.
Ultimately, how immigration reform will pan out is yet unknown. But if immigration advocates want to ease the naturalization process for those individuals without legal status, there may need to be some compromise, which may include border security.
Source: Fox News Latino, “Defense contractors see possible bonanza in immigration reform,” Sept. 19, 2013