The Real National Security Challenges at the Border

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The iconic and controversial iron border wall between the USA and Mexico

The Cipher Brief is taking a look this week at the national security situation along the southern border.

On NBC, the only Congressional Republican who represents a district along that border said on Sunday that officials aren’t focused enough on the issue of human smuggling.  Congressman Will Hurd said he believes the issue should be a national intelligence priority. “We need to make sure that countering human smuggling is a national intelligence priority so that we have CIA, the NSA, the FBI working with our allies in those countries to stop root causes there” the Congressman told Meet the Press.

The Cipher Brief tapped experts Michael J. Fisher, former Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol and member of the Senior Executive Service and Rowdy Adams, former Senior Executive Service member in the DHS, CBP Office of Border Patrol specializing in border security operations to talk with us about the issues that are affecting security at the border and whether there is a conflagration issue when it comes to security and immigration. 

We started with the numbers.  In April 2019, CBP apprehended over 99,000 people attempting to cross illegally into the U.S.  In May 2019, the number jumped to 132,887 people attempting to cross illegally into the U.S.  They are numbers that gangs, human smugglers and narcotics traffickers and watching closely and exploiting.

Over the next two days, The Cipher Brief will be focused on how these numbers are or are not impacting broader national security, about how they are creating a different dynamic than we’ve seen in recent years and the role of technology and the media in understanding the depth of the threat.

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