Chapter

Ports of Entry in the “homeland Security” Era

Samuel Martínez

in International Migration and Human Rights

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258211
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942578 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520258211.003.0003
Ports of Entry in the “homeland Security” Era

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This chapter covers the process of securitization in ways generally applicable to all types of ports, especially to U.S. ports of entry at the Mexican border. It brings a wide range of sources, including firsthand observation of ports of entry and interviews with border inspectors, to bear on the question of whether U.S. borders can be successfully secured against outside threats via new computer databases and sensing technologies. As U.S. pursuit of global trade integration expands international commerce, it also effectively stimulates emigration from countries being opened to U.S. goods. Consequently, the challenge to port inspectors, of simultaneously facilitating authorized entry and egress and interdicting unauthorized goods and people will increase greatly, probably exceeding the capability of either advanced technology or human monitoring. The interdiction efforts at ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border collide frontally with the economic imperative of permitting rapid and massive passage of goods and people across international frontiers.

Keywords: global trade; international commerce; ports of entry; security; securitization; transnational flows

Chapter.  6621 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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