Other possible enforcement measures for the border

EL PASO, Texas — Lost in the focus on people sneaking over the southern border with Mexico is how many of the United States' 11 million undocumented immigrants arrived the easy way.

About 40 percent came on a temporary visa but ignored the deadline to go home. Lawmakers, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, say immigration reform legislation should include better tracking of visa holders.

It's one of various enforcement measures being considered beyond what have become familiar and undefined calls for more fencing and armed guards along the border.

In El Paso, officials say steps should be taken at ports of entry to ease congestion, which hurts commerce while making it easier for drugs to get through.

What's more, officials could make it easier for people to come legally. Obtaining a visa can take years or decades and many people choose to take a shortcut.

Another enforcement idea: a mandatory employee verification system for U.S. businesses, to cut the incentive for illegal workers.

"We probably don't need more fences. We probably don't need more Border Patrol. We certainly can use more technology," said Doris Meissner, former commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and now a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute. "It really is a question of the right balance and filling the gaps."

Wire mesh

Normandy/livestock

Concrete vehicle barrier with bollard

Some types of barriers used

Other possible enforcement measures for the border 03/08/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 9, 2013 6:36pm]

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