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Will a military-style “surge” at the U.S.-Mexico border stop illegal immigration?

The proposed
The proposed "border surge" would add 700 miles of fencing and double the number of patrol agents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
John Moore/Getty Images

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Two Republican senators drafted a proposal yesterday that might encourage others in their party to vote for the immigration bill. The Senate is considering a $30 billion plan to enhance border security by adding fencing, nearly tripling the number of drones, and adding 20,000 new border patrol agents.

The “border surge” is expected to get hesitant Republicans to vote for the immigration bill that would in part issue green cards for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Some senators substantiated the need for the surge by citing a projection from the Congressional Budget Office that the immigration bill as it stands would increase the number of immigrants crossing the border illegally by seven million over the next 10 years. But opponents say the plan is unnecessary and too expensive.

Would this border surge work to stop illegal immigration from Mexico? Is the super-enhanced security necessary with deportations at record highs?


Dan Berman, Deputy Congressional Editor for POLITICO