Why Biden’s ‘Virtual’ Border Could Be Worse Than Trump’s Wall

The public will remember the Trump administration’s border policy for its visual horrors: a mother draw their children away from tear gas brought across the border by US border agencies, border guards Drain the water by aid groups, leaving children for migrants sit alone in chain link cells after they were taken from their parents. The gruesome and intricate mess of Trump’s political changes could be fill a little bookbut it never made the same impression on the average observer. Images and symbols fueled public anger. And in the past four years, there has been no clearer portrayal of Trump’s passion against immigrants than the border wall.

After four years of indignation, the Biden government faces a dilemma. Voters expect change, but many of his advisors do fear a limit rise and are torn in between competing visions immigration policy: is it primarily a humanitarian or a national security problem? As part of a series of actions by the executive on the first day, the President has Construction of the wall stopped and has stopped new registrations in the Migrant Protection Protocols program, which forced asylum seekers to wait for their US immigration negotiations in Mexico in often dangerous circumstances. He has yet to say what exactly he will do with the thousands of troops stationed along the border, but we can generally expect it to have a softer, less militarized public image of border control.

A tempting alternative is the “smart” wall, on which advanced surveillance technology replaces steel bollards and armed patrol routes. While the full text of the immigration bill that Biden submitted to Congress has not been made public, a data sheet The section distributed to reporters includes a section entitled “Adding Technology and Infrastructure to Existing Border Resources” calling for additional funding to include “improving the ability to process asylum seekers” and “expanding the southern border between ports of entry manage and secure that focuses on flexible solutions and technologies that expand the ability to detect illegal activity. “

Many Democrats have viewed aerial drones, infrared cameras, motion sensors, radar, facial recognition, and artificial intelligence as more humane ways to achieve the common, if somewhat amorphous, goal of border security. “It’s been easy for politicians to point out border security technology as a fallback option when they just don’t like the idea of ​​physical barriers,” said Jessica Bolter, associate policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute. These devices have the veneer of scientific impartiality and rarely produce controversial images, which makes them both palatable to a broad apathetic public and insidiously dangerous.

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