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How to Fix a Broken Border: A Three Part Series

In this three part series, former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard assesses current threats to our border security and calls for a coordinated, multi-dimensional, bi-national approach to cracking down on cartels. Goddard's suggestions for federal action include targeting cartel money, closing money-laundering loopholes, pursuing cartel leaders, and focusing border security on ports of entry.

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PART I: How to Fix a Broken Border: Hit the Cartels Where It Hurts
By Terry Goddard (Released September 2011)

Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard argues that “much of the ‘secure the border’ debate is nonsense. Again and again, symbols trump reality, misinformation buries the truth. Programs like building a bigger border wall or enlisting police in the local enforcement of immigration laws are sold as ways to make the border more secure. They will not.” According to Goddard, our border-enforcement resources should be deployed not against unauthorized immigrants, but against the criminal cartels in Mexico that control the smuggling of people, drugs, guns, and money across the border.  “A more effective border strategy starts with the…torrent of cash pouring across the border into the cartel pocketbooks. So, go after the money. Taking away the profit cripples the organization. Conversely, as long as the money from drug sales and human smuggling—which may total more than $40 billion a year—flows to the cartels, the violence in Mexico, the sophisticated smugglers crossing our border, and the perception that nothing is being done to defend the border will continue.”


PART II: How to Fix a Broken Border: Disrupting Smuggling at Its Source
By Terry Goddard (Released February 2012)

Based on his experience as a prosecutor in Arizona, Terry Goddard shines a much needed light on the nature of modern-day smuggling in part two of his border series. "If this country wants to stop smuggling and not just present an obstacle to immigration reform," Goddard says, "we must take a broader and more analytical approach to what motivates the smugglers—and the means by which they illegally move drugs, money, guns, and people in such large volumes with such impunity. Going after the contraband product or smuggled people, as this country has been doing for years, is destined to be an endless chase. The cartels will just regroup and continue operations, learning from their mistakes. If we are serious about stopping the threat on the border, we have to dismantle the criminal organizations that carry the contraband and take away the tools that make them so effective. Anything less will fail."


PART III: How To Fix a Broken Border: Follow the Money
By Terry Goddard (Released May 2012)

In his third and final border piece, Terry Goddard calls on the federal government to take action against Mexico’s drug cartels by cutting off their funds. Using his experience fighting cartels in Arizona as an example, Goddard argues that “the next step must be national. Using the same leads Arizona derived from wire-transfer data, federal authorities are in an ideal position to coordinate among the states and with Mexican law enforcement to close down the criminal exploitation of the wire-transfer system.” But despite awareness about the money-laundering loopholes, Goddard says the government has not addressed the problem as they should. “Huge amounts of funds flowing illegally out of this country could be stopped," he said,"if financial institutions and government agencies focused on the problem.”

Published On: Thu, May 17, 2012