United States Border Protection Comparisons With Germany


Executive Summary

The United States has been protecting the nations to prevent illegal entry of immigrants, weapons, drugs, and contraband in order to protect homeland security and economic prosperity and national sovereignty. The United States has to cover over 7,000 miles of land between Canada and Mexico, including the air land and sea. The Department of Homeland Security is increasing in Personnel, technology and infrastructure near the border, but an overflow of aliens, drugs, trafficking, and gangs still manages to sneak past the border. An Estimated 12,120,000 undocumented immigrant have entered in the United States. Of those undocumented immigrants, some are cartel members that will continue to cross the border creating a dangerous environment in the nation.

  • Cartels conduct heinous crimes across the United States
  • Weapons and drug Smuggling enforce money laundering, kidnapping, murder, recruitment, harboring, or procuring for labor service, involuntary servitude.
  • Cartels use weapons to intimidate the government and the public.
  • Crossing of Rio Grande Valley has become the main section for cartel smuggling that is the big location for weapon and drug smuggling.
  • Criminal enterprise to fund their operations by illegal flow of money.
  • Cartel network to sneak into the United States and smuggle weapons back to the United States.
  • Cartel economy increases for selling drugs across the United States.

While the United States have laws in place, they may not have the personnel or the strategy to protect the border in the United States, they could implement some ideas that Germany has to help assist the United States to help minimize criminal entry.

  • The Ability to share information of Criminal Organizations with Mexico to diminish gang and activities.
  • Create a program of information to keep all agencies informed on what is happening in the border to support law enforcers across the board.
  • Funding More Projects to fight organized crime and special networks to prevent them from infiltrating the public and economic sector
  • Create a Joint investigative team in order to freeze and confiscate money laundering, fraud and prevent corruption among politicians
  • Seize many weapons that are American made to protect civilians.


 Germany is a member of the Schengen Agreement and surrounded by other Schengen countries in the European Union. However, this does not mean that Germany does not have problems in its borders. Protecting Germany borders is a fundamental security measure for Germany as the United States or any country around the globe. For example, “in September 2015, Germany reintroduced border controls along its border with Austria, where hundreds of thousands of migrants, many of them refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East, entered the country. That year, more than 890,000 migrants entered Germany after German Chancellor Angela Merkel enacted her open-door policy for those fleeing conflict and persecution” (D.W, 2017). However, as the United States has its immigration problems with Mexico and Canada, Germany also has them with Austria and Poland. In other words, Poland; in recently years the border with Poland, where the number of illegal crossings has skyrocketed. That is putting pressure on the police and raising concerns about radical Islamists slipping through the crack.

  • Drugs (3.8 tons of cocaine in 2017)
  • Psychoactive drugs 
  • Human Traffic due to illegal immigration

This memorandum will show by comparation of borders protection of the two countries (United States of America and The Federal Republic of Germany). Also, what are the security measures and goals that these two countries utilize for its borders protection against: illegal immigration, illegal drugs crossing borders, terrorist groups, gangs, among others. However, due to system in which these two countries are rule we will see a difference in law enforcement and the reason why is due to policies such as: political parties, cultural environment, political views, immigration laws, tactics, among others. In the same manner, these two countries face the same issue in the immigration environment such open borders rule in Germany and in the United States the “caravans”. In addition, this memorandum will use data from research in immigration and crime statists between these two countries and how can we approach this issue in these two countries and recommendation in how to protect the borders of these two countries in the best manner we can find.


The Southern Border States have been battling with the Cartels, for they are one of the biggest organizations in the world taking control of the economy with brutal tactics. As the cartels have grown within Mexico, they have also migrated to the United States. The Mexican Cartels have gone relentless with bringing drugs and violent crime to the United States that puts our citizens at risk. The Cartel has had their affect in the United States, as they widely assume control about 40 percent of cocaine and 60 percent of heroin across the United States (Felbab-Brown, 2017).

The economy will continue to suffer at the hands of drugs and weapon smuggling if there isn’t enough enforcement to produce against the cartel. However, the United States has attempted to deter Cartels from migrating and trafficking across the United States with a flow of information to keep law enforcement inform of the possible traffic routes, there may be a better chance to deter drug smuggling and weapon smuggling as well. If we confiscate their weapons, then there is a greater chance that there is an exploiting their weakness. If there is confiscation of their money, then there is a greater chance they cannot fund their activities. The goal of this policy is to push for a stronger enforcement of among agencies, confiscate monetary gains, and seize weapons. In order to do this work, they need to build a working agency team that would help share information with the agencies working on that case.

To emphasize, Illegal immigration in America was in effect in 1924; it was the 1924 Immigration Act that was sign into law, which had banned all people who are not natural citizens under the 1790 Naturalization Act (Little, The Birth of ‘Illegal’ Immigration, 2017). Americans originally wanted to isolate themselves from the spread of communist ideas (History). This cause discrimination in American society against the Mexicans, Europeans, and Japanese who were denied entry (History). The 1924 act created problems within Mexico and the United States because back then, they were allowed to work in the United States (Little, The Birth of ‘Illegal’ Immigration, 2017). In the 1880s, the United States began to focus on Mexican border heavily to screen people in order to determine if they could enter, and kept Mexican Revolutionist from spilling blood over the border (Little, The Violent History of the U.S.-Mexico Border, 2018).

Currently, we are dealing with a migration of gang violence across the United States. They are coming from the Central American Region, for the illicit drug market across the United States. The drug distribution has collected over billions of dollars in sales, and 70% of firearms that have been purchased in the Southwest Border has been seized and traced by the United States, and this correlates to seeing up to 23,000 lives being murdered in drug related homicide in both North and Central America, this is threatening to the security of civilians and business (Palmer, 2015). A constant supply of firearms and ammunition is the assets they need in order to assert control in the territories they operate to eliminate their competition, continue their illicit dealings (United States Govenrment Accountability Office, 2016).

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).


 The United States has had two primary agencies addressing the issue of the drug sales coming across the United States, and the purchase of United States firearms going back to Mexico (United States Govenrment Accountability Office, 2016). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), that is focusing on the investigations of the seized firearms, and links it to the suspected firearms trafficker. The other Agency is Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), who is enforcing export laws by combatting smuggling of money, drugs and firearms (United States Govenrment Accountability Office, 2016).

ATF and ICE have taken the steps to combat weapons and narcotics, in order to keep the public safe. According to the ATF, 73,684 out of 104,850, were originated and purchased in the Southwest Border of the United States (Arizona, California, Texas), that is 70% of Rifles that can be converted to fully automatic, pistols and shotguns are being smuggled to Mexico (United States Govenrment Accountability Office, 2016).

Cartels purchase the weapons in parts so that they can assemble it in Mexico, which makes it harder to detect because legally the United States federal laws and regulations only identify with the serial numbers and not the parts, making it harder to trace the weapons because federal firearm licenses do not have to report what parts from a firearm was purchased (United States Govenrment Accountability Office, 2016).

The researching data for seized firearms and drugs were informational, but their collaboration and persistence on deterring the crime, were not as successful. Both agencies disagree with sharing information with each other, and what were the respective roles of the investigation (United States Govenrment Accountability Office, 2016).

The information that ICE was using was only shared on the limited bases among the officials, who work in that agency, but they wanted ATF to report their exports in a timely manner (United States Govenrment Accountability Office, 2016). There was also complication of not having a consistency in monitoring. It is consistent monitoring that helps give updates and reports of the results of the areas that need enforcement. Both agencies agreed that there was no specific mechanism put in place to possibly deter weapon and drug smuggling (United States Govenrment Accountability Office, 2016).

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The current drug policy was started by President Reagan, which started the war on drugs, as Reagan looked at it as a culture war and a failure on morality. President Reagan focused on reducing the supply and trafficking of narcotics. While focusing on improving on their law enforcement internationally to reduce narcotics, the United States failed to reduce it here. The estimation of sales of marijuana and cocaine has generated up to 40.6 and 28.3 billion (Palmer, 2015). Ultimately the United States failed to reduce the supply and demand of drug-trafficking gangs, as a big business of supply was created in the United States (Palmer, 2015).

 In 2013, the United States Federal Government arrested 236 gang members and discovered 123 grams of cocaine, 10 kilograms of marijuana, over 770 grams of heroin, and the amount of $22, 400. The Federal Bureau of Investigations conducted a joint seizure with other investigators and seized 23 kilograms of heroin, 100 grams of cocaine, 15 firearms, and over $400,000 in cash (Palmer, 2015).

These incidences demonstrates that there is a big market to distribute in the United States and it is coordinated to market and generate monetary gains for gangs to use for other illicit activities. While the United States focused other nations to deter drugs from being sold here in the States, they did not stop the market that was already put in place (Palmer, 2015).

How Germany responds to the Issue

 Germany and the European Union have developed mutual trust to fully exploit existing tools for information sharing and use at the border operation, to monitor operations. They have created information hubs to implement the European union law to create to have the agencies cooperate and maximize their contribution through careful programing and targeting their resources (European Union, 2015). The Schengen uses their information system to exchange information on suspect and place them in categories to trigger the alert system (European Union, 2015). Another information system that is used is PRUM framework. A System that offers an automated comparison of fingerprints and vehicle registration, these are ways to building effective cases of smuggling, and prosecuting criminals (European Union, 2015). Tracking their movements and disrupting their criminal networks has proven to be a useful tool. Booking them in the system helps to identify high-risk travelers previously known to law enforcement from multiple countries in sharing what the travelers have done in order to gain information that law enforcement was not aware of (European Union, 2015). To ensure better cooperation of each system and finding the gaps between what they have done in one country, gives the ability to prevent criminals from escaping detection while traveling in another states.


 Taking a part in the Schengen Information Sharing has helped attain a fast and easy access to information. It gives the mechanism to protect civilians to ensure that their safety is paramount. To make more use of shared information puts a greater focus on risk management, build the increase of awareness, protects the national interest. The coordination among the units would improve communications of the information exchange and reinforcement of the border management (Seniora & Poitevin, 2010).

The importance of bringing the cooperation among police, border patrol, and intelligence service will build reinforcement on border management. Sharing information will set up a risk analysis and possible joint patrols, and information sharing with the other countries that helps border control and surveillance activities for identifying threats before or after crossing the border to prevent illicit trafficking (Seniora & Poitevin, 2010). A data Base on the individuals, and the confiscated substance and weapons, long range radar and moving detectors, and traceability gives room gives room for the agents to be able to discuss the information they have received and attempt to build trust with the agencies and other countries as well, because they commonly share a problem, to encourage the states, agencies, and countries to strengthen information sharing among agencies to fight against organized crime (Seniora & Poitevin, 2010).


  Based on the comparative analysis to apply some strategies that the Schengen has put in place, some recommendations can be made. The United States usually attacks the drugs location and attempts to get rid of the Cartels from coming over and deporting them or placing them in prison, but that is not their weakness. The idea behind the Schengen strategy is hit them where it hurts the most. By applying the Sharing of Information System, giving the local, and federal police and other nation police officers, the officers may have an advantage to have a better intelligence and data across the board. As Intelligence is key to preventing crimes, but sharing information is faster for the law enforcement on either country to prevent crimes.

 United States should work with Mexico with marking all of the pieces that are used for a weapon, this way it is traceable of who actually bought the product and what are the possible weapons it could be used for. That is keeping a record and also informing officers where the product is being shipped. The reports of all products that are contained in the weapon may provide some intelligence of the areas where illicit smuggling around the border towns may be sold and smuggled if it is bought in pieces. By legally tracing the weapons, you are likely to give the locations of where the cartels are located, provide the ability to confiscate drugs and weapons as well. Federal agencies should create a unit that would seize illicit weapons, and confiscation of money unit with Mexico. By attacking their cash flow, you are preventing Cartels to continue any of their criminal activities, and they would not have the funds to continue their operations. This will diminish violence and more illegal activities as most gangs are driven by profit.


The United States current strategy to stop the cartel from trafficking and committing violent act has not been as effective, Agents do not want to share information with other agencies which leaves their partner uninformed and possibly a casualty. Meanwhile the Cartels continue to increase their drug market and smuggling American made weapons back to their country. Therefore, if law enforcement were given a bigger push to be able to share information with other agencies and Mexican Law enforcement without repercussions, and given the ability to receiving the funds to create a unit to solely focus on legally tracing and confiscating money and weapons across the United States, there is a possibility that Cartel members will decrease in selling drugs and conducting operations if the United States strongly enforces these Strategies.


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