The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice


William A. Fix


A significant threat to United States national security stems from Mexican drug cartels. Mexican drug cartels are centered on the transit of illegal drugs into the United States. The flow of illegal drugs across the 1,933-mile U.S.-Mexico border now results in a host of crimes and violence that furthers the overall operation of the cartels. With the escalating violence from cartels, there is an increased possibility for spill over into the United States. Furthermore, because of the violence of drug cartels in Mexico, Mexican citizens have a greater incentive to move across the border. Mexicans are crossing illegally to escape poverty and the violence from drug cartels. As a result, U.S. immigration courts are being overwhelmed. Therefore, the inevitable coexistence of the drug cartel problem and undocumented immigration makes combatting the drug cartels in Mexico an integral part of a national security strategy. Without a workable solution to curb drug cartel activity and the violence it breeds, the United States cannot execute an effective solution for immigration and border security. The solution, however, should not center on the construction of a border wall. One possible solution is the issuance of national ID cards to replace the flimsy social security cards of US citizens. Another possible solution is focusing on financial networks that tolerate the laundered funds from illegal activity stemming out of Mexico. Nonetheless, the federal government must address overall border security issues and their implicit national security overtones. Furthermore, both countries—United States and Mexico— must cooperate to reach a mutually satisfactory outcome.

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St. Mary's University School of Law