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Weekly Spotlight: A Visit to the Border

All eyes were on Texas this week with both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump making coinciding visits to the U.S.-Mexico border to deliver pitches on their plans to increase border security, days after a Gallup poll revealed immigration to be Americans’ most pressing concern.

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All eyes were on Texas this week with both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump making coinciding visits to the U.S.-Mexico border to deliver pitches on their plans to increase border security, days after a Gallup poll revealed immigration to be Americans’ most pressing concern.

In his speech at a Border Patrol station in Brownsville, Texas, Biden promoted the immigration deal he negotiated with Congress last month. In his own words, it is “the toughest set of border security reforms we’ve ever seen in this country.” It would roll back key protections for asylum-seekers, give the president the power to shut the border, and add 1,500 new border security agent positions, amongst other aggressive tactics.

But before the Administration even thinks of expanding the presence and power of Border Patrol, they need to address the agency's well-documented crisis of misconduct and abuse. Just last month, Border Patrol’s second-in-command stepped down amidst sexual misconduct allegations. This time last year, another top Border Patrol official resigned after allegations of misconduct with women. And as we revealed in an investigation back in 2022, these are not one-off instances but representative of a pervasive culture of sexism and impunity across the Department of Homeland Security.

Negotiations over immigration policy are currently at a standstill in Congress. But with all the attention the southern border’s getting, it’s important that Border Patrol’s reach isn’t rashly expanded without its festering toxic culture first getting the scrutiny it deserves.


ANALYSIS

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The F-35 fleet can only perform the full range of its combat roles 30% of the time. This unreliability renders the entire program ineffective.

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OP-ED

Biden wants to put the US on permanent war footing

The new ‘defense industrial strategy’ is a boon for the arms makers, not so much for regular Americans

Read More on Responsible Statecraft


QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“We’re not talking about major reforms here. We’re really just talking about closing some of those loopholes that really act as a barrier and have this chilling effect that prevent people from being able to come forward.”

Joe Spielberger, Policy Counsel, in Federal News Network


OVERHEAD


ONE LINERS

“I think this program has become too big to fail for an entrenched part of the military-industrial-congressional complex.”

Geoff Wilson, Director of the Center for Defense Information, in Searchlight New Mexico