Increased border security has adverse effects

Megan Brown

A lonely service member ships a package from Stuttgart, Germany to his college daughter who is in a different country. It is one of their only forms of communication because of long distance phone calls and a six hour time difference. The box travels over the ocean until it arrives at a United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) location. Here, the box that was once Twizzlers, granola bars, trail mix and a handwritten note is desecrated to a point that it is unrecognizable. The granola bars have bite marks, the Twizzlers and trail mix are open and the handwritten note is ripped in half making it illegible. All that’s left is for the tape covered box to reach a disheartened receiver. The receiver would soon express their disappointment with the way the organization that is here to protect “the public from dangerous people and materials” haphazardly went through their package.

President Donald J. Trump has signed an executive order to increase border security by hiring 5,000 additional border patrol agents and “operational control” to prevent unlawful entries, like illegal contraband, into the U.S. However, this executive order ironically is hindering more than it is helping.

There is a sense of professionalism that needs to be upheld by CBP agents. Safety is always CBP’s number one priority, but sometimes it seems like it’s their only priority. They will search through packages and damage the contents all to look for contraband that may not even be there. Meanwhile, all the receiver is left with is a damaged box and unanswered questions. Often, people will argue “they are just doing their job.” Yes, they are “doing their job,” but there is protocol that needs to be set and followed. CBP’s reckless behavior toward people’s belongings is completely unacceptable, especially against service members who are abroad fighting for their country.

On the CBP website, they boast daily about the hundreds of apprehensions of illegal packages through the system they have at the border, but how many are false alarms? How many packages are virtually destroyed when there are no dangerous materials present? When are we going to find the solution to a broken system?

The very people protecting this country are the ones falling victim to this lack of professionalism and concern. Now, whenever I get a package, I am hopefully optimistic, but cautious for fear that I will have another package tampered with by reckless CBP agents. Border security needs to be decreased because innocent people are being affected. It has gone too far.

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