NPR Story
12:42 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Program Offers A Look At Front Line Of Border Security, Immigration Reform

While leaders from both sides of the aisle agree immigration policy needs reform, the debate has morphed into two points of contention — the pathway to citizenship and border security.

As the bipartisan group of Senators suggest, fundamental policy changes should not take place until our border is secure.

While governors like Arizona’s Jan Brewer contest the border is not even close to secure, Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano claims it's never been more secure.

We have asked: How do you measure border effectiveness? If you’re wondering, it’s an equation that needs work.

Since 2006, the Yuma sector has seen a significant decrease in apprehensions.

But does the Yuma Sector measure their drop in apprehensions as an example of strengthened security?

A five-week program provides a group of 20 citizens a working model of how the CBP measures security. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Citizen Academy “[provides] Yuma residents and community leaders an inside look into securing the border.”

Although similar “Citizen Academies” are held all across the nation by different enforcement agencies, this program allows its participants a unique glimpse of the battleground of the border security, and the immigration debate.

Throughout the course, attendees will become familiar with CBP’s mission and participate in interactive demonstrations such as defensive tactics, tracking and inspections for prohibited agricultural items. Participants will also receive a border tour and learn about each component’s distinct roles and responsibilities as, well as their integrated mission to secure America’s borders.

The class is only open 20 participants. Here are the details.

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