The appalling attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 were without doubt the trigger of dramatic changes. The global spread of insecurity upon public perception tended to restructure those existing mechanisms intended for providing national security. The US, as a prime targeted nation by that kind of terrorism, recognised the porosity of its borders and subsequently detected existing loopholes in terms of migration policies. In fact, the investigative results from 9/11 terrorist acts put in evidence significant weaknesses in terms of border security and migration. Precisely, the aim of the current paper is to evaluate the most notable effects that the 9/11 terrorist attacks generated in terms of border security and migration policies in the US. Those effects can be illustrated by first, the origin of new governmental security architecture, second, the implementation of more draconian policies, and third, the adoption of new control strategies. Considering also the great influence of an immigration securitisation strategy supported by the very nationalistic ‘war on terror’ discourse.
To begin with, the then existing governmental security architecture suffered a significant restructuration. One of the several responses as a consequence of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was the deep assessments to exiting mechanism of national security. The results provided the common recognition of significant weaknesses in the governmental apparatus. Before 9/11 most of the migratory responsibility was under the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). This agency principally was the target of severe critics and rigorous assessments. Conclusions from those evaluative efforts demonstrated the lack of capabilities and therefore efficiency of INS to deal with such vital national responsibilities.
Those wake up alarms led the origin of substantial governmental changes. Initially, the White House established the office of Homeland Security. This body became a central organism dedicated to protecting the US from terrorist threats since only days after 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, the initiative originated considerable restructuration in the federal organisms. Such reform took place with the Homeland Security Act of 2002, by which was established the new Department of Homeland Security, and the INS was abolished. Moreover, defining the explicit missions and responsibilities, the government consolidated a powerful organism of cooperation and control which implicitly affected border security and migration policies.
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 also established new agencies destined to alleviate such weaknesses in terms of citizenship and migration services. Therefore, the installation of those offices in 2003 was the cornerstone for the border security and migratory policies in the US. The Custom and Border Protection (CBP) was constituted with the purpose of providing national security against terrorism by reinforcing local and...