Immigration is a critical and challenging issue of any country. It results in all sorts of trouble different states face, ranging from smuggling of illegitimate goods, piracy, terrorism, and human trafficking, among others. The governments play a major role in enhancing the multilateral relationships between countries, such as foreign trade and alike. However, these few unethical practices have for long proved perturbing to countries, necessitating the strengthening of tough regulations and policies geared towards enabling them to manage and control immigrants into and out of the countries. The European Union (EU) and the US are among numerous countries that have stringent strategies with which they ensure border security, asylum, and immigration.
EU Border Security Strategies versus the US
Although the two nations have more or less similar objectives and goals concerning the management of border security, their strategies are quite divergent. The EU is on the record for having robust strategies. It manages to curb a number of illegal immigrations and intercepts innumerable illegitimate immigration activities, which would have otherwise been detrimental to the general security of its member states (Ryan & Mitsilegas, 2010). Unlike the US, the EU has a greater diversity of external borders and it puts forth great efforts in order to reduce illegal border crossing by unauthorized immigrants, especially across the Atlantics. On the contrary, the US focuses much of its resources and political rhetoric on its land border with Mexico (Appollonia & Reich, 2008).
Furthermore, the EU presents a more complex division of responsibilities between the EU institutions and nation states, which take part in the Schengen area. Such a policy makes it easier for the border security to be managed in comparison with the case with the US, which is just but a single entity. In addition, the EU member states are highly responsible for the vast majority of activities related to border investment. This policy has undergone a transformation from an exclusive competence of individual member states since 1970s to a shared responsibility in the second half of 1990s (Appollonia & Reich, 2008). The EU border agency Frontex had its inception in 2005 and, since that time, it has built up the successful border security budget for customs and border protection, which is far beyond what the US can achieve (Alperen, 2011).
Advantages and Disadvantages of European Policies versus US Policies
Member states of the EU are always happy to enjoy a series of advantages following the robust structure of its border policies as compared to the United States. First, all 27 member states that form and subscribe to the EU policies enjoy subsidized prices of all imports to their countries and constitute a single market (Alperen, 2011). Another benefit is the absence of the customs duties on all imported goods transported through the EU territory. This feature is not typical of the US, where customs duty is imposed on all the goods and there is no subsidy labeled on commodity prices.
Besides that, citizens from the EU member states are usually free to move from one member country to another where they can freely conduct their private affairs such as businesses, studies, and work or they can even reside there at their discretion. In the US, the procedure of immigration must be followed whenever a citizen moves from one state to another and mostly there are travel documents that have to be submitted and authenticated at the entrance.
Similarly, the EU has succeeded in generating major employment opportunities through its credible policies for the citizens of its member states. Such policy has improved the living standards of people in the region as well as increased the life expectancy of the citizens. In line with this, the EU policies provide for development programs to be extended to deprived regions as long they are member states. It has ensured the harmonious development, especially of infrastructure, for ensuring regional security. European structural funds are equitably distributed to cater for the equipment necessary to initiate and sustain surveillance across the territory.
Finally, the EU takes full responsibility for any victims of terrorism, piracy, trafficking, etc. as long as they emanate from the member countries. The care involves treatment and property compensation, including resettlement program. The strategy aids victims to recover quickly and resume their normal lives as well as their occupation to continue building and developing the nations. Conversely, there are a few disadvantages associated with the EU, which include the exorbitant cost of membership. The money collected in the form of membership is used to facilitate security as well other programs that aim at improving the welfare of the member citizens.
Furthermore, unlike the US, some EU policies have often proven to be inefficient. The region is still grappling with the menace of human trafficking because its policies on identification were not properly drafted to curb the problem. In the same breath, the single currency (Euro) has posed numerous problems as not all members use it. In addition, the freedom of movement from state to state results in overcrowding, which has been a big problem in certain destinations, especially London. Finally, these free borders have become conduits for drug and human trafficking, which is a confounding problem in the EU (Guiora, 2011).
Lessons That the US Leaders Learn from Europe's Strategies
Following the robust strategies and merits of the EU, the US leaders can learn a number of lessons including assessing their challenges and creatively making desired solution, of course, with the citizen's welfare at heart. The EU's strategies are all geared towards bettering the lives of its citizens first. Besides, the US ought to shift or diversify the focus from Mexico to the Atlantic border and beyond since threats can come from whichever direction (Guiora, 2011). To succeed in this aim, the federal government can instigate a cordial relationship with the neighboring countries to collaborate in the border security mission.
Similarly, the US should learn to facilitate its security groups in a way that creates synergy between participants throughout the whole process. This factor has enabled the EU to motivate people to work themselves up to such a position that they can create job opportunities for others. Moreover, the US security missions need assistance in acquiring creative and imaginative thinking with the purpose of providing novel solutions to its regional challenges (Alperen, 2011). It can be attained by borrowing, reorganizing, and combining ideas across the boundaries.
It is not the superiority of the weapons that matter in border security issues but the strategies embedded in concrete policies. The US believes in its armory more than the skill of combating the enemy only to be awakened by surprise attacks or illicit practices that percolate into the country through the border due to feeble surveillance. The EU has set a great example of the union of countries, which value the unity of purpose in combating the common enemy. It is because they acknowledge the fact that when one's neighbor is insecure, the whole society is at risk. Therefore, border security calls for a concerted effort from all concerned parties. However, under some circumstances, border security has been compromised due to the negligence of a few individuals in applying the stipulated policies and regulations in an indiscriminate manner. If it was well implemented, the issue of human trafficking could not be such alarming because it is equally a big security threat.