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The ports of any country in the world play a major role in connecting it with other countries. It is the point where goods and services enter or leave the country. However, there are different issues that come up when dealing with the security of the ports. There are arising security threats that arise with globalization and action needs to be taken fast if solutions are to be found to the increasing security threat to the countries. Many people and groups of smugglers especially drug dealers use different ports to smuggle illegal goods and services. The things smuggled through the ports range from arms to drugs and, in some cases, illegal migrants take advantage of the openings to cross over to other countries. This leads to security threats in the country that receives the goods and people. This is one of the reasons why policies need to be put in place to curb this problem. The issue of illegal migrants and illegal drugs passing through borders into neighboring countries is not a new aspect when it comes to port issues. People have always managed to cross the border and enter the host country as illegal migrants causing all sorts of problems to the citizens. These people are always willing to do any kind of work at minimal wages and they are mostly exploited and manipulated by those they work for once they get into the country.
There have been a number of policies put in place in the past seeking to open up border to allow free movement of people in and out of the country. However, one cannot say that this was a wise move as it compromises the lifestyles of the middle class citizens who have to work extra hard to get minimum wages due to competition from the cheap labor provided by the illegal migrants. The illegal goods also make life difficult for local business people, as they have to lower their prices in order to compete with the goods coming in as smuggled products through the borders or through the marine ports. There are different ways of solving the global issue on security of the ports and how to control the illegal entry of goods and services through the profitable and useful entry points in any given country.
The policies that can be put in place are coming up with physical borders to secure country’s borders and coastlines. This does not necessarily mean constructing a fence around the country, but it entails using more security personnel to patrol the borders. The need for physical officers to operate in the borders is on the rise because people smuggle goods and services especially during the night and times when they know the guards are not very alert. This means that there should be a 24-hour watch over the borders. It is important to identify the points where most of the illegal immigration and smuggling take place and then put more security officers in the area. This is one of the first steps that can be taken towards achieving a secure port for any country. The technological advancements can also allow more innovative ways to staff the borders. The patrol officers in the borders can use surveillance cameras and video recorders in the border ports. The officers can therefore see entry of goods and serves from any point and then alert the security officers near the area to go and check the entry and confirm whether it is legal or not.
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Enforce Visa Rules
There is dire need for immigration offices to be strict on tracking the holders of visas whose term has expired. Many people in any country tend to overstay their time in the country even after the visa expires. A few people bother going back to the immigration office to renew their visas and they end up becoming illegal immigrants. The people with expired visas are mostly the ones associated with terrorism and security issues in the foreign country. This is because they are not easy to track down and they get away with most crimes. Therefore, it is up to the immigration office to take their tasks seriously and keep track of the visas they issue to the foreigners. Many illegal migrants take for granted the rights of a child to become a citizen of a foreign country as long as he or she is born during their stay in the country. This needs to be reviewed in terms of whether the parent was in the country legally or not. Then the issuance of birth certificates needs to be more complicate for the people who are in the country illegally.
The security in the ports has to be maintained at a high level and it is important for any country to make sure that its entry points have sophisticated tools and equipment to help the security officers assess the people and goods entering the port. There are different measures that can be put in place to make sure that the ports are safe. For the marine ports, it is important to have secure information systems and security alerts that can easily detect and warn of a security threat. This can be with detectors that can sense and sound alarms in case of a security threat within the port. The use of Security Identification Card comes in handy in the airports and the marine ports when it comes to handling security issues. The people in the part to show that they have undergone the physical checks and have passed to operate within the ports with minimal security checks can use the card. The security officers in ports need to have special training on how to use security equipment especially detectors to help them monitor the ports. Technology allows for the use of surveillance camera in different locations around the ports and this goes a long way in helping the security officer’s track down illegal migrants by rechecking the recorded videos and counterchecking the information given. A security assessment allows for screening of weapon and then clearing them in the ports. This requires qualified personnel to assess whether the weapons are legal and the purpose of the weapons. The ports are majorly the points where terrorists move in their goods then assemble them later on. It is therefore important for the ports staff to have specialized training that can help identify illegal firearms and drugs easily.
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It is crucial for any port authority to have complete records of the people and goods that enter through the port. To make sure that the information is secure, there needs to be a system where the different ports can exchange information about the different people and goods that enter the country at any given time. This is to help identify any illegal activity or detect and suspicious plan. This is made easier by storing all the records in soft copies to allow for easy tracking and exchange between different countries or ports. This will help identify the people and keep track of their activities over time.
Illegal immigrants get many privileges once they establish themselves in a foreign country. Some of the benefits they get to enjoy include free social services provided by the host nation, free medical care, and education for their children, welfare benefits and working without paying tax. The illegal immigrants enjoy these things and this makes their stay very comfortable at the expense of a hardworking citizen who has to pay taxes to cater for the upkeep of the illegal immigrant. Many businesses and organizations take advantage of the cheap labor the immigrants offer and they get to avoid paying tax. The local authorities need to tighten their efforts and identify the businesses that hire the illegal immigrants. This will help reduce the employment opportunities that attract most of the illegal immigrants. The companies that use illegal immigrant as their employees need to face stern legal actions to help stop them from employing the people who do not contribute to any tax payments. The illegal immigrants enjoy social services like schools and other social amenities while the citizens work hard to pay taxes to help build and maintain the amenities, which is not fair at all. Therefore, it is up to the local authorities to identify the illegal immigrants and the companies giving them employment. This will discourage the other migrants considering coming to the country to look for employments and may even force those who are in the country to leave and go try their luck in their home country.
Strict Law Enforcement
There has been laxity in the enforcement of laws that regulate illegal entry of people and goods many countries. Illegal migrants and smugglers do not face the full legal terms as provided by the laws. It is high time for countries to seriously improve their legal system and enforce these laws. The deployment laws, for example, rarely apply to the illegal immigrants who are found by the immigration department. Most of them are just left and those deported to their countries are very few. Those found smuggling drugs and other illegal goods go courts free most of the time or they just receive minor punishments. The laws used on illegal activities and entry into another country illegally need to take on more serious forms of punishments that is currently seen. This means that the government must come up with tighter and stricter port control legislation that will see to it that any activity against the laws receives maximum punishment.
The issues of security in the ports are on the rise and those entering other countries illegally do so because of different reasons. However, this does not provide a free ride and regulations and policies need to be put in place and made effective to prevent the movement in and out of countries without the proper legal documents. The illegal immigration and illegal movement of goods and services into a country increases the security threat and makes it difficult to track criminal activities and those responsible for the crimes. It is, therefore; important for any port authority to make sure that its security system is up to date and the personnel are well trained to handle any security threat. There are many things that can be done to mitigate this problem and one of them is making sure that the laws put in place are strict, enforcing immigration visa regulation and tracking will help produce the number of people overstaying their visit. The physical security is important in tracking down and screening migrants in ports. Training of personnel on how to handle illegal cases in the ports will help increase their efficiency and effectiveness in ensuring that the ports are secure and that everything entering or leaving the country has proper and legal documents allowing it to enter or leave the country and above all is not a security threat to the host nation.