Why are Borders Important?
According to National Geographic, ‘A border is defined as a real or artificial line that separates geographic areas. Borders are political boundaries. They separate countries.’ Borders establish the area that a government has jurisdiction over. Governments are only allowed to execute judgment and enforce laws within their own borders.
What Defines a Border?
Borders can change over time. Typically, the main reasons for alterations to borders have been political upheaval, expansion, wars, and Security Council resolutions. There are, however, occasions where peaceful overtures between countries result in the expansion or contraction of borders. Borders can serve as natural barriers, for example mountain ranges or rivers, or they can be artificially created structures such as fences and walls. Borders are not only terrestrial in nature; they exist in the oceans and in airspace.
How do Countries Secure Their Borders?
Most countries openly encourage immigration, visitors, and the import of goods across their borders, according to the immigration laws of the nation. The question is, what system works best to protect the borders and keep a nation’s citizens safe and secure?
When the Eastern European Communist Bloc collapsed alongside the Soviet Union, many of the borders separating European countries opened up. Nowadays, all 27 EU members can travel freely in all EU-member states. That may change when Britain invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and breaks from the EU. Countries like Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as 3 other European Union states require some form of identification (ID card or passport) at the border. The border between Mexico and the United States is closed. Mexican citizens wanting to gain entry to the US must present their passports to border agents. Likewise, the US/Canadian border requires travelers to show their passports, birth certificate, or driver’s license. This is mostly due to the increasing terror-related activity.
Air travel is by far one of the most popular forms of cross-border migration. This has cut down on the number of travelers migrating by foot or by car when crossing multiple borders in a trip. All forms of international air travel require a passport. Sometimes visas are required, other times they are not. Nowadays, biometric documentation is the international standard, with smart ID features enabling the rapid movement of people between countries. This also enhances the host country’s ability to safeguard its borders and protect its citizens.
Terrorism remains an ever-present threat for countries, and it is spreading around the world at a fast rate. Developed nations and developing countries are facing serious security concerns when it comes to the issue of border security, detection of illegal immigrants, border management, and surveillance. Tremendous resources are being invested in securing airports, training security offices, naval officers, and designing high-tech biometric identification documents. Leading the charge in this regard is NIP Global.