IMMIGRATION AND BORDER CONTROL
The article I decided to use for research paper assignment was “Immigration and Border Control” by Edward Alden. The reason why I chose this article to deconstruct was because of how relevant the article was to my research interests. The article was scholarly and peer-reviewed which was essential in ensuring the credibility. The author, Edward Alden, discussed current concerns regarding immigration and border patrol. Throughout my research journey thus far, I found it very challenging to find an article that was current.
The process of finding the research question proved to be a challenge for me. The author did not blatantly ask his question, thus making it more difficult to find. I really had to find out what his overall ideas were, and go back to reading the article to determine what the author was initially asking. As a result, I found the research question to be as follows, “How has the United States been impacted due to increased border protection over the past few decades?” This was ultimately determined by going back through the claims the article had made which supported his thesis.
The author went in depth of the history of immigration, and how the border patrol has adapted over time. He gives a brief synopsis of the United States process to protect the borders and how over the past few decades the border patrol’s security measures was heightened. He even mentions the role of the September 11th terrorist attacks has had on the process of visa applications.
I also really liked how unbiased the author was. He mentioned the strengths and the weaknesses associated with harder border protection, and he addresses those concerns. For example, he emphasizes on drug smuggling, and how there has been a significant decrease in illegal drug activity as a result of fewer drugs coming into the United States.
On the contrary, Alden mentions the negative impact harsher border patrol laws have impacted our economy. The United States has seen a dramatic decrease in tourists over the past decade. The author claims that this is due to the difficulty to getting into the United States. The author also addresses the concerns of immigration and makes an emphasis on both the positive and negative factors of border patrol.
The author indeed thought through the problem by breaking down his article, which I found made the article much easier to understand. He transitioned smoothly from one topic to another and mentioned his thesis statement throughout the paper. Overall, the article benefited me as a researcher. I found everything to transition smoothly. He allowed me, as the researcher, to understand the impacts of the border patrol. I enjoyed how his article broke down each individual category (history, pros, cons, etc.). I also appreciated his references. I looked into some of the references he had incorporated into his paper, and they came from credible sources. As a result, I found a few that I will include in my final paper! I think this was a significant discovery, and I will be sure to use this method more often when looking for resources for a research paper.
The use of different data collection methods will benefit the final research paper. I realized I would have to use both qualitative and quantitative methods to gain insightful knowledge and data pertaining to my research question, “What are the steps being used to regulate immigration and border patrol in the United States and how may they be improved?”
At first, I thought of just limiting my research to quantitative data because of the nature of my research topic. I wanted to stick to using numbers and available data that can be measured. On the contrary, qualitative data works well with complex and sensitive issues (Trochim 2006) so I was unsure of how I would use qualitative data to answer the research question created.
If I had the means to conduct my research, I would want to include interviews with border patrol agents, as well as some of the illegal immigrants. This strategy would require more than just set interview questions. When interviewing the illegal immigrants, I would be sure to monitor their demeanor, for example, their body language. Are they nervous to talk to me? Are they skeptical or scared to answer? All of these examples of qualitative date I would be sure to note. When conducting an interview… “The interviewer has the opportunity to probe or ask follow-up questions. And, interviews are generally easier for the respondent, especially if what is sought is opinions or impressions” (Trochim 2006).
Speaking with border patrol agents would give me insightful information on encounters they have faced and personal experiences that I would not be able to obtain through graphs and numbers. I also would not be able to find a lot of the specific scenarios of each agent through traditional research (websites, scholarly articles, etc.). This made me realize the importance of conducting qualitative data research as well. It is also important to investigate how illegal immigrants are coming into the United States. I would look into the current techniques and strategies these immigrants are using.
One of the challenges while executing my research would surround security and clearance reasons. Homeland security, since it is on a federal level, may be difficult to collect data for. I would want to investigate the level of security the federal government has, and this would be challenging because it would require a need to know basis with a clearance. Thus it would not be given to the public. When conducting my qualitative data, the lack of participation may hinder my interviews. It is very unlikely that an illegal immigrant would be willing to cooperate with a researcher and be answering questions relating to their strategies and techniques of coming into the United States illegally.
Overall, it was essential to include both qualitative and quantitative data in my final research paper. Since my research question requires an understanding of immigration and border patrol policies, and the techniques and strategies used it was important to look into both types of data. There was some trouble in finding current information, and there is a limited amount of research on immigration and border patrol.
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