Essential terms for navigating and understanding the debate on U.S. immigration policy.

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Operation Gatekeeper
Announced in September 1994, this federal law enforcement program was established in the wake of NAFTA. It provided funding for Border Patrol to hire more agents and began the radical transformation of the size of that agency from roughly 4,000 agents to present-day levels of approximately 20,000. The operation also provided funding to build barriers along the southern border and to improve security technology to help stop illegal crossings. Most of these efforts focused on the San Diego sector, which then saw the greatest number of illegal crossings into the US.
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