In 2016, a person drowned in the Mediterranean Sea every 90 minutes while trying to reach Europe with the hope of a better life. Between 2014 and 2020, at least 21,470 migrants have died this way (Missing Migrants Project, 2021). Between 1998-2017, 7,261 deaths of people with similar motives were documented along the US-Mexico border (CBP, 2018). Yet, discourse surrounding the “crisis at the border” is less about the death and despair happening at the boundary separating the Global North from the South, and more about “illegal aliens” posing a threat to the security and welfare of Western societies. This “threat” is then answered accordingly with walls, drones and more money for border patrol agencies. Whether this militarisation of borders actually solves the “problem” of irregular migration is unclear.

            Therefore, this paper will analyse border militarisation in the United States and the European Union and will attempt to answer the following research question: How does border militarisation affect irregular migration in the US and EU?