The Clinton Administration anticipated this shift in migration patterns and had proactively prepared for it by announcing Operation Gatekeeper on September 17, 1994 - the same year that NAFTA was also implemented.

Through Operation Gatekeeper, “Congress allocated additional funds to Border Patrol. By 1997, the budget of the Immigration and Naturalization Service had doubled to 800 million dollars, the number of Border Patrol agents had nearly doubled, the amount of fencing or other barriers more than doubled, and the number of underground sensors nearly tripled.”

In summary, Operation Gatekeeper was the first attempt in militarizing the U.S. & Mexico Border and preventing Mexican immigrants who were escaping from the negative effects of NAFTA in their communities from migrating north to find a better future for their families.