Time For The Fence Along The Border

It has become obvious to all concerned that we basically have an open border on our south with Mexico. Any person has the ability to simply walk across with little or no impediment, and the chances of being caught violating our immgration laws and thumbing their noses at our wishes are less than 25%. It is even worse with illegals from countries other than Mexico who are simply ticketed and released to go wherever they wish in the US. Even if they are caught, they are let go so that they get 100% free entry. What is the point in increased screening of foreign visas, if all that they have to do is walk across, and keep on going? The terrorists will sure love that one since they know that they will be released.
IN short, the ONLY way to secure our border is to erect a fence along most of our border and install hi tech gear where it is impractical to erect a fence. Since much of the border is flat and unihabited, that will be no problem. IN other areas there are lakes, mountains, and other places where patrolling can be used. Having such a fence will decrease the areas for massive patrolling which is now required for all of the border, and let the BP patrol the areas where there is no such fence. The effect of even partial fencing will be to act as a force multiplier for the few troops we have now and funnel the illegals into fewer places to cross which can be better observed.
The FACT is that the US Army built a 1500+ mile highway to Alaska in 1942 during WWII across some of the worst terrain and climate in North America and did it in EIGHT months. I think that a fence will be FAR less of a challenge for the Corps of Engineers than the ALCAN highway. There was also a study done for Rep. Norwood R-Ga which showed the practical means of immediately securing our southern border with about 36,000Guard troops. The task force came up with a practical means of mobilizing and deploying those troops so that we CAN immediately secure the border NOW. The current Bush plan is a PR stunt and nothing more.
There is a plan for a border fence that the Minuteman Project has proposed which is borrowed from the Israelis which is designed to keep out professional terrorists. I would urge people to go to their site and see it. It will NOT be very easy to breach, and any fence or barrier is useless unless it is also patrolled. I think that such a fence will be a real barrier to illegals as well as terrorists and drug smugglers. It is even MORE important from a national security viewpoint to cut down on the massive numbers coming across our borders because they act as an excellent mask to screen the major threats from such terrorists. They divert valuable resources from getting the most dangerous illegals and use them up against relatively innocuous illegals.
In John Kerry’s campaign he said that one of his FIRST priorities was to SECURE our borders. I know that he is NOT a BSer such as W. Bush is. When Kerry said he would secure our borders that meant the there would be ZERO illegals coming across. He has even authored and voted for legislation to increase the BP by more than 1000 agents up from what Bush wants, and voted for erecting the fence as well, though not as extensive as the House plan. In short, this is a BIPARTISAN issue that ALL Americans can and should support.

Won’t happen. Property owners won’t stand for chunks of their property being taken away for the privilidge of an eyesore in their backyard.

Congress won’t shell out the dough. Nor should they.

This is a made-up issue that has an easy answer (make immigration so open that only terrorists and other criminals would even try to get in illegally while rulthlessly going after employers of illegals) that nobody wants to try. All the rest is just a distraction from all the real problems plauging this nation.

Won’t happen. Property owners won’t stand for chunks of their property being taken away for the privilidge of an eyesore in their backyard.

Congress won’t shell out the dough. Nor should they.
Actually many of the landowners have volunteered to give up some of their land to the Minuteman Project to build it using private funding. Also the Congress in BOTH houses have said that they will spend the money to erect such a fence, though in different size. Most landowners would be HAPPY to give up a small part of their land so that they could use the rest of it without fear of illegals destroying their property or be in fear of their lives. It would be a small price to pay and wouldn’t take that much land.
The idea of making entry into the US wide open is even dumber. Since it would be the perfect screen for terrorists who would like NOTHING better than having a large mass of people that they could hide in. It is like a crook on the run looking for a crowd to get lost in. I hardly see that any even simple minded terrorist would not like such a fine opportunity. They already have just such an open border now anyway and with LOTS of others to get lost in such a large crowd.

Terrorists? The claims are that somewhere between 10-20 million illegal aliens are in this country. I am aware of no incidents of illegal immigrants performing acts of terror in the US (IIRC, the 9-11 terrorists came in legally from Canada.)

You want to build several thousand miles of fence to keep out imaginary terrorists? Have some honesty - you want to keep out Mexicans. We can debate the merits of that position honestly, but quit lying about he motives.

My concern is not about Mexicans per se, but about a terrorist cell deciding it is too difficult to get into the U.S. by airplane now, so they’ll follow the Mexican path and come in that way.

And it does bother me that the government seems to ignore the illegal immigrants from Mexico, while putting mountains of red tape and hordes of rude officials in the way of potential immigrants who want to obey the law and enter the country legally.

And of course, nobody could possibly breach a fence. Why, fences in my neighborhood are practically impregnable. Terrorists certainly would have no access to, say, explosive devices in order to achieve their goals. I can see them now: “Oh my sweet allah, a fucking fence. Well, fuck it, let’s go home.”

If I were a terrorist intent on getting into the country, I think I’d pass on walking through the desert and get a job on a cruise ship or a freighter. That way I could walk into LA and have Big Gulps and Quarter Pounders along the way.

Terrorists. Give me a break.


The prison in which my husband works is surrounded by two twelve-foot fences, each coated in razor-wire. Between them, the ground is covered with large, uneven rocks, called “ankle breakers”. Each fence has electronic monitoring which tells the people in the control tower if something is disturbing the fence. (Lotsa false alarms from groundhogs and other critters.) The fences are patrolled around the clock.

Nonetheless, it is still possible to breach it. My husband proved it. Part of his job is that he’s sent to various prisons around the state and escapes from them to show where the security flaws are. While I won’t tell you how he did it, I will say that it’s fully do-able by an average person without any special tools or technology.

He always laughs when the subject of a border fence comes up because if the fences surrounding prisons which have such elaborate security devices are defeatable, the border wall (which certainly won’t have such security devices because of the expense) will be nothing more than a minor inconvenience to someone intending to cross it.

Exactly right, Lissa.

Any fence that could be realistically constructed across the entire border would be so weak that it’d be half torn down by wind and coyotes* (the furry kind) already before the coyotes (the smuggler kind) got to them. It’s a joke.

Any attempts to address this problem must be economic in nature. We can’t cut off access. Any feasible and humane solution simply wouldn’t work.

*Which actually brings something up, wouldn’t building a a fence of that size have some enviromental impact? We have no right to suggest that wildlife obey our borders, after all.

As a child one of the things my dad always told me was this: If someone wants to kill you badly enough, they’ll kill you. His purpose wasn’t to instill fear in me but rather to get me to realise that there’s nothing I can realistically do so don’t waste your time worrying about it.

The same goes for terrorists. If they want to find a way into your country, they will (that is if they arent’ there already).

I’m not saying the fence is necessarily a bad idea for keeping out illegal aliens (or a good one for that matter, I don’t really have an opinion). I am saying that if your goal is to keep terrorists out of your country, a fence isn’t gonna do it. In my opinion, you’re attacking this terrorism business from the wrong angle.

Sorry for the Hijack.

How did your husband get this job because, quite frankly, it sounds like the coolest job ever. Heck, I’d do it for free!

If this is about keeping terrorists out, why aren’t you equally concerned about the Canadian border?

He’s a deputy warden in a prison, and on a lot of different advisory committees. Basically, he’s just gotten the reputation as being a really smart guy, and so gets chosen for a lot of these kinds of projects.

Jesus Christ, are people STILL repeating this?

Not a single one of the 9/11 terrorists immigrated to the U.S. from Canada. (Or Mexico.) Please don’t blame us for INS screwing up.

Hearty applause.

Moving thread from IMHO to Great Debates.

As I don’t thrust anything the Minutemen say, can we see a cite for how many landowners have volunteered just to see how serious they are?

Also I expect the price of the fence to balloon in the end, It is important to notice that in WWII we had the taxes to defeat the axis so there was funding for the Alaska highway, today supporters of the Minutemen like Tancredo (R) just approved more tax cuts. So much for their priorities.

Why waste money on a fence? They recently just found a huge tunnel that went under the border. Illegals get smuggled in by the truckloads. You’ve read the stories. You stem the problem on our side. Aggressive enforcement of places that hire them. Repeat offenders should be closed down, liscence revoked, owners fined, etc…

I’ve thought about this, & I expect that the fence won’t stop one single migrant who would have come in under the policies of 2005. Anyone who would hike across the desert & risk being shot at by overheated nationalists in order to find back-breaking seasonal work is entirely capable of swimming the Gulf of Mexico, tunneling under the border, or buying forged papers & crossing at a legitimate point of entry. Certainly the mostly symbolic fence that passed Congress will have no effect; the vaster fence nationalists want won’t do much better.

So we have a proposal which is meaningless in its effect on immigration, except symbolically. Congress presumably voted for it for 3 reasons:[ul][]As a way to pander to nativists.[]As pork, since it will create jobs in construction & patrols.For the message it would presumably send to Mexico, signaling that “we” apparently don’t like Mexicans coming in undocumented.[/ul]Of course, in reality, the American people aren’t against migrant workers. Who ever got rich denying someone the right to work because of ancestry or birthplace?

So, since the fence won’t stop human beings, but it will almost certainly interfere with the migration of some animal somewhere, I advocate not building it, because it’s not worth making conservation departments’ jobs harder for a useless project.

Not to mention that I think the government needs to refute the fantasies of nationalists, rather than encouraging them. If we build this fence, just as many Mexicans will come in as come in now. In 20 years, the nativist wing will say, “20 years ago, we built a fence, & it wasn’t enough.” Then they’ll escalate to some other ridiculous measure that also won’t work. Sooner or later, we could have a race war over a misguided protectionist policy from the 1980’s.

The problem is the widespread belief in two operating fallacies:[ul][li]First, that we can somehow put enough barriers in people’s way that they’ll say, “Sure, there’s a lot of money to be made over the border, but it’s too hard to get there, so I’ll stay home.”Second, that your friends & neighbors give a rat’s patoot where their employees come from, or will accept a law that holds them responsible for their employees’ forged papers.[/ul]There are things you can change; there are things you can’t. Mexicans won’t stop coming unless Mexico gives them equivalent opportunities. American employers aren’t really interested in harsh rules against hiring certain people; they think it’s unjust, silly, & a pain in the ass.[/li]
No policy could both have a measurable effect on immigration numbers & keep punishments in proportion with offenses. All we can do is abandon the quota paradigm when it comes to Mexico, register people as they come in, & keep them legal & above ground.

First off there is no barrier on earth that cannot be breacked. Just as the doors on airliners can be easily be openned by trained terrorists, any fence can indeed be breeched. There is an old saying that locks are NOT to keep out crooks, but to keep honest people honest. It would indeed be futile to think that a fence will be the be all of security. It will slow and limit the influx of illegals to FAR more managable levels so that the BP can do its job better. AS for the supposed ineffectiveness of security fencing, I haven’t noticed ANY prison taking its fencing down because it can be breached. If they are so ineffective, why have them at ALL?
I have personal experience of having driven all over Eastern Europe when it was still communist and I can tell you that those borders were indeed very secure, though not impregnable. I also have personal knowledge of that part too. The security fencing was indeed very formidable and effective for years. The terrain in that part of Europe was FAR more difficult to fence off than that of our southern border as well. So there is NO question on the FACT that a fence will indeed be effective when used with personnel to back it up. Instead of having chases of hundreds of illegals every night, they may have one or two to chase down. THAT will improve overall security by ANY stretch of the imagination.
The idea of course is to SECURE the USA from terrorists as well as OTHERS who VIOLATE our laws. I know of no rational person who thinks that the US can let in as many people as want to come here. It would be like allowing hundreds of people to try and get into a 20 person lifeboat. It will destroy the whole purpose of the boat. I see that the memory of 9/11 has faded for some. It has NOT for me. It makes NO sense to screen persons trying to enter the US when they can simply WALK unhindered into the US. THAT is a waste of money if we don’t secure our borders. NONE of the objections have EVER addressed that part of the equation. The Canadian border TOO should be secured, but it is NOT the same problem as that of the southern border. ONE size and method does NOT fit all situations and circumstances. Only a FOOL would think that. If we indeed had over 1 million of illegals coming across the northern border, then a fence may well be called for. The FACT is that is NOT the case. Other methods can be used to secure that border since there is not the mass that exists on the southern border. It still takes PEOPLE to apprehend and capture illegals. A robot or TV cannot do that, nor can an unmanned drone.
AS for being mostly against Mexicans, that makes NO difference in either the security question, nor the fact that they are violating our laws. A good percentage of the illegals are NOT Mexican. They have in any case NO right to be in the US, any more than I have the right to blast on into Mexico with no visa or insurance on my car. I have driven ALL over Mexico and have had great times there and love the place. I really like the bullfights as well. Hopefully, if we have enough folks from Mexico become citizens and vote, we can have bullfights in our own Plaza del toros here in Houston. I would vote for it as would a whole lot of other folks and I think we could get a majority.