Debating the Wall

From Forbes 

Lawmakers grappled Thursday with whether to build a fence along hundreds of miles on the nation’s southern border, weighing combating illegal immigration against a costly barrier that alone might not stop migrants.

No one is suggesting that a Fence alone will stop Illegal Immigrants.

Layered fencing stands on about 75 miles of the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, mostly in cities like San Diego, El Paso, Texas, and Nogales, Ariz. In an election year fixated on illegal immigration and border security, Congress is considering proposals to put fencing on up to 850 miles on the border, costing billions of dollars.

“San Diego was a no-man’s land when we built that fence,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., told a House panel examining border barriers as a way to stem illegal immigration. He said immigrant gang-related murders, drug traffic and human smuggling have dropped dramatically since a fence just south of the city was built in 1996.

“The fence did work,” Hunter said.

But Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, a former top U.S. Border Patrol official, said fencing could cost as much as $2.2 billion and might not be effective in all areas.

“There are, in my opinion, no one-size-fits-all solutions for border security,” Reyes said. “I think it wastes money. I think it’s not a good investment of taxpayer dollars.”

Again no one is suggesting a “One Size fits all” Solution. Securing our border must be at the top of our Priority list of things to do domestically. We can do this with increased border patrols, high tech electronic surveillance, utilizing UAV’s to patrol the border, and building fences where appropriate. Just as important to securing the border is the necessity to better enforce the laws we currently have on the books, particularly those involving the employment of illegal aliens. All of this must be accomplished together for any of it to work. The Fence is not the whole solution to the problem, but it is PART of the solution.   

The Border Patrol last year arrested 1.2 million illegal immigrants who crossed into the United States at the Mexican border. But agents estimate that two or three migrants go undeterred for every one who is stopped.

Border Patrol senior associate chief Kevin Stevens said fences have stopped, or at least slowed, illegal migrants. But he questioned whether fencing would be effective where there are natural barriers, like mountains or deserts. He wouldn’t talk about specific plans to extend the fence to any length.

“Can you look the American people in the eye and say this is needed? And that it’s the most practical use of taxpayer dollars?” asked Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md.

For Rep. Cummings… You damn right I can. Now can you look the American People in the eye and honestly tell them it is in their best interest to have open borders, where violent criminals, drug dealers and potential terrorists have free access to enter the country?? 

“We need an appropriate mix,” Stevens answered. “It’s not about fencing. It’s not about Border Patrol agents. It’s not about technology. It’s about all of those things.”

Yup.. So what the hell are you waiting for??? Do it already.

Critics said little will stop illegal immigration while jobs are so readily available for migrants. The Homeland Security Department recently began cracking down on employers who hire immigrants – many of whom work for cheaper wages and with fewer benefits. But the Bush administration is pushing Congress to approve a temporary worker program that would let illegal immigrants have some legal status.

We already have a guest worker program. If AFTER our borders are secure our economy requires more labor for the workforce it should be no problem at all to increase the numbers in the existing program. Any increase in the Guest Worker program must come AFTER our borders are secure though.

Conservative Republicans, particularly in the House, largely oppose such a program, which they view as giving amnesty to criminals. An estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already live in the United States.

Guest worker Programs and addressing those here illegally is two completely different issues. Those here illegally will leave on their own if employment laws are vigerously enforced with strict penalties for those who violate it, and public assistance to those here illegally is eliminated.

“As long as illegal immigrants can readily obtain employment in the United States, neither barriers nor increased staffing will discourage millions of impoverished people from crossing our borders annually,” said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a labor union that represents about 10,500 U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Couldn’t have said it better myself…

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate.**

Cross Posted to Bullwinkle Blog

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  1. 1 InMuscatine » Blog Archive » Debating the Wall

    […] Cross Posted from Morning Coffee : […]

  2. 2 Coalition Against Illegal Immigration

    Debating the Wall

    Cross posted from Morning Coffee
    From Forbes
    Lawmakers grappled Thursday with whether to build a fence along hundreds of miles on the nation’s southern border, weighing combating illegal immigration against a costly barrier that alone might not stop …

  3. 3 Right Truth

    Northern Border Security and Immigration…

    In short, security along the northern border of the USA and Canada leaves a lot to be desired. Entering Canada from the USA at Sault Ste. Marie was a joke. We were asked if we had any alcohol or tobacco…

  4. 4 The Uncooperative Blogger

    Debating the Wall

    Cross posted from Morning Coffee
    From Forbes
    Lawmakers grappled Thursday with whether to build a fence along hundreds of miles on the nation’s southern border, weighing combating illegal immigration against a costly barrier that alone might not stop …




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