Sunday, May 28, 2006

Another Brick in the Wall

Reporter Sara Ines Calderon with the Brownsville Herald examines the congressional delusion of building a border fence at an estimated cost of $3.2 million per mile:
A 176-mile line of fencing between Brownsville and Laredo would cut through back yards, farmland, parks and downtown. Brownsville's border, unlike San Diego's, is integrated into city life. People live right on the border, go to parks on the border or work farmland there.

Hope Park, near downtown's Gateway International Bridge, is about 50 yards from the river. The proposed fence would stand inside it.
The Herald also fires off a great editorial on the immigration issue, slamming Texas' senators for not supporting Bush in his efforts to allow illegal immigrants to pursue citizenship:
We regret to say that this state's two senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, are siding with this extreme slice of their party. ...

What does this say about Hutchison and Cornyn when they choose to put party ideologue and pressure from the talk show crowd and conservative bloggers over a more balanced view of the immigration issue?
The editorial also points out how most of the wall-building hysteria comes from states that don't have a clue as to what border life is like:
It continues to amaze us how politicians from places like Alabama, Wisconsin and Iowa can be such ardent border fence builders when they know nothing about regions like the Rio Grande Valley, and even less about a community such as Brownsville.
If we really want to solve the immigration problem, we should allow free movement of citizens between Mexico, the United States and Canada -- just like NAFTA intended:
Free movement would be more secure than our current system, removing Mexican workers' incentive to swim across the Rio Grande and allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to track everybody who's entering the country legitimately, with 100% assurance that anybody who crosses the border in secret is up to no good. ...

In fact, an open borders policy encourages almost as many immigrants to go back home as to stay. Without the risk of being unable to reenter the United States, millions of undocumented workers would be free to return to Mexico.
However, don't expect a commonsense argument like this to convince the ideologues, fearmongers and racists. To them, the more we become like a police state, the better.


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