Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The border fence

The Washington Post has a very interesting article about building a border fence. In particular, the small amount of fence that was built in San Diego had massive cost overruns and environmental disputes, and never even was completed. Further:

The fence in San Diego forced illegal traffic into the deserts to the east, leading thousands of migrants to their death. In response, the Border Patrol shifted thousands of agents to Arizona to deal with the flow. But many of those agents came from the San Diego and El Centro sectors. So once again, the number of crossers in San Diego and El Centro is increasing even though the two sectors are the most heavily fenced in the nation.

Skeptics include the head of the Border Patrol’s union, the Marine Corps, the Texas Border Sheriff’s Association, the City of El Paso, and many native Americans. As one sheriff in Texas put it:

"A few years ago, they installed cameras and said the cameras would solve things," he said. "Those cameras can pick up a tick on a cow's back. But when half the monitors are all busted like they are now, they don't work."

His prediction for how illegal immigrants would deal with the wall: "They will get ladders made out of mesquite and climb it."

What a policy success. Let's put something in place that even law enforcement thinks is a bad idea.


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