Friday, June 15, 2007

No Border Wall

Mr. Gaia brought home a bumper sticker today. "No Border Wall".

For those of you who don't live along the border, this may seem like a no brainer. Why wouldn't people want a wall?

The main reason is that this will have a devastating impact on wildlife. Many endangered species rely on being able to get to the River and have migratory routes that cross the river. The current proposal for the wall is a 2 fence wall with ALL of the vegetation removed between the fences and between the fence and the river. People who have a basic understanding of river bank maintenance will immediately see the inherent harm in this.

I don't have the right words to describe my feelings/emotions/thoughts on this, so let me refer you to some people who do: The Mex Files, Land of Enchantment, OneWorld, Desert USA.

Of course the other reason is that it simply won't work. As long as you have the conditions that are currently in Mexico, people are going to want to cross. Even our homeless live better than a good portion of the population in Mexico.

What gets me is that most of the people who want this fence have never even been to a border area. They have no idea what it's like to live here. I don't feel unsafe living here. I feel safer living here (about 10 miles from the border as the crow flies) than I did living in Oklahoma City. The school my kids attend is miles ahead of the OKC school they would have attended (and we won't even discuss how much better it is than the school I attended). Even though each grade has at least one bilingual class (where the teacher literally teaches in Spanish and English) their test scores (not the be all, end all I grant you) are better than average in Texas. This is one of the poorest counties in the US, we have tons of immigrants and still our schools are better than average.

So how do I propose to control immigration? Well, honestly, I don't. It is a non-issue for me. But for those people who are bothered by it, I offer the following two part proposal: 1) Make the fine for hiring an undocumented worker so much that it will cause a business to go out of business. The fine that was levied against WalMart ended up being so little it didn't even cause a blip on their radar screen. This is typical. 2) Make it illegal and much harder to send money to Mexico. Put restrictions on the amount of money that can be wired out of the country by any person. Yes, people can still mail cash (most won't, I promise you) and they can carry it home with them when they travel home, but if you make it harder for people to get dollars out of the US, that will remove a huge incentive.

The radical liberal in me also suggest schools in border towns that actually pay the kids to attend school. Many kids are pulled out of school and put on the street corner to beg and sell trinkets because it is much harder to US tourists to refuse them than their parents. And because the whole family has to work in order to have a bare subsistence living. Getting the Catholic church to remove their restrictions on birth control would also help.


NoBorderWall said...

If you want more information from some of the people who are opposed to the wall, and are printing the No Border Wall bumper stickers, sponsoring protests along the wall's path, etc., go to or . There you can find plenty of information about the wall and upcoming events, and other ways to fight the wall. Then write your Senators, because without Senate action the Secure Fence Act stays in place and the wall is mandated by law.

Gaia said...

Thanks for the information. I signed the petition.

It's interesting you posted this today. I was just trying to explain to a Lou Dobbs fan why a fence was a bad idea. She finally said she didn't care because she's "not an environmentalist".