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Divided views as US fence goes up
BBC News ^ | 1/31/08 | Duncan Kennedy

Posted on 01/31/2008 12:39:40 PM PST by mdittmar

Of all the issues in this year's US presidential election, immigration is the one that touches the rawest of Democratic and Republican nerves.

After last year's failure by President George W Bush to get his comprehensive immigration plan past Congress, it has become fertile and divisive ground for candidates in the race.

But there is one area of immigration policy that is proceeding, despite the political stalemate: the building of the border fence between the US and Mexico.

Hundreds of kilometres are under construction along the US's southern frontier.

Estimates for the cost of the project have ranged from $2bn to $10bn (£1bn to £5bn).

Military-tested

Flying by helicopter some 100m (330ft) above the fence, it can sometimes be hard to see.

In the section along Arizona's border with Mexico I went to examine, the barrier appears like a thin black line snaking along the desert floor below.

Once you fix your eyes on the line, it becomes clear this is one area where building is racing ahead.

Roughly a mile of fencing is being erected every month here.

Areas of once-untouched desert are now disappearing under a lengthening slice of man-made fencing.

After setting down, we were able to get up close to the men and machines making the new fence.

Coast to coast, from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, some 300 miles (500km) of barrier are completed, with another 700 miles (1100km) set to go up by the end of this year.

The fence itself is an impressive, sun-blocking, engineering feat.

Agent Jose Gonzalez of the Arizona Border Patrol tells me each 4-metre-high (13ft) panel can withstand a car impact at 45mph (70 km/h).

"It's been tested using the military's armoured vehicles," he says. "We think it will withstand pretty much any migrant car or truck."

In other places, where the terrain is more suited, electronic sensors, not walls, are being installed.

But whatever "asset" is being constructed, to use Agent Gonzalez's term, it all raises the same question of whether it will work.

"It won't stop everyone," is his honest answer.

"But we believe most migrants will be deterred".

Agent Gonzalez later drives us parallel to this gigantic metallic barrier. You can see through its grey bars. Just across the ravine inside Mexico we spot a man.

When he sees the fence and us, he changes his mind about crossing and runs off.

He is not the only one deciding he needs a plan B. In some places where the wall has been completed, and where extra border patrols are in place, illegal crossings are down by as much as 60% compared with a year ago.

The days when Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Salvadorians and others could step over flimsy strips of barbed wire to begin a new life in the US are now numbered.

'Just for the US'

The fence is part of President Bush's attempts to convince Congress he is tough on immigration.

Congress gave him the go ahead for his fence but not his policy on dealing with the estimated 11 million undocumented migrants already in the US.

That unfinished business has turned into a key issue in this year's presidential race.

In some states, it is the social topic of the 2008 campaign.

We later cross into Mexico to find the fence is just as controversial, but for very different reasons. Here, it has been likened to the Berlin wall.

"What do you think of it?" I ask Marco, a Mexican, deported from America and now trying to get back into a country where hourly wages are up to 10 times those in Mexico.

"It's unfair" is his simple reply.

Marco stands dwarfed by the new border fence in front of him, but not, it seems, by the task ahead.

"Some will slip through," he says, "and I hope to be one of them."

We then climb inside one of the orange pick-up trucks used by a migrant help group, Grupo Beta.

The group, set up by the Mexican government, takes us along the fence on the Mexican side. We go past migrants straining to look up at the immense structure before them.

Enrique Enriquez from Grupo Beta tries to be diplomatic when I ask him what he thinks of the wall.

"It's fair for them, it's fair for the United States," he says.

"But maybe it's unjust this side. It's for the protection of the United States. It's just for them."

Opinion polls in the US suggest this belated attempt to physically halt unchecked immigration is popular.

Many millions of figurative horses may have bolted, but this barn door is now being very firmly shut.

Less clear is what to do with those migrants who have already made it through illegally. The outcome of this year's election may help decide that.

For now, the US is a country that is putting in place a border, but not yet a policy.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: aliens; illegals; immigrantlist; wot
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1 posted on 01/31/2008 12:39:46 PM PST by mdittmar
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To: mdittmar
Roughly a mile of fencing is being erected every month here.

Who's building it? The Army Corps of Engineers????????........

2 posted on 01/31/2008 12:42:19 PM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: mdittmar

Let’s see....Egypt has a border wall, Saudi Arabia has a border wall....apparently the 7th century is one step ahead of Congress in some areas.


3 posted on 01/31/2008 12:43:12 PM PST by G8 Diplomat (Creatures are divided into 6 kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Monera, Protista, & Saudi Arabia)
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To: mdittmar

>>what to do with those migrants who have already made it through illegally. The outcome of this year’s election may help decide that.<<

The three Democrats running (McCain included) will not only give free citizenship to illegals, they will give preferences in education and employment to them.


4 posted on 01/31/2008 12:43:43 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (It takes a father to raise a child.)
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To: mdittmar

I predict that someone will soon join this thread solely to complain...ignoring the progress being made.


5 posted on 01/31/2008 12:44:46 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: mdittmar
Once you fix your eyes on the line, it becomes clear this is one area where building is racing ahead.

Roughly a mile of fencing is being erected every month here.


Is this the super duper part of the fence?
6 posted on 01/31/2008 12:44:49 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: mdittmar
"What do you think of it?" I ask Marco, a Mexican, deported from America and now trying to get back into a country where hourly wages are up to 10 times those in Mexico.

And he was deported because...

Marco, apply for %$#@ing Visa and enter legally if you want to work here.
7 posted on 01/31/2008 12:47:41 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: mdittmar
The fence is part of President Bush's attempts to convince Congress he is tough on immigration.

BS, this is not the three level fence promised and at a mile a month it will only take 58 years to build 2000 miles of Half==s fence.

8 posted on 01/31/2008 12:49:47 PM PST by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
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To: mdittmar

“What do you think of it?” I ask Marco, a Mexican, deported from America and now trying to get back into a country where hourly wages are up to 10 times those in Mexico.

“It’s unfair” is his simple reply.

I don’t give a crap is Marco thinks its unfair. I think it is unfair I get taxed to pay for his wife and daughters to spit out babies and to educate his kids.


9 posted on 01/31/2008 12:50:23 PM PST by Resolute Conservative
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To: mdittmar
Less clear is what to do with those migrants illegal aliens who have already made it through illegally into the US.

There, fixed it.
10 posted on 01/31/2008 12:50:33 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: mdittmar

bump


11 posted on 01/31/2008 12:50:59 PM PST by Intimidator (It's not unilateral - just try saying you're a Progressive Democrat in your typical Evangelical chur)
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To: mdittmar
Divided views as US fence goes up

The only "divide" is between the citizens of this country and the clowns sitting in Washington!

12 posted on 01/31/2008 12:51:02 PM PST by Renkluaf
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To: mdittmar

I’m all for planting land mines to deter those that do ‘slip thru’


13 posted on 01/31/2008 12:51:36 PM PST by Intimidator (It's not unilateral - just try saying you're a Progressive Democrat in your typical Evangelical chur)
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To: mdittmar

That’s right, BBC. “Divided.” 85% of Americans want it while 15% don’t. Real “divided.”


14 posted on 01/31/2008 12:52:25 PM PST by pabianice
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To: mdittmar
"But maybe it's unjust this side. It's for the protection of the United States. It's just for them."

We're selfish for wanting to stop the invasion and have border security? It would be laughable, if it weren't for the fact that GWB, Mel Martinez and Juan McCain all share the opinion.

15 posted on 01/31/2008 12:52:25 PM PST by teawithmisswilliams (Basta, already!)
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To: Southack

You are correct: it is, indeed, progress.

Of course, the fact that we’ll need 60 years or so at the current rate of “progress” just to construct the original 700 miles might strike some as a bit, oh, slow and this might engender some cause for concern.


16 posted on 01/31/2008 12:53:20 PM PST by ECM (Government is a make-work program for lawyers.)
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To: mdittmar
In the section along Arizona's border with Mexico I went to examine, the barrier appears like a thin black line snaking along the desert floor below.

Snaking? The AZ-Mexico border is pretty straight except for a couple of bends.

Areas of once-untouched desert are now disappearing under a lengthening slice of man-made fencing.

The area has been "touched" by countless illegal crossers.

17 posted on 01/31/2008 12:53:36 PM PST by CPOSharky (Energy plan: Build refineries and nuke plants, drill for our oil, mine our coal.)
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To: Resolute Conservative
“What do you think of it?” I ask Marco, a Mexican. “It’s unfair” is his simple reply.

Hey, Marco. How do you feel about Mexico's border fence with Guatemala,hmm?

You know, the one where the border agents have shoot to kill orders?

18 posted on 01/31/2008 12:55:11 PM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: G8 Diplomat

Speaking with a Latino friend who btw votes Republican, he grew up in El Paso. He doesn’t favor a border “wall.” There is already a wall, with doors cut in it for passage. He remembers being a little boy and going from El Paso to Mexico to spend the night with his buds.

He’d prefer we spend our $ on an alternative approach...infrared, satellite, etc.


19 posted on 01/31/2008 12:57:37 PM PST by hoe_cake
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To: mdittmar
The author of this piece has a bleeding heart for people who violate another nation's immigration laws. Since he has a great soft spot for illegal immigrants, maybe the US should serve as a coyote and ship scores of illegal immigrants from the mid-east into the UK.
20 posted on 01/31/2008 12:57:42 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: mdittmar
Flying by helicopter some 100m (330ft) above the fence, it can sometimes be hard to see.

It's almost invisible from close up.

Areas of once-untouched desert are now disappearing under a lengthening slice of man-made fencing.

Yet it's a monster swallowing up the environment.

21 posted on 01/31/2008 12:58:54 PM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: mdittmar

I thought someone said that Kay Bailey Hutchison has put a roadblock on the funds for this fence? I hope not. Build the fence.


22 posted on 01/31/2008 12:59:10 PM PST by b4its2late (GITMO is way too nice of a place to house low life terrorists.)
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To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; 7.62 x 51mm; ..

ping


23 posted on 01/31/2008 12:59:48 PM PST by gubamyster
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To: mdittmar

“Areas of once-untouched desert are now disappearing under a lengthening slice of man-made fencing....

...The fence itself is an impressive, sun-blocking, engineering feat.”

RE: “Man-made fencing”? Is there a natural variety? And oh, THE HORROR! Our pristine desert is being marred and maligned... “dissapearing” under the “sun-blocking” monstrosity. What a bunch of pathologically-induced liberal B.B.S. (Bookoo Bull Sh*t!)


24 posted on 01/31/2008 1:03:00 PM PST by RTO (What will you do without freedom?)
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To: mdittmar

“We then climb inside one of the orange pick-up trucks used by a migrant help group, Grupo Beta.

The group, ***set up by the Mexican government***, takes us along the fence on the Mexican side. We go past migrants straining to look up at the immense structure before them.”

If Mexico refuses to pay repair costs due to their
countrymen damaging the fence—declare war on them.
I’ve about had my ration from our neighbors to the south.


25 posted on 01/31/2008 1:03:20 PM PST by tumblindice
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To: mdittmar
We need this type of double fence up along the entire border:

Like the one Hunter got through in California that is so effective. That fence should be regularly patrolled by the National Guard which would make good training for rotation to the Sand Box. That fence can then be backed up by electronic surveillance and UAVs in the air. The combination of those things in depth will work and stop virtually all intrusions.

...and the heck with what the illegal aliens out in the desert think about how "unfair" it is. They want fair...apply at the immigration office.

26 posted on 01/31/2008 1:06:17 PM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: mdittmar
Estimates for the cost of the project have ranged from $2bn to $10bn (£1bn to £5bn).

And the estimated cost, please, of what is spent monthly for illegals' medical expenses, free schools, incarceration, etc? It is not even inconceivable that the portion of the $150 billion stimulus that will end up going to illegals will be equal to the entire cost of the fence.

27 posted on 01/31/2008 1:06:37 PM PST by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: gubamyster

See my post 26.


28 posted on 01/31/2008 1:07:02 PM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: Red Badger

“Roughly a mile of fencing is being erected every month here.”

Excellent - according to my calculations the fence will be complete in time for July 4, 2169.


29 posted on 01/31/2008 1:07:18 PM PST by Eccl 10:2 (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem - Ps 122:6)
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To: Red Badger
>>>Roughly a mile of fencing is being erected every month here.<<<

Two sentences later it says that "another 700 miles is set to go up by the end of this year".

The guy is either lying or needs an accurate calander!

30 posted on 01/31/2008 1:10:04 PM PST by HardStarboard (Take No Prisoners - We're Out Of Qurans)
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To: Southack
"I predict that someone will soon join this thread solely to complain...ignoring the progress being made."

They have already arrived in droves!

"Jorge won't build the fence, Jorge won't build the fence! What? Huh? They are building the fence? Whahaaaaaa... it's not being built fast enough! Whahaaaaaa..."


31 posted on 01/31/2008 1:10:39 PM PST by avacado
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To: Moonman62

Nice catch.


32 posted on 01/31/2008 1:10:46 PM PST by subterfuge (1st choice: Hunter------2nd choice: Thompson-----3rd choice: there is no 3rd choice!)
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To: Eccl 10:2

At which time it will no longer be needed, because all of Mexico will be here..........


33 posted on 01/31/2008 1:12:49 PM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: mdittmar; DoughtyOne
Once you fix your eyes on the line, it becomes clear this is one area where building is racing ahead.

Roughly a mile of fencing is being erected every month here.

I knew it was all about race, cuz it cain't be about speed.

34 posted on 01/31/2008 1:14:25 PM PST by Carry_Okie (We have people in power who love evil.)
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To: HardStarboard

No joke. If 700 miles will be completed by the end of the year, then that is pretty damned good.


35 posted on 01/31/2008 1:16:03 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: gubamyster; mdittmar
The border is becoming another issue that is becoming hard to follow.

In California there is so much lying going on, that our state measures are nearly impossible to decipher.  The federal level is now stooping to the same tricks.

Today we have our leaders refering to twelve million illegal aliens in country.  That was roughly the figure they touted in 2000, ten million.  I'm surpposed to believe that only 2 million have come across in nearly eight years even thought ten came across in the previous ten.

We are told one week that funding for the fence to be built has been removed, and a few weeks later that the fence is going up at a rapid pace.

We are told that folks don't like illegal immigration, but they don't take measures to stop illegal immigration in it's tracks.

We are told that extending citizenship to people who have broken our laws is reasoned.  At the same time we are told that a small fine connected to citizenship, voids my ability to recognize it as amnesty.  We play silly word games and watch as a massive wave of immigrants becomes the landscape instead of adding a tinge of flavor, as was once intended.

I read these articles to try to keep up on what is going on, but I don't have any more confidence in it than those who have lied to us for decades on the subject.
36 posted on 01/31/2008 1:16:42 PM PST by DoughtyOne (PARTY WANTED: Full Time, Cons exp a must. Refs 20 yrs. No Amnesty sptrs. 1 vote per 4 yrs negotiable)
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To: Resolute Conservative
Mr. Gambino, how do you feel about these new anti-racketeering laws?
37 posted on 01/31/2008 1:20:17 PM PST by Reaganite1984
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To: avacado
To the extent the fence is being built at all, it's despite GWB; not because of him. Maybe the kid's crying because his country's being sold out by the Republican party.
38 posted on 01/31/2008 1:20:20 PM PST by teawithmisswilliams (Basta, already!)
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To: Carry_Okie

It would seem to me that a team with ball and chain attached could do better than one mile per month, but what they heck. It’s clear our government is getting serious.

Siesta anyone?


39 posted on 01/31/2008 1:20:25 PM PST by DoughtyOne (PARTY WANTED: Full Time, Cons exp a must. Refs 20 yrs. No Amnesty sptrs. 1 vote per 4 yrs negotiable)
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To: Jeff Head
"...patrolled by the National Guard which would make good training for rotation to the Sand Box. That fence can then be backed up by electronic surveillance and UAVs in the air. The combination of those things in depth..."

Just a nitpick, but redundancy or double/triple checks on a front line do not qualify as a defense in depth. A rearward fence or moat...an auxilary mobile force in the rear...that would qualify as defense in depth.

40 posted on 01/31/2008 1:20:49 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: RTO

“Areas of once-untouched desert are now disappearing under a lengthening slice of man-made fencing....”

Baloney. The mountains of trash left behind by the illegals has ruined huge areas of “once-untouched desert.”


41 posted on 01/31/2008 1:21:00 PM PST by Judith Anne (I have no idea what to put here. Not a clue.)
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To: teawithmisswilliams
"To the extent the fence is being built at all, it's despite GWB; not because of him."

Nonsense.

Fewer Crossing Border Due To National Guard And Drones

Illegal immigration drops sharply along US-Mexico border

Once easy, Illegal Immigration Now Risky:President Bush Builds 12 ft Tall Steel Fence Along Mexican Border From The Pacific Into Arizona, Plus Around Major Populated Areas In Arizona and Texas

Illegals Deported By The Planeload Now

"The president cited a 66 percent increase in border-security funding since he took office, along with a 42 percent increase in interior-enforcement spending and a total of 6 million illegal aliens caught and returned home." http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20060326-123457-5749r

DHS Announces CBP Border Patrol Agent Deployment Schedule
Washington, D.C. – Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced today the fiscal year 2006 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol agent deployment schedule. In a significant increase in personnel, an additional 1,700 CBP Border Patrol agents will be assigned to the southwest border.
http://www.customs.ustreas.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/press_releases/archives/2005_press_releases/0122005/12072005.xml

42 posted on 01/31/2008 1:22:19 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: teawithmisswilliams
"Maybe the kid's crying because his country's being sold out by the Republican party."

Lambcakes, it's the Republican Party in both Houses who killed the immigration bill.

43 posted on 01/31/2008 1:23:45 PM PST by avacado
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To: org.whodat

The fence isn’t only being built in one spot. X number of teams building x number of segments of fence simultaneously at around a mile a month can complete the project in less than 58 years.


44 posted on 01/31/2008 1:24:54 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Southack

Electronics monitoring approach to fence...fence...road...fence...electronics monitoring 100 yards inside US border...and UAVs overhead would be a barrier in depth in my view.


45 posted on 01/31/2008 1:26:39 PM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: pabianice; Renkluaf

Actually, this piece is pretty fair for Duncan Kennedy. He seems to be the BBC’s Mexico correspondent, so tends to be a little more sympathetic to Mexicans’ views.


46 posted on 01/31/2008 1:26:47 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jeff Head
"Electronics monitoring approach to fence...fence...road...fence...electronics monitoring 100 yards inside US border...and UAVs overhead would be a barrier in depth in my view."

Understood, except that monitoring isn't a barrier.

47 posted on 01/31/2008 1:28:12 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: ECM
comment 44.
48 posted on 01/31/2008 1:28:38 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: DoughtyOne
It is hard to follow.

So let us keep it front and center.

49 posted on 01/31/2008 1:31:26 PM PST by mdittmar (May God watch over those who serve,and have served,to keep us free)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

There you go. It only takes one guy to make sense out of confusion. Thanks. /s

And here I thought we were talking about 700 years. /s

That was actually pretty good humor.


50 posted on 01/31/2008 1:31:51 PM PST by DoughtyOne (PARTY WANTED: Full Time, Cons exp a must. Refs 20 yrs. No Amnesty sptrs. 1 vote per 4 yrs negotiable)
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