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Debate over massive fence plan is heating up in South Texas
Star-Telegram ^ | 7-8-07 | JAY ROOT

Posted on 07/08/2007 7:13:18 AM PDT by Dysart

EAGLE PASS -- He's been living here off and on for more than half a century, so rancher Bill Moody figured he had experienced about all the excitement and madness the Texas-Mexico border could produce.

When there's not a drug bust going down or a lost immigrant begging him for food, Moody sometimes finds himself in the company of Hollywood directors, like the one who filmed Lonesome Dove here years ago and was back again recently working on a prequel called Comanche Moon.

But the federal plan for a massive security fence along the border strikes Moody as too far-fetched for a screenplay and downright nutty for his gigantic Rancho Rio Grande, which runs through three counties between Del Rio and Eagle Pass.

"If the wall would help I wouldn't mind. But it won't help. It'll be a big expense, a big problem, ugly as hell and unfriendly to Mexico," said Moody, 84, born in Galveston and heir to one of the largest and oldest fortunes in Texas. "It's not going to happen."

Moody and other landowners along the Rio Grande generally have little in common with open-border proponents and environmental activists, who have their own reasons for opposing the 700-mile fencing project approved by Congress late last year. But taken together, their voices have cranked up the heat against a fence along the border.

A wall may be popular in Arizona, or in the suburbs of North Texas for that matter, but Texans living along the border are more likely to call it a government boondoggle waiting to happen.

"I think it's the stupidest idea I've ever heard of," said Brian O'Brien, a wealthy Houston oilman who has an 18,000-acre ranch, seven miles of it along the Rio Grande, near Eagle Pass. "If the river doesn't keep them out, why do you think a wall will?"

The quandaries

The first casualty of the federal fence-building project could actually be another federal program: the decades-long, multimillion dollar effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore habitat for endangered plant and animal species in the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Carefully pieced together since 1980, the brushy riverfront tracts are now the ripest of targets for a Texas border fence because there's no need for messy landowner negotiations or condemnation proceedings. It's Uncle Sam's property already.

But, the critics ask, what happens to the land on the south side of the wall? Does it become a no man's land, a de facto part of Mexico? The University of Texas at Brownsville discovered recently that plans called for part of its campus to be on the south side of the fence. Would students need a passport to get to math class?

And would ranchers like Moody and O'Brien suddenly need permission to water their cattle in the Rio Grande?

"I think there's a bunch of knee-jerk politicians up in Washington who need to come down here and see what's really going on, instead of posturing in front of the TV cameras," said Roy Cooley, general manager of the Maverick County Water Control District in Eagle Pass. "But that's just my opinion."

Despite the red-hot anger a proposed wall is generating in Texas, border fence bashing runs counter to the prevailing political winds in Congress and the American electorate.

With polls showing immigration a top concern for voters last year, U.S. lawmakers approved the Secure Fence Act overwhelmingly and President Bush signed it into law a few days before the November elections. Though spearheaded by the GOP, 64 Democrats in the House and 26 in the U.S. Senate -- including Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois -- voted for it.

Months later, critics say, only about a dozen miles of new fencing have gone up, none of it in Texas, which is home to roughly two-thirds of the 1,952 mile U.S.-Mexico border. Political activists opposed to lenient treatment for illegal immigrants are using the slowpoke progress in funny but biting TV ads, entitled "Where's the Fence?"

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who led efforts in the 1990s to build imposing double-walled barriers near San Diego, has made the sweeping project a cornerstone of his 2008 presidential campaign.

"Border enforcement is now a national security issue," says Hunter, who has repeatedly accused the Bush administration of dragging its feet. "It's time to build the border fence."

Officially, the ambitious project would cost between $2.1 billion and $8 billion. But building in remote areas, not to mention legal fights with landowners who don't want to sell, could send the price tag soaring.

The commitment

In the short term, the Department of Homeland Security has publicly committed to building 370 miles of fencing along the border before the end of 2008, with 153 miles of it planned for Texas. Hunter says that schedule falls way short of the Secure Fence Act, which he co-authored last year. Eight months after it was signed into law, only 12 miles of new fencing have gone up -- near Yuma, Ariz. -- according to Hunter's office. U.S. Customs and Border Protection would neither confirm nor deny the 12-mile figure.

The Secure Fence Act actually calls for 854 miles of fencing, which, because of the winding terrain, is longer than the linear 700 miles it would cover -- all of which Hunter promises to build within six months if elected president.

In Texas, the double-reinforced fencing, new roads and technological upgrades would stretch for 10 miles east of El Paso, and cover 64 miles from the northern outskirts of Del Rio to the southern edge of Eagle Pass -- including the 35-mile stretch of the Moody ranch on the river. The longest piece would stretch 305 miles along the meandering Rio Grande from Laredo to the Gulf of Mexico.

Critics call the plan unrealistic.

"I don't think they're going to do that," said. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee. "Somebody up here in Congress got a crayon and they said, 'OK, from Laredo draw all the way down to Brownsville.'"

Still, opponents were caught off guard this spring, when the Homeland Security Department started contacting landowners about fence rights of way along some of their riverfront property. Soon fence location maps and memos leaked out of Washington. Then two wall construction contracts worth up to $750 million were put out to bid.

The federal actions angered political leaders along the Texas-Mexico border. A "wall of shame," they called it. Another Berlin Wall. Cuellar, whose district would get over half of the first 153 miles of Texas fencing by 2008, said the negative reaction caused Homeland Security officials to "change their tune."

"They're now saying they're going to get input from the community before they do anything else," Cuellar said.

Over White House objections and veto threats, Cuellar amended a Homeland Security funding bill -- still working its way through Congress -- that if passed would allow authorities to use natural and technological barriers where fencing is impractical. It also requires them to get input from locals before building anything.

In the meantime, Michael Friel, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Washington, said the agency is "well into" meeting its goal of completing 70 miles of fencing by October, when fiscal 2007 ends. He said the barriers were going up first in New Mexico, Arizona and California, where much of the land already belongs to the federal government.

"The 70 miles of fence that we are working toward building this fiscal year are not in Texas," Friel said. "We realize that in Texas there are folks that own property, that have land on the border. That dynamic is different."

The question mark

What nobody can say with any certainty is whether fences will actually help secure the border.

Oscar Saldana, spokesman for the Border Patrol's 316-mile Rio Grande Valley Sector, said physical barriers help give law enforcement "the upper hand that will allow us to maybe funnel entries into an area that we can control."

"Any type of infrastructure that will allow us to gain more time and engage in incursions, obviously we welcome it," Saldana said.

Asked whether fencing off the border in the Valley might simply push the smuggling trade to other areas, Saldana said that would be a success story as far as he's concerned.

"We're responsible for our area," he said. "If they end up going somewhere else I would say our job has been done in our area."

Only about 88 miles, or less than 5 percent, of the U.S.-Mexico border is fenced off, figures show; there's another 80 miles of vehicle barriers designed to stop smugglers from driving their cargo into the U.S. from Mexico.

If there's a gold standard for border fencing, it's the one outside San Diego. Once the premier smuggling corridor in the nation, the San Diego Sector got nine miles of double fencing, new high-tech surveillance and more boots on the ground after Operation Gatekeeper was unveiled in 1994. Critics called it a sham at the time, but today no one disputes that it has had a major impact on smuggling.

In 1995, the Border Patrol caught 524,231 illegal immigrants trying to cross its San Diego Sector, representing more than 40 percent of the total apprehensions that year. A decade later, the sector caught 126,913, figures show.

For fence proponents, Operation Gatekeeper is proof that fences work. For critics, it's proof they don't.

After the successful crackdown in Southern California, apprehensions soared to the east, in the Arizona desert, where illegal immigrants found they were less likely to be captured even if natural dangers, from heat stroke or snake venom, multiplied. Nationwide, apprehensions have remained relatively steady over the past decade even as the Border Patrol budget has more than tripled.

In 1995, 1.27 million illegal immigrants were apprehended along the southwestern border. Ten years later, in fiscal 2005, 1.17 million were caught.

The Border Patrol doesn't compile figures on the ones who make it through, but the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington estimates that the net population of undocumented people has been growing by about half a million people a year since 1990. About 12 million are here now.

The steady flow

Every year thousands more cross the southwestern border, through fields and farms, across city parks and Indian reservations, over golf courses, irrigation canals, wildlife preserves and coastal beaches.

Some of them cross into the United States from the tiny Mexican village of Madero del Rio, just south of Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, and Del Rio, where Mexican farmer Samuel Gomez raises watermelons and cattle. Unlike his U.S. counterparts or his country's government, Gomez, 76, would like nothing more than to see a fence erected across the Rio Grande. He ticked off a litany of problems associated with the rampant smuggling industry -- destroyed produce, dead bodies in the river, abandoned cars in the fields, strangers everywhere.

"People come through at night and we have no idea where they're from. With this thing, this wall, that's protection for all of us," Gomez said. "I'm very much in agreement with this project."

Farther south along the border, near McAllen, farmer Chet Miller can tell he's got company when the dogs start barking, usually after dark. He watches the illegals through night-vision binoculars.

Miller used to shoot at them with a shotgun loaded with birdshot, particularly the ones he says he caught stealing produce. It was something he learned from his father, the late C.L. Miller, who in 1975 shot and injured 10 workers called to strike by followers of union leader Cesar Chavez. The elder Miller was never charged.

A decade later his son turned a shotgun on two illegal immigrants who were allegedly stealing melons. One of them drowned in the river while trying to flee.

Miller eventually pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to seven years' probation.

That was more than 20 years ago. Miller, now 44, says he doesn't do labor-intensive agriculture anymore and has given up trying to stop illegals from using his farm as a way into the U.S. He said the U.S. might as well give Mexicans a legal way to get here, instead of collectively looking the other way.

A fence? Miller calls it a "joke," just like the rare use of fines and sanctions that Congress, years ago, promised to impose on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

"If a person can cross the whole country of Mexico and then the river, a measly double fence, even a triple fence, ain't going to stop them," he said. "There ain't no stopping the people."

Miller would get no argument from Oscar Danelo, 22, a dirt poor laborer from Santa Rita, Honduras. Two days after Miller spoke, Danelo stripped down to his shorts and got into the Rio Grande in Matamoros, across from Brownsville, determined to find a job somewhere in the U.S.

A huge Border Patrol camera tower stood on the horizon, but there was no wall. Even if there had been one, Danelo, making his first attempt to sneak into the U.S., said he'd still try to cross.

"I think for a mojado (or wet illegal immigrant), it won't stop him," Danelo said minutes before swimming off to an uncertain future. "There's always a way in."

Border fence fact sheet

The start of the wall: In the 1990s, as illegal crossings skyrocketed, the United States expanded the use of fencing along the U.S-Mexico border near San Diego and in El Paso. Traffic dropped significantly in those areas but soon surged elsewhere.

Less than 5% built: There are now approximately 88 miles of primary fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, representing 4.5 percent of the 1,952-mile boundary. Authorities have installed another 80 miles of vehicle barriers that stop automobiles but not humans.

700 miles planned: In late 2006 President Bush signed the Secure Fence Act, which calls for about 700 linear miles of fencing between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Authorities plan to build 70 miles of it this year and 370 before the end of 2008, including 153 in Texas.

Cost estimates vary: Officially, the 700-mile barrier would cost about $3 million a mile, or $2.1 billion. But independent estimates show the cost of building and maintaining the fence could go as high as $49 billion over 25 years. Congress provided $1.2 billion for border infrastructure upgrades in 2007.

The virtual wall: Besides physical barriers, a "virtual fence" -- cameras, sensors, surveillance and the like -- is slated for certain areas. But technical glitches have plagued the installation of 28 miles of virtual barriers in Arizona as part of the three-year, $67 million contract with Boeing Corp.

Curbing the flow: In 2005, 1.17 million illegal immigrants were caught trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico, about the same as a decade earlier. In fiscal 2006, the Border Patrol reported an 8.5 percent drop in apprehensions, to 1.07 million.

Sources: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Congressional Research Service; Pew Hispanic Center

Photographs by Tom Pennington, Star-Telegram
Jay Root reports from the Star-Telegram's Austin bureau, 512-476-4294

TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: buildthewall; call2022243121today; duncanhunter; fence; fredthompson; illegals; immigrantlist; immigration; texas; wheresthefence
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To: BJungNan

During the Cuban Missile Crisis the 49th Armored Division (Texas National Guard) was mobilized into Fort Polk, La. One of the Galveston’s Moody clan was called up as a bitter ER (Army Enlisted Reserve) to help fill our ranks. I was on the staff of the company of which he was assigned. He was really a snob! Within a week of his sign in we received a telegram from Vice President Lindon Johnson directing us to have the Moody child at the Fort Polk air field at a specific time to be picked up by a plane that would ferry him to Houston. It was the last we saw of him. Needless to say, all the other Er’s had to stay until we were demobilized.

51 posted on 07/08/2007 8:57:52 AM PDT by CHEE (Shoot low, they're crawling.)
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To: cinives
There are a hat full of means and ways to get 'r done.
btw, Love your idea.
as long as our side doesn't have to rescue one of these people attempting to cross, it would be suicide to attempt a rescue.
In a time of War, America should play to Win.
I grow tired of the PC, America should play to Win.
Do we remember how?
For this is the only question confronting US.
Do we (America) have the will to win?
52 posted on 07/08/2007 9:02:36 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (God Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform, Our Heroes.)
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To: sam_paine
To answer your question, nothing.

I haven’t been across our southern border in a couple of years but the last time I did I walked over and back. A trip to Laredo always meant a trip to El Mercado in Nuevo Laredo. There were a few gringos walking across but coming back to the US there was a huge crowd. I showed my drivers license and walked through, I don’t know what the Mexicans were showing but they walked through too. Maybe they were shopping on our side and walked back to NL, maybe not.

53 posted on 07/08/2007 9:10:29 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Dysart

54 posted on 07/08/2007 9:15:15 AM PDT by RasterMaster (Rudy, Romney & McCain = KENNEDY wing of the Republican Party - Duncan Hunter, President 2008)
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To: pissant

D-Fence PING!

55 posted on 07/08/2007 9:17:10 AM PDT by RasterMaster (Rudy, Romney & McCain = KENNEDY wing of the Republican Party - Duncan Hunter, President 2008)
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To: RasterMaster

Fact Sheet: The Secure Fence Act of 2006

White House News

President Bush Signs Secure Fence Act
In Focus: Homeland Security

“This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform.”

- President George W. Bush, 10/26/06

Today, President Bush Signed The Secure Fence Act - An Important Step Forward In Our Nation’s Efforts To Control Our Borders And Reform Our Immigration System. Earlier this year, the President laid out a strategy for comprehensive immigration reform. The Secure Fence Act is one part of this reform, and the President will work with Congress to finish the job and pass the remaining elements of this strategy.

The Secure Fence Act Builds On Progress Securing The Border

By Making Wise Use Of Physical Barriers And Deploying 21st Century Technology, We Can Help Our Border Patrol Agents Do Their Job And Make Our Border More Secure. The Secure Fence Act:

Authorizes the construction of hundreds of miles of additional fencing along our Southern border;
Authorizes more vehicle barriers, checkpoints, and lighting to help prevent people from entering our country illegally;
Authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to increase the use of advanced technology like cameras, satellites, and unmanned aerial vehicles to reinforce our infrastructure at the border.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Begins With Securing The Border. Since President Bush took office, we have:

More than doubled funding for border security - from $4.6 billion in 2001 to $10.4 billion this year;
Increased the number of Border Patrol agents from about 9,000 to more than 12,000 - and by the end of 2008, we will have doubled the number of Border Patrol agents since the President took office;
Deployed thousands of National Guard members to assist the Border Patrol;
Upgraded technology at our borders and added infrastructure, including new fencing and vehicle barriers;
Apprehended and sent home more than 6 million people entering America illegally; and
We are adding thousands of new beds in our detention facilities, so we can continue working to end “catch and release” at our Southern border.


56 posted on 07/08/2007 9:38:01 AM PDT by Buzzm1
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To: Buzzm1


57 posted on 07/08/2007 9:41:43 AM PDT by RasterMaster (Rudy, Romney & McCain = KENNEDY wing of the Republican Party - Duncan Hunter, President 2008)
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To: Ditter
A wall is only going to work if there are machine guns on top of it and the will to use them. IMHO.

Nascar only runs so many days a week for entertainment.

I think refreshments, paint balls, rock salt , etc. given to bored kids or other interested volunteers would work.

If the volunteers were shot at with live ammo, let them defend themselves.

An effective and entertaining method both to those working the fence and those who would like to watch.

This is of course with appropriate protection to protect them while passing time among friends.

The cost of maintaining the fence/border would be minimal.

58 posted on 07/08/2007 10:05:50 AM PDT by wanderin
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To: Dysart
"Debate over massive fence plan is heating up in South Texas"

Yea right.

Did anyone notice that there is only one keyword relating to immigration popping up on the front page today? Last week we had four or more....what happened?

59 posted on 07/08/2007 10:07:49 AM PDT by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: sam_paine
"What stops a simple Mexican from getting a ‘passport’ in Mexico, a tourist visa from Houston, and walking across the border legally, only to overstay his visa on a construction job in Maryland?"

Although the question and answer are both off topic:

A fence is only the first step, it is the single step that most of us believe would indicate some degree of seriousness on the part of our government. It has as much symbolic value as real value and it will continue to be opposed by the powers that be. (and the ranchers quoted in this article certainly seem to be part of the 'powers' and not part of the masses who have to pay the price for being invaded.)

Second, third, and fourth steps, which should already be in effect but have been shamefully under utilized, are employer sanctions, follow up and enforcement of visa limits, and repatriation of criminal aliens.

Still needed are stiff penalties on both the illegals and their home countries that would reduce the benefits of sending agents into our territory. That starts with denial of the free medical and welfare access provided today: at the end of each fiscal year, the culpable foreign government(s) should receive a nice note telling them that the cost of their citizen's humanitarian treatment in the US is being deducted from any aid, trade, or disaster funds they'd have received if they'd honored our sovereignty in the first place.
(If they come from a rare state that we don't send money to - assuming there is one - take it from the UN in the name of that state.)
Absolutely NO alien should be allowed to legally transfer money 'home' unless the US receives punative taxes, applies and enforces a hard ceiling on the amounts that can be shifted, and severe oversight (with detailed records) of the banking institutions involved.
Further needed is a return to the US policy of not recognizing dual citizenship - if mexico wants to grant citizenship and voting rights to 'mexican-Aericans' US citizenship should be denied any takers.
The Fourteenth Amendment must be reinterpreted back to its intended purpose and 'family reunification' dropped from the vernacular unless the legal resident can prove the ability to support more than a spouse and offspring born in the US. Anchor babies should retroactively lose any claim to US citizenship.

What we don't need to do is to marginalize any of the ethnically mexican Americans whose families have been in the US since before many of our European ancestors, immigrants who made the transition legally, or (sadly) those given amnesty in the last go-round.

Finally, although mexico is the prime offender and the most apparent enemy in this matter, clearly calling for the lion's share of effort by the US government - illegal immigration must address OTM criminals, whether terrorists or prospective nannies, as well.

60 posted on 07/08/2007 10:13:26 AM PDT by norton (hope I didn't leave anything out)
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To: RasterMaster

Texas doesn’t get a vote.

61 posted on 07/08/2007 10:16:48 AM PDT by pissant (Duncan Hunter: Warrior, Statesman, Conservative)
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To: pissant
"Texas doesn’t get a vote."

Looks like your theory will be tested soon. Oklahoma and Georgia have started the ball rolling by changing their own enforcement legislation. I wonder what California, Arizona and Texas will do if they are the only states left that haven't cracked down on illegals...

62 posted on 07/08/2007 10:22:32 AM PDT by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: claudiustg
If the rich and powerful wanted the fence, we couldn’t stop them from building it. As it is, it’s just something they dangle in front of us to prevent a voter’s revolt.

Just so. And what better way to do it than to design a wall that costs megabillions, angers the environmental voters, and in many places will have to be way back from the border, effectively giving Mexico large swatches of our country?

All we need is a couple of fences, some motion detectors, and some border guards who won't get thrown in jail for shooting invaders.

The Mexicans already have such a system. Try sneaking into Mexico and see what happens to you. If the drug runners and the kidnappers don't get you, the army will.

63 posted on 07/08/2007 10:39:28 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Earthdweller

Arizona has passed tough legislation—California and Texas still need to. I’m wondering what Ahnuld will do after his statement that they should learn English upset CA’s Mexican population?? Perhaps, we’ll get our Border Fence built first??

64 posted on 07/08/2007 10:40:02 AM PDT by Buzzm1
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To: Buzzm1
Tennessee’s Governor said he’s not changing anything...says it’s the Feds job.
65 posted on 07/08/2007 10:42:16 AM PDT by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: Earthdweller
Add..if I lived in Tennessee I’d be building a wall around my house about now.
66 posted on 07/08/2007 10:43:53 AM PDT by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: Earthdweller

I’m hoping that word gets around to the illegal immigrants, that they are welcome in Tennessee; it’s always nice to see a governor eat his words.

67 posted on 07/08/2007 10:44:53 AM PDT by Buzzm1
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To: Buzzm1


68 posted on 07/08/2007 10:45:38 AM PDT by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: Earthdweller

At least 18 states have enacted laws concerning illegal immigrants. Most of the legislation is seen as punitive, and it reflects legislators’ anger at the federal government’s inability to seal the southern border and at provisions in the Senate bill that would allow the 12 million illegal immigrants already here a path to citizenship.

Arizona - Its new law effectively sets up a two-strikes penalty. A business employing an illegal immigrant would have its business license suspended temporarily. A second offense would mean a permanent revocation of that license. A proposal would let police ask people they arrest about their citizenship status and seize them if they cannot produce proper documents. Arizona Rep. Russell Pearce (R) said Bush’s support of the guest-worker provision in the Senate bill “made me sick.” He called it “a sellout of America” and said: “I’m more than frustrated. I will do everything I can to unelect folks who sell out America.”

Arkansas - Immigration officials say a regional task force could be created in northwest Arkansas so a group of law officers from several agencies could be trained to enforce immigration laws. - still in the process of enacting legislation to force employers to verify their workers’ legal status

Colorado - still in the process of enacting legislation to force employers to verify their workers’ legal status

Hawaii - still in the process of enacting legislation to force employers to verify their workers’ legal status

Idaho—Similar measures to Oklahoma are being considered

Maryland lawmakers defeated a proposal that would have let illegal immigrants pay in-state college tuition. Lawmakers are still considering a measure that would place a 5 percent surcharge on wire transfers to Mexico.

Michigan, lawmakers considered stripping health and welfare benefits from undocumented immigrants.

Missouri Sen. Chris Koster, a Republican, said that when he tried to push a law through the GOP-controlled chamber that would force employers to verify the status of workers, his colleagues defeated it handily, expressing concern about its impact on business.

Nebraska — Similar measures to Oklahoma are being considered

North Carolina growers need immigrant workers in order to thrive, but passing legislation friendly to illegal immigrants is difficult.

Oklahoma, Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, signed by Gov. Brad Henry (D) last month, restricts illegal immigrants’ access to all forms of official identification, bars them from receiving public assistance and metes out stiff fines to employers who hire them. “Illegal immigrants will not come to Oklahoma if there are no jobs waiting for them,” said state Rep. Randy Terrill (R), who wrote his state’s law, one of the most sweeping in the country.

Oregon, where a House bill would prohibit the state from hiring undocumented workers, said its core supporters are upset by the U.S. Senate bill. “We don’t support amnesty,” said spokesman Shawn Cleave, echoing the position of the North Carolina Republican Party, which proudly said it broke with Bush on the issue.

Pennsylvania, other measures — “so many, like seven,” he said — go after employers who hire illegal immigrants and deny the immigrants themselves benefits and other services.

Tennessee - still in the process of enacting legislation to force employers to verify their workers’ legal status. Tennessee’s governor says, “it’s the Fed’s job, we aren’t doing anything.”

Virginia, House of Delegates, approved a far-reaching proposal to strip charities and other organizations of state and local funding if any of the money is used to provide services to immigrants who are in the country illegally.

West Virginia - still in the process of enacting legislation to force employers to verify their workers’ legal status

69 posted on 07/08/2007 10:51:32 AM PDT by Buzzm1
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To: Buzzm1

I knew someone was keeping a list ...thanks!

70 posted on 07/08/2007 10:55:12 AM PDT by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: Dysart
Officially, the 700-mile barrier would cost about $3 million a mile, or $2.1 billion. But independent estimates show the cost of building and maintaining the fence could go as high as $49 billion over 25 years.

That works out to $70 MILLION PER MILE to build and maintain a fence for 25 years? It had better be a real nice fence with sharks and laser beams!

71 posted on 07/08/2007 11:00:29 AM PDT by Sender (Success in warfare is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to the enemy's purpose.)
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To: Buzzm1
"Maryland lawmakers defeated a proposal that would have let illegal immigrants pay in-state college tuition. Lawmakers are still considering a measure that would place a 5 percent surcharge on wire transfers to Mexico. "

Interesting. Looks like they want to keep their illegals but are making sure they stay uneducated while keeping the money the illegals make from employment in the state. LOL.

72 posted on 07/08/2007 11:12:33 AM PDT by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: mathluv
If it is built on this side of a river, how far inland must it go to get beyond the flood stage?

I wonder what happens to the US-Mexico border if the river changes course.

73 posted on 07/08/2007 11:15:43 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: Dysart

The border is international territory. These landowners don’t have a leg to stand on. Build the fence now!

74 posted on 07/08/2007 11:19:26 AM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: Dysart
The land owners who want no walls or fences so Al Qaeda, illegals, felons, rapists, drugs, diseased people and others can cross can all go to hell IMO.

It’s time for fences, walls and people to secure the border.

Let these land owners move to Santa Ana California if they like it so much.

How many of them might have back door drug money deals with Mexico?

75 posted on 07/08/2007 11:21:03 AM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Dysart
"If the wall would help I wouldn't mind. But it won't help. It'll be a big expense, a big problem, ugly as hell and unfriendly to Mexico," said Moody, 84, born in Galveston and heir to one of the largest and oldest fortunes in Texas.

...thereby illustratiing clearly for us just what sort of "American" is opposed to the fence. Meanwhile, there are the remaining 200 million of us who have to work to pay the bills.
76 posted on 07/08/2007 11:23:08 AM PDT by Old_Mil (Duncan Hunter in 2008! A Veteran, A Patriot, A Reagan Republican...
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To: wideminded
Apparently this question has come up a number of times. - link
77 posted on 07/08/2007 11:23:34 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: no-to-illegals

I think we get worn down by the “nattering nabobs of negativism”, myself.

78 posted on 07/08/2007 12:51:15 PM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: laotzu

Sounds like you’ve not actually studied the history of the Texas Rangers. THEY WERE NOT FORMED FOR THE BORDER. They were formed to protect settlers from the hostiles. The actual border protection came later. There was some border protection when we were the Republic of Texas...The border protection came after we joined the union. Rangers accompanied federal troops to help protect the border. Since the Rangers were such skilled fighters against the hostiles...the federal troops needed their help. Now the feds would not venture into Mexico when after hostiles...but the rangers sure would.

79 posted on 07/08/2007 12:55:57 PM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand; but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: wanderin
I didn’t say I wanted to shoot our friends south of the border, even with paint balls. LOL! I’d rather make employers be more careful about who they hired, for a start. I employ 2 Mexicans and they are both legal. I have a landscape crew that takes care of the yard and I am sure some of not most of them are illegal but the boss is an American born Mexican and he hires the others, not me. I have my doubts about a fence.
80 posted on 07/08/2007 12:59:45 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: sam_paine
What stops a simple Mexican from...

As you articulately point out, there are many holes to plug.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

81 posted on 07/08/2007 1:27:29 PM PDT by laotzu
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To: shield
you’ve not actually studied the history of the Texas Rangers

After we Texans won independance from Mexico, they claimed the new border was the Nueces river.

We disagreed, stormed their capital, and inspired agreement for the border to be the Rio Grande.

The Texas Rangers were formed to patrol that area between the Nueces & Rio Grande, and ensure that inspiration did not fade.

Am I spelling 'Texas' right? If there is anymore you wish to learn, I'll be here all week.

82 posted on 07/08/2007 1:49:45 PM PDT by laotzu
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To: Dysart
Did anyone ask Henry Bonilla what he thinks about the Republican Fence.
83 posted on 07/08/2007 2:02:06 PM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: laotzu
Stephen Austin formed them soon after he established a settlement in Texas. Not after we won our independence from Mexico.

By 1823, there were serious problems with raids by the Comanche, Tonkawa and Karankawa Indians. Under Mexican law, Austin was authorized to form a militia to ward off Indian raids, capture criminals and patrol against intruders. In May, while Austin was in Mexico City, his lieutenant, Moses Morrison, used this authority to assemble a company of men to protect the Texas coast from the Tonkawa and Karankawa Indians.

After returning to Texas in August of 1823, Austin asked for additional ten men to supplement Morrison's company. He called for "ten act as rangers for the common defense...The wages I will give said ten men is fifteen dollars a month payable in property." These two companies are regarded as the first ancestors of the modern Texas Rangers.

I just read 2 books on the Texas Rangers. However, there's a brief history here.

84 posted on 07/08/2007 2:12:35 PM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand; but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: Dysart; All

Demand a border fence! Build it NOW!! Beef up the border patrol and close our borders!

U.S. Senate switchboard: (202) 224-3121

U.S. House switchboard: (202) 225-3121

White House comments: (202) 456-1111

Find your House Rep.:

Find your US Senators:

Toll free to the US Senate:

1-800-882-2005. (Spanish number)
1-800-417-7666. (English number)

Courtesy of a pro-amnesty group, no less!!

Republican National Committee
310 First Street, SE Washington, D.C. 20003
phone: 202.863.8500 | fax: 202.863.8820 | e-mail:

Take a look at their hidden agenda:

85 posted on 07/08/2007 2:17:40 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Indianhead Division: Second To None!)
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To: Tammy8

NOW that is a good idea.

86 posted on 07/08/2007 4:12:41 PM PDT by KDD
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To: Dysart; notaliberal; 19th LA Inf; ImpBill; captjanaway; DrewsMum; iopscusa; Liberty Valance; ...


If you want on, or off this S. Texas/Mexico ping list, please FReepMail me.

87 posted on 07/08/2007 6:03:50 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch (US Constitution Article 4 Section 4..shall protect each of them against Invasion...domestic Violence)
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To: Seruzawa
Translation: I've gotten very rich on the backs of illegals and I'm gonna keep sneaking them in.

Well GOLLY! Just how about that. I was thinking the very same thing!!!

It must be that we are jaded and pesimistice. No one in the drillin' business would have any use for cheap labor, or a seven mile stretch of US mexican border in one of the easer and more remote, not to mention highly active illegal alien border crossing points in the US now would they?

Yep, it's just us. That's gotta be it.

88 posted on 07/08/2007 6:37:18 PM PDT by TLI ( ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA)
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To: Dysart
I'm not a fan of the "barf alert", preferring to let others reach their own conclusion. As someone already pointed out here, you can expect to see more of these slanted articles. I intend to expose them here.

It is a forum for conservative opinions. It is OK if you want to tell people what you think they should think. They will agree or not agree. But you can count on them not being sheep. Smart crowd here.

That said, thanks for the post and as you predicted, no one needed a barf alert to alert them to the BS in the article.

89 posted on 07/08/2007 10:59:23 PM PDT by BJungNan
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To: shield

Thanks for the info.

90 posted on 07/09/2007 5:37:32 AM PDT by laotzu
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