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Building a Human Wall on the Border: Are 20,000 new agents really the best way to go?
National Review ^ | 07/02/2013 | Andrew Stiles

Posted on 07/02/2013 4:59:19 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Thanks to the last-minute “border surge” amendment tacked on to the Gang of Eight immigration-reform bill, the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) stands to nearly double its membership. They must be thrilled. Right?

Not exactly.

“I’m not sure where this idea came from, but we didn’t support it, and we didn’t ask for it,” Shawn Moran, the NBPC’s at-large vice president, tells National Review Online. “No one consulted us prior to this coming up. We don’t even have the infrastructure to handle 40,000 agents right now.”

The NBPC is an AFL-CIO–affiliated union representing more than 17,000 border-patrol agents and support staff. If the bill that passed the Senate last week becomes law, the number of border-patrol agents would nearly double, from about 21,000 to 40,000. The union has not taken a public position on the Gang of Eight legislation, opting instead to “work behind the scenes,” Moran says. But the union has “serious concerns” with the bill that it hopes the House of Representatives will resolve. Aides to Senators Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R., N.D.), the lawmakers who authored the border-surge amendment, did not deny that the NBPC was not consulted. “We felt we needed to craft an amendment — that was authorized and appropriated up front — that would produce a surge of resources at the southern border to give us and the American people a high degree of confidence that the border would be secured,” a Corker aide tells NRO. An aide to Senator Hoeven notes that he sought the advice of the chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, as well as the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “They said more fencing, more boots on the ground, and electronic surveillance [were needed],” the aide says.

Many of the bill’s supporters touted the massive personnel increase — 20,000 new agents who must be trained and deployed within ten years — as the most stringent border-security measure in the history of borders. Gang of Eight member Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said the Corker-Hoeven amendment “practically militarizes the border” and is the toughest possible solution “short of shooting everybody that comes across.” Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said it would “create a virtual human fence.”

“I can tell you from 30 years of being on the border, this bill secures the border, and anyone who says it doesn’t does not understand our security needs,” said Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.)

Others, however, were more skeptical about the plan. “If you’re asking me about the merits of this proposal, I think it’s overkill,” said Senator Dick Durbin (D., Ill.). Either way, it was good enough from a political standpoint to advance the Gang of Eight bill, which passed the Senate last week by a 68–32 margin.

Moran, for his part, is not convinced that doubling the number of border-patrol agents is an effective way to prevent illegal immigration. “If the goal is to build a human wall, then I guess that’s a step in the right direction,” he says. “It all depends on what kind of strategy they use.” The NBPC has argued, instead, that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs to “take the handcuffs” off the border-patrol agents currently in the field. “We’ve never been allowed to fully enforce the immigration laws, and if we did that, we think it would have a dramatic impact on illegal immigration,” Moran says.

The NBPC supported an amendment from Senator Jon Tester (D., Mont.) that would have reformed the way border-patrol agents are paid, offering greater flexibility with respect to shift changes and overtime pay, among other changes. That would have been a cheaper and more efficient way to increase security on the border, Moran argues. That amendment, however, never received a vote. The union is currently negotiating with the Obama administration in an effort to resolve its concerns about agent pay, as well as certain budget cuts blamed on sequestration. Some opponents of the Gang of Eight bill suspect that these negotiations may explain the NBPC’s reluctance to publicly oppose the legislation.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies and a strong opponent of the Gang of Eight proposal, says the NBPC’s skepticism highlights the absurdly political nature of the Corker-Hoeven amendment, the only purpose of which, he argues, was to push the bill across the legislative finish line. “They just pulled that 20,000 number out of a hat,” Krikorian says. “They should have just said we’re going to add a million border patrol agents and arm them with photon torpedoes.”

The Gang of Eight’s decision to back the Corker-Hoeven amendment was rather peculiar, given the scorn its supporters had heaped on an earlier proposal from Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas), which called for an additional 5,000 — not 20,000 — border-patrol agents. That would have been too expensive, Cornyn’s opponents argued, just days before embracing the Corker-Hoeven border-surge proposal, along with its price tag of $30 billion. It was all “paid for” with projected savings, about $200 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The NBPC was the only one of three major unions representing immigration law-enforcement officers not to publicly oppose the Gang of Eight bill prior to its passage in the Senate. The leaders of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council (ICE) and the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council (USCIS) issued a joint statement last week denouncing the Gang’s plan as an “anti–law enforcement bill” that “will make Americans less safe and . . . ensure more illegal immigration.”

Opponents of the Gang of Eight bill are not convinced that opposition from the NBPC would have had a significant impact on the outcome of the debate in the Senate, but they admit that the union’s silence is curious.

As it turns out, the Corker-Hoeven amendment contains a number of provisions that would specifically benefit border-patrol agents. For example, the revised version of the bill increases the caps on student-loan repayment benefits for full-time, active-duty border-patrol agents. It also stipulates that the DHS secretary’s authority to pay bonuses for the recruitment, relocation, and retention of DHS employees, which would include the 20,000 new border-patrol agents called for in the bill, is to be “exercised to the fullest extent . . . allowable in order to encourage service in the Department of Homeland Security.”

“Our lobbyists and our legislative committee are in D.C. pretty much full time trying to correct problems,” Moran says. Now that the House has begun work on its own version of Gang of Eight, these immigration-reform proponents are hoping that lawmakers in the House, unlike their Senate counterparts, will welcome their input.

— Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens; border; security

1 posted on 07/02/2013 4:59:19 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

What’s the point? Our government doesn’t intend to secure the border at all.


2 posted on 07/02/2013 5:01:36 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Think about it this way 20,000 new agents with guns working for the Gov’t enough said.


3 posted on 07/02/2013 5:02:04 AM PDT by Rappini (Veritas vos Liberabit)
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To: SeekAndFind

Think about it this way 20,000 new agents with guns working for the Gov’t enough said.


4 posted on 07/02/2013 5:02:24 AM PDT by Rappini (Veritas vos Liberabit)
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To: cripplecreek

The point is to give O 20K new UNION jobs, thus dues for Dem coffers


5 posted on 07/02/2013 5:05:50 AM PDT by shalom aleichem
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To: shalom aleichem

Except the border patrol seems to stand pretty exclusively against the democrats.


6 posted on 07/02/2013 5:06:52 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind

With ICE still continuing “catch and release” I have no idea what additional agents bring, other than more federal union employees.


7 posted on 07/02/2013 5:08:23 AM PDT by PLM
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To: SeekAndFind

Well...it’s 20,000 jobs anyway


8 posted on 07/02/2013 5:08:48 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The test of every religious, political, or educational system is the man that it forms." H. Amiel)
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To: cripplecreek

Pull the military from Europe and put it on the border to support the border patrol. We are already paying for them.


9 posted on 07/02/2013 5:09:10 AM PDT by rstrahan
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To: SeekAndFind

Some of them need to be deployed into sanctuary cities to aid in deportation, but that will never happen.


10 posted on 07/02/2013 5:09:53 AM PDT by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all.......)
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To: rstrahan

I’d pull them out of the mideast but yes, the military would make a fine backup on the border.


11 posted on 07/02/2013 5:11:02 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind

The worthless one could put Russian soldiers on the border.


12 posted on 07/02/2013 5:11:58 AM PDT by Rannug ("God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware.")
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To: cripplecreek

maybe they gonna use those new agents to keep us in, not keep others out

uber TSA

check your tax returns every time you try to travel

or it will just be an affirmative action hiring fest to put more slugs on the govt payroll to do nothing. obama looking to hire lotsa felons and illegals


13 posted on 07/02/2013 5:12:11 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: SeekAndFind

An army, nay a corps, of border patrol agents will not close the border if they have a Presidential order to make no arrests.

So long as the current President breathes in office there will always be such and order.

The treacherous tyrant has no respect for any law.


14 posted on 07/02/2013 5:12:40 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Who will shoot Liberty Valence?)
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To: SeekAndFind

First: Shut Off the Welfare Magnet.


15 posted on 07/02/2013 5:13:10 AM PDT by windsorknot
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To: SeekAndFind

The word “wall” is a Dem tactic meant to create a negative image of border enforcement.


16 posted on 07/02/2013 5:13:25 AM PDT by csmusaret (Will remove Obama-Biden bumperstickers for $10)
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To: Rappini

That is if they don’t lose the taxpayer funded weapons supplied to them. Maybe they should let the park service store them when not in use. On the other hand, maybe the CBP should be shut down and king hussein can direct the monies saved there at the real and biggest threat the world has ever seen. You know, climate change. Could prof. hussein get any more stupid? How do his kin folk like being told they can’t have cars and air conditioned large houses/mansions? While AF1 is idling on the runway so it’s all comfy for the worst(I mean first)family.


17 posted on 07/02/2013 5:15:20 AM PDT by rktman (Inergalactic background checks? King hussein you're first up.)
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To: cripplecreek

It will be 20000 more Union votes, and a big new force of “ Welcome to America” workers to help em to the Welfare office...


18 posted on 07/02/2013 5:18:43 AM PDT by Kozak (The Republic is Dead. We now live in a Judicial Tyranny.)
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To: shalom aleichem

That explains why DICK trumpka was standing behind chucky schoomer and john maclame with a grin from ear to ear.


19 posted on 07/02/2013 5:23:25 AM PDT by rktman (Inergalactic background checks? King hussein you're first up.)
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To: cripplecreek

” Our government doesn’t intend to secure the border at all.”

You got that right. If they would put that many on the border to start with, the only power they would have would be to run and hide if they saw anyone coming across. It would have nothing to do with actually protecting us from the constant flow of ILLEGAL invaders.


20 posted on 07/02/2013 5:24:49 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: SeekAndFind

Just like the billions coming in from Saudi oil to off shore banks, billions are foreseen coming north through cartel lawyers, mules, and runner/overseers. They are well ingrained into the DOJ. Think Ramos/Campeon and go from there.


21 posted on 07/02/2013 5:28:06 AM PDT by BerryDingle (I know how to deal with communists, I still wear their scars on my back from Hollywood-Ronald Reagan)
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To: SeekAndFind
No wall, no border guards. Border security is all a smoke screen.

Deny all benefits and privileges to illegal aliens. Revoke 14th Amendment citizenship. One year hard labor for illegal aliens caught inside the US. Three years hard labor to anyone that employes illegal aliens.

If needed bring in temporary migrant workers under armed guard.

22 posted on 07/02/2013 5:31:59 AM PDT by Count of Monte Fisto
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To: SeekAndFind

Good start followed by a most, mine fields and barbed wire.


23 posted on 07/02/2013 5:34:18 AM PDT by ZULU ((See: http://gatesofvienna.net/) Obama, do you hear me?)
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To: rstrahan

I wondered how man troops were still in Europe and cut this from a recent article.

“Currently, about 80,000 U.S. troops are based in Europe. The changes outlined by the Pentagon will reduce that number by more than 11,000.”

Apparently, we use Europe as a training base. I suspect they’re not there to fight. I’m not certain why they can’t be trained here unless it’s interoperability training with our allies. Any knowledgeable freeper comments?


24 posted on 07/02/2013 5:42:56 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: SeekAndFind

What border we don’t have a stinking border.


25 posted on 07/02/2013 5:45:58 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Gen.Blather

American troops were in Europe during the Cold War as a tripwire to make sure America had ‘skin in the game’ should Soviets attacks.

Since then, they are forward bases for intervention in the Middle East.


26 posted on 07/02/2013 5:46:52 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: SeekAndFind

Forget the border.

1. Put a $500 bounty on illegal aliens that any citizen can collect by turning them in to the local authorities (who would be authorized to arrest them and hand them over for deportation).

2. Put a $1000 bounty on employers that hire illegals.

3. Require proof of legal residence and tax adherence to transport or wire money out of the country.

4. Deny all public aid, with the exception of truly emergency medical care, to illegals.


27 posted on 07/02/2013 5:48:22 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SeekAndFind
With technology, the feds and business enterprises know everywhere I go, everything I purchase, every online site I go to and every phone call I'm involved in. They scan my mail and packages. I can't walk my dog or drive my car without being caught on camera. I better not sunbathe topless...cameras in the sky are watching. Drones are up there for our safety. If I want to open a bank account, buy a house or get a job, I have to prove my identity and citizenship.

And the feds can't get the invaders out of the US and keep them out with the resources they already have? Nobody's that gullible.

28 posted on 07/02/2013 5:52:53 AM PDT by grania
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To: SeekAndFind

We’ll never know. They don’t have to be deployed until 2021, and that can be reversed anytime between now and then.


29 posted on 07/02/2013 5:55:39 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (I am a dissident. Will you join me? My name is John....)
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To: SeekAndFind
“If you’re asking me about the merits of this proposal, I think it’s overkill,” said Senator Dick Durbin (D., Ill.).

Which is why the purported "increase" in border security will never, ever happen under the terms of this bill. There IS no intent to secure it. The only aspect of the entire bill that will be "secured" is a fast-track to citizenship for some 25-35 million illegals. But, if it does pass, in a year or so, expect the Repubs to gin up their obligatory tut-tuts as they express the required amount of contrived public outrage at the failure to secure the border. There'll be a lot of talking about securing the border, though... lots and lots of talking.

30 posted on 07/02/2013 6:25:35 AM PDT by ScottinVA ( Liberal is to patriotism as Kermit Gosnell is to neonatal care.)
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To: shalom aleichem

Most BP Agents are not dems and they certainly despise Nappy-Pants, The Big Zero and all those illegal-luving politicos out there.

BP Agents are not your usual federal employee. Far from it. And did I say most are not dems?

They work alone or in pairs, hours from back-up, using their brain and guts to take-down illegal aliens and drug smugglers. . .they are men of courage, not federal union/dem cowards/thugs.

They simply have no respect for weak people like this administration.


31 posted on 07/02/2013 6:26:08 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: SeekAndFind

IF they ever materialize (a big if), I suspect most of them will be sitting around an office building in El Paso shuffling paperwork. Their main function will be as a conduit to launder more union dues into the Democrat Party.


32 posted on 07/02/2013 6:46:08 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: shalom aleichem

...plus another 20k Dem voters for life.


33 posted on 07/02/2013 6:47:15 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: SeekAndFind

Snipers mines and attack dogs are the “way to go”.


34 posted on 07/02/2013 6:48:45 AM PDT by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: SeekAndFind
Who cares what the people on the ground wants, this is a strict top-down federal system now.
Washington makes all decisions, makes the rules. When it doesn't work they make more rules.
It's been a very long time since they listened to people who actually know their stuff. It's 100% politics now.

35 posted on 07/02/2013 6:52:49 AM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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20,000 jobs. HA you give away 20,000 salaries made of tax money and get back 12% now that’s economics!
Opps you forgot about the 20,000 weapons, uniforms, and automobiles. Do we really need 20,000 people to watch 20,000 people cross the border weekly?


36 posted on 07/02/2013 7:02:30 AM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: SeekAndFind

they don’t need 20,000 new agent and if they hired them in a rush they would probably slip up on background checks, lower standards and end up with rampant corruption like other PD’s years ago.

What they need is someone up top to say enough is enough and tall those here they have 6 months to leave or be formally deported and relinquish right to enter legally. Start enforcing current laws.
See Operation Wetback. Its all about attitude at the top.


37 posted on 07/02/2013 7:05:02 AM PDT by rolling_stone
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To: SeekAndFind
Border agents can be turned off by President Zero (or his successor Hildebeast), whereas a WALL cannot be turned off. IT IS THAT SIMPLE FOLKS and that is why the RAT Party will go kicking and screaming into the night refusing to build a FENCE. They have no intention of putting a wall of humans on the southern border - these 20,000 new agents will be combing through IRS and NSA files for “dirt” on Christians and Conservatives.
38 posted on 07/02/2013 7:05:07 AM PDT by Cheerio (Barry Hussein Soetoro-0bama=The Complete Destruction of American Capitalism)
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To: SeekAndFind

A bounty would work better.


39 posted on 07/02/2013 7:18:53 AM PDT by Joe Bfstplk
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To: SeekAndFind

They are never going to do anything about the border but
open it up even more. I believe that somewhere in the
NAFTA, CAFTA and GAT treaties a secret pact was signed for
the creation of the North American Union and open borders.
There hasn’t been much difference in border policy
from Bush I to Obama and I don’t think it ever will be.
The day when illegal aliens literally have more rights than
law abiding American citizens is here and you can thank
Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Clinton, Obama and 80% of congress for
it. We have been sold out.


40 posted on 07/02/2013 7:25:33 AM PDT by Slambat
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To: SeekAndFind
Just an exercise ot get more Federal Armed LEO’s. They will not be used on the border. Remember the Border Patrol is part of Homeland Security.
41 posted on 07/02/2013 7:39:22 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$
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To: SeekAndFind

Once again, the federal government creates 20,000 federal union jobs, at a GL-5 starting rate of $38619.00/annum, turns out to cost US THE TAXPAYERS - $772,380,000.00 !!!!!!

WE DON’T HAVE THE MONEY, FOLKS!!!!

However, for all the money that has been thrown at “securing the border”, (more like securing the job positions from being deleted by budget cuts), amybe 20,000 more bodies would be good, ONLY IF THEY HAD ORDERS TO —SHOOT THE INVADERS — !!!


42 posted on 07/02/2013 7:50:14 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: SeekAndFind

Anyone want to speculate how long it would take to recruit, train, and deploy 20,000 new agents? So if Congress is making meaningless legislation why not make it 100,000 new Border Patrol agents? Or 200,000?


43 posted on 07/02/2013 7:53:43 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: SeekAndFind

Doesn’t matter as long as they can’t arrest them. They will be one waters boys for the illegals if things stay the same.


44 posted on 07/02/2013 8:01:43 AM PDT by vpintheak (We are the the God blessed chosen few! Be thankful for it!)
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To: 0.E.O

In some desk drawer there is a plan for building the fence. It includes costs, vendors, time, ROI, resources and analysis. It is called a project plan and was created to build the fence.

They know exactly how long this will take. Someone should ask the senate where the project plan is that justifies 10-15 years.


45 posted on 07/02/2013 8:05:44 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (The reason we own guns is to protect ourselves from those wanting to take our guns from us.)
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To: SeekAndFind

20,000 agents times perhaps 60,000 dollars equals 1,200,000,000 dollars annually.

Without the political will to close the border they will make no appreciable difference. With the political will, the border could be closed with the resources already committed.

One point two billion wasted annually.


46 posted on 07/02/2013 8:31:28 AM PDT by RobinOfKingston (Democrats--the party of Evil. Republicans--the party of Stupid.)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

There is a difference between building a fence and adding 20,000 agents. Building the fence is the easy part - contract it out, set the dates, and let the construction people take it from there. Recruiting and training 20,000 Border Patrol officers is another thing.


47 posted on 07/02/2013 8:45:03 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: SeekAndFind

Wall-E-Like Farming Robots Could Replace Undocumented Workers and Save the US Billions

Gizmoto.com ^ | Andrew Tarantola

Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013 9:11:13 AM by KeyLargo

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/3036726/posts


48 posted on 07/02/2013 1:44:59 PM PDT by KeyLargo
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