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Border Fence Going Forward

Border Fence Going Forward, Bypassing Regulations

Government regulations don't always apply to the government. The US government has waived environmental and other regulations that stood as a barrier to the completion of nearly 500 miles of a planned barrier fence along the border with Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff slammed the gate on delays the regulations presented to the controversial barrier project.

Chertoff issued the waivers for stretches of land in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Emphasizing the importance of the project, he said, "criminal activity at the border does not stop for endless debate or protracted litigation, Congress and the American public have been adamant that they want and expect border security. We're serious about delivering it."

Why is it endless debate or protracted litigation when it's a project the government wants? Could we be doing harm by ignoring potential environmental impacts? Or is overlooking the regulations the responsible action in the face of insecure borders? Are you pro-fence?


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
You're right Stephley, there'll be a ton of animosity toward the US. Afterall, we're preventing those countries that get rid of their worst and send them to us to deal with.
stephley stephley 9 years
Laine - to me, a fence is nothing civilized people would build between them and their neighbors. We should properly and compassionately enforce good laws before building a damn fence. The best example of how I see it seems crude, but it's the closest I can think of: it's like going after prostitutes instead of pimps and johns. Follow the money and punish the people who really benefit from illegal immigration before you shame the U.S. I'm in LA with a young daughter and I worry about all the things that are blamed on illegal immigration - but a fence will only keep out a relative few people. Drug dealers and gangs will still have plenty of business. Does Chartoff really believe that a fence would have stopped a 9/11 type attack? If a group as intent on harming the U.S. as those people were plans on getting to us, a fence won't matter at all. To me, the idea is an incredibly hostile act that will create more animosity toward the U.S.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I say no on a fence. As I have said many many times on other topics remedies that attack an issue from the tail end are pointless and in the end more expensive.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Well lets take a step back here... The comprehensive immigration act that came out last year was supported by the President and many prominent people on both sides. I think it was an absolute compromise that would have been a great shot a at big step forward to solving this. Yet, it was voted down, again, by BOTH sides. A compromise on this problem is needed, neither side will get their way entirely and until BOTH sides realize that, this problem will never be solved.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"I'm not so much anti-fence as I am pro-other solutions. I just don't think the fence is going to be particularly effective." I agree. Money wasted is money wasted. I think that focusing on employers would address the situation in a more productive way, but that would also affect the financial sector. Building a fence give the impression that the US is doing something real about illegal immigration, but it is all smoke and mirrors IMO. Make a big show, and keep your big donors happy.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Yep, Lainetm. Over here the border crossings are major checkpoints (and major pains if you try to go to/come back from a shopping trip in Tijuana at the wrong time of the day) with lots of security, whether you're crossing on foot or by car. That in itself would be a strong deterrent from trying to make the crossing here, I think.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Jude, I think you're right about the area. I've heard the stories about how many people are attempting a much more difficult trek through longer stretches of desert. Hi, Stephley! I'm in the L.A. area, too. So, are you anti-fence because (1) it's inhumane, (2) it's ineffective and/or not cost-effective, or (3) you have family / friends who would be personally impacted, or (4) other? I don't mean to be an inquisitor, but if you care to share, I just wonder how true the theories are that how much you care depends on how much your community is impacted.
katies104 katies104 9 years
They could name it the Sunshine Barrier of Smiley Hugs but it would still be an effing fence. Not even a wall, but a fence, often used to keep animals out of forbidden areas. Sickening.
stephley stephley 9 years
I live in Los Angeles, and I'm anti-fence.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Laine--I think we generally have decent border patrol here all around. But I think that that might be due to the fact that it's an urban area; I'd be more interested to see results from places where the border is in a rural area with little surrounding population and, therefore, less policing. In other words, where the wall itself is the primary deterrent to crossing.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Jude, I thought the San Diego area was held up as a good example of how well a fence can work. I think there needs to be a coordinated range of measures. Apparently Arizona is seeing some results from their crackdown on employers. I'm in the Los Angeles area, and have kids in public high school. So, I think I must see the worst of it all.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I don't think the fence is anyone's be all end all solution. But it could be part of a bigger solution, including something I heard recently that they plan on adding 6,000 new border guards within the next 2 months.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
MTV, as much as I loathe what they have become, the one thing they still do well consistently is their True Life series. A while back I saw one that was True Life: I live in a border town. And it showed different aspects of the debate, I thought it was well done if people want to hear from what people who live right on the border think, as well as what an illegal immigrant thinks.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Lainetm: I live in San Diego, specifically about a 15-minute drive to the border. I'm not so much anti-fence as I am pro-other solutions. I just don't think the fence is going to be particularly effective.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Mandy: There was a bit of a stink a few months back, one of the contractors on the fence *was* using illegals. I have a question, if anyone wants to answer it: How many of the anti-fence people live in areas which are significantly impacted by illegal immigration? (Notice: I am *not* limiting this to any group or nationality!) I have heard theories, but not evidence, that opinions vary a lot based on that one factor.
SussLW SussLW 9 years
Oh, and I'm anti-fence.
SussLW SussLW 9 years
This fits in nicely with the most recent episode of "This American Life" on NPR - the topic was "The Audacity of Government". I highly recommend it to everyone interested in stories of how the US government has been abusing its power. One of the stories discusses the US/Canadian border. It is altogether infuriating.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I'm glad they are finally building a barrier to slow down the onslaught of illegal immigration. It's a good first step, and since congress passed legislation to make the border fence possible two years ago, it's time to get it built. I think we need to revamp the immigration process to allow more people to get into the USA faster and easier, so there isn't such a need to come across illegally.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
M2 haha... oohhh the irony...
genvessel genvessel 9 years
anytime we build a wall, we demonize people on the other side. Please see the concept of "The Peace Wall" in Belfast, Northern Ireland for further reference on this point. There is no need for such wall. No need at all.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 9 years
You know if they can bypass regulations they should probably hire illegal immigrants to do the labor and save some money.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"Security at nuclear power plants hasn't been upgraded enough, our ports still are open, our food supply is at risk. Chertoff's sense of urgency has everything to do with keeping voters scared and being able to pretend he's doing something." I agree! I was really surprised that Republican leadership didn't step up and act more quickly on the 9/11 Commission's recommendations for upgrades in national security. There are so many areas where we ARE vulnerable, and it seems that those areas get ignored if they aren't somehow connected to a hot button social issue. The fence gets their attention and pressure for action because it "rallies the base"...aka rallies hatred towards illegal immigrants.
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
You know Troy built a barrier and they thought they were safe. China thought they had an impenetrable wall. History has shown how well that worked out. I have never liked this idea but it looks like there is nothing stopping the government from moving forward.
stephley stephley 9 years
I think the fence is an abomination and really isn't the most important thing Homeland Security could be working on if they're really worried about security. Security at nuclear power plants hasn't been upgraded enough, our ports still are open, our food supply is at risk. Chertoff's sense of urgency has everything to do with keeping voters scared and being able to pretend he's doing something.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I saw that, Jillness--hilarious! The idea of a border fence has always seemed like pandering to me. Like you point out, it's easy to get across, but it makes a quick and strong visual statement to reassure people, and is most likely much cheaper and easier to implement than other, more effective security measures, so people want it built.
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