Singing Loudly: Not Building <em>that</em> Wall

Singing Loudly

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Not Building that Wall

Much like Brian Leiter has strong assumptions that the US will have a draft in the not so distant future, I am working on the assumption that the US is moving towards building a wall for the purpose of keeping out illegal immigrants.

The fiscal year 2006 budget includes 6.7 billion for US Customs and Border Control. This is one of the highest growth rates (under the defense budget) in the federal government. Alone this wouldn't mean much, but on March 16th, 2005 an amendment was attached to the $81.3 billion supplement to fund the wars on terror in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This attachment was for the Real ID Act (a crap legislation that's leading us towards a National ID for everyone) which includes giving the Secretary of Homeland Security sole discretion to push forward the development of border fences by waiving all applicable laws.

This is unnecessary and potentially very dangerous to both undocumented aliens and US citizens. The development of a wall or fence would not curtail the amount of undocumented aliens. Rather, it would send them to more dangerous locations. For instances, after triple-fencing was constructed in San Diego, apprehensions of undocumented immigrants fell from 450,152 in FY 1994 to 100,000 in FY 2002, but apprehensions in the Tucson sector increased 342 percent during this same period.

What is more, building a fence along the entire southwest border would cost nearly $9 billion. Do you really want to pay for this? Despite increases in Border Patrol monies and the amount of officers, the percentage of undocumented aliens has continually increased throughout the years.

Perhaps a better approach would be to figure out why there is such a large amount of illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States and try to cure the problem. For all the supporting democracy rhetoric we hear from President Bush, it would be nice to see more actual attempts to construct valid trade with Mexico. It would be nice to see more US investment in the markets in Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Building a fence does not cure the problem it is just an inefficient waste of resources.

For much more information see this article.


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