Tag Archives: border control

Let’s Hear It For the Wall

What is wrong with a wall? A fence? A barrier? Nothing.

As Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats have voted for in the past. All of them have voted for partial fences or barriers as part of an overall strategy to control illegal immigration. They cannot deny it. And so did the Republicans. They also voted for comprehensive border control. The Democratic House just passed a bill  that the GOP Senate passed last month. Mr Trump will not sign it. Keeping the government open and border security in place. So, why the controversy over a 2,000 mile wall all the way across the US -Mexico border?

I have a number of barriers on my property. To keep animals in. To keep animals out.

I have a chain link fence across part of my backyard to keep my dogs from running off. They can see through the fence and get chuffed when the squirrels run up the trees. And go absolutely bananas when a few deer lope through the woods. They want to run. They want chase. The fence keeps them in. It works. It performs as expected.

My wife has a field where, in the summer, she keeps her horse. We have an electrified fence around the field. It is just a few wires attached to a low voltage box. When you touch it it creates a small jolt. Enough to teach a horse not to break through. Of course, it doesn’t stop the deer from leaping over it. Or a cat or dog or fox from sneaking under it. It is designed to keep horses in and works quite well. It performs as expected.

Every other year we raise chickens. As meat birds. We have a chicken wire fence around the chicken area. So they can wander around and get some “free range” exercise in their short time on Earth. Initially I put up a fence that had wire squares, too small for chickens to get through. One year we had an extremely small chicken that would run THROUGH the fence and back in again. So, I had to adjust the fence and add chicken wire all around. Problem solved. The chicken fence works well. It performs as expected.

I built that chicken coop for our chickens. Because at night the raccoons come out. And fat juicy chickens are high on the raccoon and fox menu. One of my farmer neighbors lost about a dozen chickens to a weasel one year. Others have lost chickens to foxes. I have never lost a chicken. My coop, which keeps the furry foodstuffs in safely at night is impregnable. The Fort Knox of chicken coops. It performs the expected.

There is about an acre of my property where I don’t have a wall or fence. The part that is a lowland. A swamp. A wetland. It extends from the road to the woods. Even if my dogs escaped they could not run away through it.  The deer avoid it. I cannot walk through it without getting sucked into a squishy marsh. So, it remains an untouched little part of the ecosystem. Putting a fence or a wall around this would be a massive waste of money. I don’t have money to throw away on walls that don’t work. The wetland performs as expected.

Back to the border wall.

Nine members of the US House of Representatives represent districts that border  Mexico. Every one of them opposes a long wall. Not because they want “open borders” but because a long wall , in and of itself, is not the appropriate solution to the problem. All want walls where they work. Near towns and cites. In fact, there are already walls, (voted for by the Dems and GOP) , because they are appropriate. But not across the entire border.

These nine members, who know more than anyone else the problems of illegal immigration, do not want to waste money. They want drones. They want more border security personnel. They want rapid response teams. They want border control that works.

So, do we need a “Wall” across the entire border? Is it even possible to build? What would it cost? More important. Is it the best, smartest way to spend our tax dollars? And why do we shut down the the government over a dispute over a wall?

We need to open up the government. Then we need hearings. Yes, hearings. We have NEVER had any public hearings on the best way to control the border. Let us see the actual wall, where it will go and what it will cost. If a wall or steel barrier is the best way to secure the border, then let us have a public discussion. With experts to testify as to the cost and feasibility.

Perhaps the GOP can make a solid case that the best way to spend tax dollars effectively to control the border is a wall. At this point there is NO SPECIFIC plan for what a wall would look like or cost. Perhaps the Democrats can make the case that the best way is a combination of a wall, where appropriate, and more modern techniques where those work better. At this point they have NO PLAN for border security.

So, let’s have hearings and see what is really going on. If this is so important to Mr Trump should he not welcome the chance to show how and why the 2,000 mile wall will work and what it will cost? With facts? With data? With evidence? With a cost analysis? Shouldn’t those who want other types of border security be allowed to make their case?

So. Open the government. Congressional hearings on border security. Let’s “hear it” for the wall.

From Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall”

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;.....

.....Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense....

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/mending-wall

 

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Open Border Outrage

News item: In an outrageous decision the Trump administration has opened the border between Mexico and the US to a flood of illegal immigrants.

US soldiers, sent to the border to halt the onslaught of illegal 4 year olds, has instead been ripping out miles and miles of barbed wire fencing! Troops sent down to protect law abiding Americans have instead been used to tear down the only defense we have against Guatemalan and Honduran terrorists!

“…U.S. Army soldiers have removed barbed wire along the US-Mexico border in areas where the Trump administration has said more border security measures are needed after local community leaders raised concerns.

About 2 miles of military-grade wire was removed from city land in Laredo, Texas, according to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials…”

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/trump-argues-wall-border-security-measure-gets-pulled-200004316.html

While president Obama and Secretary Clinton actually voted for increased border security when they were in Congress, this administration is now ripping down the very wall of barbed wire we need to protect us!! Outrageous!! And what reason do they give?

“…As the situation along the border continues to evolve, we will continue to assess our operational needs, including removal of the c-wire,” a CBP official said in a statement to ABC News….”

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/trump-argues-wall-border-security-measure-gets-pulled-200004316.html

What kind of double talk is that? These same folks that are demanding a wall (at the very reasonable cost of only $25,000,000 per mile), are destroying a perfectly good barbed wire barrier and leaving our borders unsecured. UNSECURED !!! And what about the cost?

Now, you can get barbed wire for about $8,000 per mile. And the US military will install it for FREE!. Does it not make more sense to keep the razor wire and save about $24,992,000 per mile? I mean, 40 miles of barbed wire saves the hardworking taxpayers a BILLION bucks! And consider, if you were a 7 year old fleeing for your life and  trying to cross the border wouldn’t you prefer climbing a ladder over a wall  (which might be fun) to crawling through razor wire and cutting your little hands and feet to a bloody pulp?

https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/fencing/install-a-barbed-wire-fence/

I long for the days when President Obama, called the “Deporter-in-Chief” by illegal Mexicans, was back running the show. Under Obama the illegal immigration rates reached an all time low. He stopped them at the border and sent them back. Illegal immigration  surged again under Trump but are now back to even lower levels than under Obama. So, the barbed wire is working!

So, why is Trump opening the borders to more illegals? Why are our troops sent out to destroy the very barriers that protect us from the women and children of Central America?

Let’s hope that the Democrats in the Congress can restore some sanity and demand that we protect our borders instead of ripping out our protection.

To paraphrase the late, great actor Ronald Reagan: “Mr Trump, do not tear down that wall !”

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General Admission Seating

Depending on which story you want to believe, there are somewhere between 4,000 and 7,000 men, women and kids from Central America moving northward to seek asylum in the USA. Rather than get into the facts of how this administration has fomented this “crisis”, just look at some numbers.

The US has a population of about 325,000,000. That is 325 million people.

For the sake of argument I will accept the higher number. 7,000 versus 325,000,000.

Pretty scary!

Now, about half or more of these 7,000 are women and children. And, under US law everyone has a right to apply for asylum. That does not mean they will get it, but they can apply. So, we have 7,000 folks fleeing violence and death. Did I mention we have a nation of 325,000,000?

Let us suppose that every single asylum seeker get admitted. That would have the effect of adding 14 people to the city of Detroit, Michigan. About 12 new people to Raleigh, North Carolina. 3 more folks in San Bernadino, California.  Maybe 4 people to Topeka, Kansas.

Another example may better illustrate. We are crazy about football in the US. So what if we offered every member of the caravan a free football ticket. General admission seating, of course.

So, we offer these 7,000 folks tickets to a football game. How would that look?

For example, in the Rose Bowl, these folks would take up 2 of the 28 sections. Well, not exactly. Less than 2 sections, but close enough. In most other stadiums they would take up maybe 3 sections.

Unless you are talking high school, of course. For example, at the Texas Alamo High school stadium these men, women and children would take up just about 33%! Imagine, a high school football game where every third person is an immigrant seeking asylum. One game, one stadium, that’s the entire caravan.

This is why the US sent the most highly trained military in the world to the border? (Admittedly it was the WRONG border. They were sent to Texas; the caravan is heading to California…but I digress). To stop a “caravan” composed mainly of women and children that would not even fill up half of a Texas high school football stadium? SCARY!!!

Next time you see the massive numbers of scary asylum seekers as shown by the news, just imagine how much space they actually take up at a college football game. But don’t buy the asylum seekers expensive  box seats.

Just give them general admission tickets.

 

 

 

 

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Trump’s Great Wall

Mr Trump was adamant. He was going to build a WALL. A concrete, brick solid WALL across the entire 1900 mile border with Mexico. His minions chanted : Build the Wall! Build the Wall!.

Of course, people with common sense said, “No”. The border crosses desert, mountain and river. Areas where building a wall would not only be prohibitively expensive, but impractical. And, we already have walls and fences covering much of the border where it is appropriate and feasible. Certainly extending some fencing and increasing border security was reasonable. But not a 1,900 mile solid wall.

Nevertheless, Mr Trump insisted that the border was porous. Rapists and criminals were streaming across the “open border”. Only his 20 or 40 or 90 foot high wall would stop the deluge of criminals pouring in from Mexico. Hillary Clinton, he said, wanted those borders “open” so all those rapists could easily force their way across the border. Of course, Clinton actually voted FOR the 700 mile border security fence in 2006, as did Obama. A sensible, bi-partisan approach to a real  problem. But we won’t let facts get in the way.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-presidential-debate-fact-check/2016/10/did-clinton-once-want-to-build-a-wall-too-230026

And the $25,000,000,000 price tag for his wall? No problem. Mexico would simply pay for it. He would somehow force Mexico, one of the poorer nations in the world, to fund a massive wall that he wanted. And they would do it for free. According to his campaign website Mexico would be “forced” to pay at least $5-10,000,000,000 for the wall on day one of his administration. Trump assured us.

Then Mexican president Nieto said: “Nope. Not going to happen.” He met with Trump and told him point blank. Then, after Mr Trump was elected the Mexican foreign minister, Massieu, reiterated that Mexico would not give the US any money to build a wall.

One of Trump’s main supporters during the election, Brandon Judd is the head of the Border Patrol Union. He supported Trump and his wall. In an NPR interview on November 17, 2016 Mr Judd seemed to be hedging his “wall” bet. He claims he has been advising Mr. Trump about border issues.

Now, Mr Judd says, Trump did not really mean a “wall”, just a border security system. Like we have now, except expanded. (Kind of like Senators Obama and Clinton voted for when they were in the Senate.) Walls already exist, said Judd. But a wall all the way across the border …uh…nope..

“…JUDD: The wall is going to be absolutely effective in certain locations. We do not need a wall along the entire 2,000 miles of border. And what I really appreciate about President-elect Trump is he understands that he doesn’t know everything. And every single time that I’ve sat down and spoken with him, we’ve talked about a wall. We’ve talked about whether it needs to be the full 2,000 miles of the Southwest border or if we just need it in strategic locations. And he’s been willing to listen and that’s very refreshing….”

http://www.npr.org/2016/11/17/502402360/border-patrol-agents-union-confers-with-trump-on-securing-the-border

So, we don’t really need a wall after all.  Just enhanced security. Like Clinton voted for in 2006 in the Border Security Fence Act? That 700 mile fence in strategic locations that has helped reduce illegal immigration?

But Trump wants a brick and concrete and mortar wall, right?

Again, the Judd interview:

“…JUDD: Well, we do want walls in certain locations. We do want a very effective wall. We’re not talking about a brick-and-mortar wall. If you build just a brick-and-mortar wall, they’re going to come up and they’re going to break that wall down. And then it’s going to be very, very hard to patch that type wall. You have to build something that is going to be very difficult to defeat….”

So, we shall see. Will Trump really try to build a massive wall,  as his supporters wanted. Remember the “Build the Wall” chant ? Second only to the “Lock Her Up” chants at the Trump rallies?

Of course, Trump HAS built wall before. In Scotland. When he took revenge on the Scots who lived on the land of their ancestors next to his newly built “golf resort”. When these Scots publicly opposed this boondoggle Trump responded by building a wall across their land,  effectively blocking their view of the ocean they had enjoyed for years. And he sent them the bill for the wall.  They never paid. But he did successfully destroy their ocean view. He taught them a lesson.

And in the past Trump has headed many building projects. And failed to pay his contractors.

So, maybe that is his plan. He will hire contractors to build a wall and simply NOT PAY FOR IT !  Or not build a wall as he promised? Or do nothing but simply TWEET that he has accomplished something?   Meanwhile, we haven’t heard much lately about the Great Wall of Trump. Time will tell.

 

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The Smuggler

It was dark and chilly near midnight on the Texas-Mexico border. I had a tip that a smuggler was going to cross that night and I wanted to meet up with him. Do an interview.

(In order to maintain confidentiality all the names in this report have been changed. My name is Joe Urban but I call myself Luke. The smugglers name was Jorge Maria Hernandez Moctezuma Gonzalez. I will call him Jose).

Jose was driving a small truck. As it pulled up to the border  a customs agent stopped him and they talked. Jose shook the agent’s hand . The agent looked into his hand, slipped it into his pocket and waved Jose through. A bribe. A time-honored border tradition.

I followed Jose and his truck through the night on the long drive north. Sometime near dawn he pulled off into a small town and stopped at Eat Em and Weep Cafe. I went in and found him sitting at a corner table. Well. The only table. I introduced myself.

Luke: Hello Jose, I am Luke. The guy doing the undercover story.

Jose: I thought I was supposed to meet some gringo named Joe. And my name is not Jose,  it is Jorge Maria Hernandez Moctezuma Gonzalez. What do you want to know?

Luke: Why do you smuggle?

Jose: Because I like to help people. People have needs and I try to make their lives a little better.  It is my way of giving a little back to the world. And it pays good.

Jose rocked back in his chair and stared at the spiders crawling across the ceiling. He had a faraway look in his eye. The awe-inspiring, starry-eyed look  of a philosopher. Or a sleep deprived trucker. He continued.

Jose: You see. I bring to you North Americanos a little joy. A product that makes your miserable lives a little happier. What is wrong with that? Don’t you have the right to be happy like us Mexicanos?

Jose continues: You may think that you can get the same thing from Colorado. You think the best stuff comes from Colorado? Maybe. But no. Colorado cannot supply the entire nation. The law of supply and demand. Capitalismo!

Jose continues: You are thinking about your own internal supply. But my stuff is pure. Better. No extra junk thrown in . The best in the world. Why take  chance on some local supplier when you can have the best? Why take a chance when you know that my stuff has never killed anyone. Guaranteed pure. Uncut.

Jose continues: And you deserve the best. So I will continue to make the dangerous journey to El Norte. I will slip past the border guards..what?..oh, you saw me give him a bribe. Well,  I will continue the dangerous journey and bribing the border guards. It is worth it to see the smiles on the gringos faces when the delivery arrives.

Luke: Are you worried that President Trump will build a wall and and finally put an end to your smuggling once and for all?

Jose: No worry. My uncle Antonio Juarez Moctezuma Gonzalez owns 4 bulldozers. He plans to start a new business smashing into the wall each night at different places. He has already incorporated as “The Holes in the Wall Gang”.  We are ready.

So there you have it. A law breaking smuggler who justifies his actions by claiming to be a “public servant”. Another smuggler defying US laws. A disgrace to all. But the story has a happy ending for law-abiding citizens.

I followed Jose for hundreds of miles north as he drove through Illinois, Indiana and into Michigan. Finally the roar caused by his lack of a muffler, the black cloud of oily smoke  and sparks generated by a right taillight dragging on the ground caught the trained eye of a Michigan State trooper. He was pulled over. Caught. Nabbed.

When the back door of his truck was lifted , there was the contraband in plain site. BUSTED. Cases and cases of the illegal product. It would never reach the lips of addicted Michiganders.

“Crystal” bottled water from Mexico. Cases of it. In sealed plastic bottles. Direct from the bottling plant. Stenciled across the back of each case: Destination: Flint, Michigan. The jig was up. The uncut, super clean water was found before it could be delivered .

The troopers threw  the cases on to the ground and smashed the contraband into bits, Elliot Ness-style. They slashed the bottles and watched as the liquid gushed out onto the pavement. The pure, clean, fresh water flowed onto the highway. The good stuff. Just before he got in his cruiser and drove away I noticed one of the Michigan State troopers slip a couple bottles into his jacket. I couldn’t blame him. I figured he must have had kids.

 

 

 

 

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A Modern Christmas Story

The line of ragged refugees trying to gain entry into the US winds around the corner. Men in robes and tattered clothes. Women wearing veils and hijabs. Little , wide -eyed children peering out from behind their mothers’ flowing dresses.

The Border Control agent barks .”Next”

A young bearded man, with wife and baby crouching behind, slowly approaches.

“Name”?

“Yusef”

The agent is filling in a form.

“Where are you coming from?”

“The Middle East. We have had to leave our home.”

Agent:” Why did you leave?”

Yusef: “They are killing us. The new government has taken our property and demands that we give up our homes and possessions. We fled from the violence. If we go back they will kill us. Don’t send us back”

Agent: “Do you have any documents?”

Yusef:”No. We had to flee quickly. We left everything behind except what we carry.”

Agent, writing : “How did you pay for the airline tickets?”

Yusef: “We had a little gold, but that is now gone.”

Agent:”How do you intend to support yourself? Do you have any skills?”

Yusef: “I  worked in construction. I can build  things. I work with tools.”

Agent: “I see you wife is wearing a hijab. Are you Muslims?”

Yusef: ” Oh, no. She is just wearing the traditional veil. It means nothing.”

Agent: “Are you Christians? Do you  follow Christ?”

Yusef, looking  confused: ” No. We are simply refugees fleeing for our lives. Please help us.”

Agent, writing down something and looking concerned. “What is in those two boxes?”

Yusef: “Just some perfume and some medicines. It is all we have.”

The agent calls over some security who take the boxes and disappear into another room. “Sorry, those boxes will have to be destroyed. They had some odd looking substances in them.”

The agent looks at the young refugee family , down at his forms, and back up again. “You have no papers. You have no means of support. You CLAIM not to be Muslims, but you sure LOOK  like Muslims to me. You brought in some strange packages. And you claim your life is in danger but offer no  proof. ” He then takes out a big red stamp and loudly stamps the documents, hands them back to the young man and points him to the exit door.

“We will be putting you and your wife and child on the next plane back to the Middle East. Good luck. And Merry Christmas.”

The young man looks down at the document. The big red letters of the stamp are bold: ENTRY DENIED.

They cover the names of the applicants.

Yusef the Carpenter, wife Mary and baby Jesus.

 

 

 

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