Border Security?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Desertrat, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I could rant at length about the day-to-day little idiocies of people in high position in government agencies, but this little dab of dumb seems to reach a new level:

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/nation/5285737.html

    "A map obtained by The Associated Press shows that the double- or triple-layer fence may be built as much as two miles from the river on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande, leaving parts of Granjeno and other nearby communities in a potential no-man's-land between the barrier and the water's edge.

    Based on the map and what the residents have been told, the fence could run straight through houses and backyards. Some fear it could also cut farmers off from prime farmland close to the water."

    I'm not against fencing in those areas where it helps in controlling access against the would-be illeglal border jumpers. Trouble is, this idea for a location of fencing doesn't seem to do anything but screw U.S. citizens in their daily lives. It effectively cedes a bunch of land to the narcotrafficantes, who are in many areas a far larger personal hazard than any of the usual border jumpers.

    Any Border Patrol guy between the fence and the river who gets into a jam can't get ready backup from local law enforcement; the fence works both directions. But to consider that takes actual rational thought--and this is a government project.

    And the bureaucrats who dream up this stuff are still gonna be around with a Presdident Hillary, still jacking over you and me and the rest of the "just folks" along the border...

    'Rat
     
  2. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #2
    Fencing isn't a serious attempt at policing the border. Unless you have observation posts along it, it will be cut, climbed over, or tunneled under. Assuming that enforcement is the primary strategy, and I question this, we need more men with better resources to police the border.

    Considering the number of stupid plans that have existed before President Hillary, this seems like needless editorializing.
     
  3. killerrobot macrumors 68020

    killerrobot

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    #3
    Yeah, gotta say the only reason the Berlin wall was successful was because it was heavily guarded and you would shot if you were near it.

    Don't see how this would ever fix the illegal immigration in the US - if there's no patrols then there's always going to be a new tunnel or a new route around something. Needless to say, todays politicians are the brightest group around.

    I think the politicians aren't seeing the real immigration problem though -it's them darn canadians with their fancy CAN $ that are sneaking into the US that really gots me shivering in my booties. :eek:
     
  4. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #4
    The technology they're using has mostly been a bust. Raindrops on the cameras effectively render them useless, dust storms muck up the electronics, animals trigger false alarms, etc. The US Wall is mostly a sop to right wing fanatics and a means of rewarding bushco financial contributors.

    It's amazing that the US fails to realize the biggest threat to national security comes from a plummeting dollar. It won't be long before some of those SWF's start taking over key parts of American industry and technology.
     
  5. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    hulugu, the point of my "editorializing" is that I see no end to this sort of foolishness. It doesn't matter who's to become president. I guess my grump is aimed at those who regularly seem to believe that a change in administration and the Congress will result in any meaningful change in policies of this border-protection sort. Ties in with my view of no change in the Patriot Act or in the behavior of the TSA--but now the Dems run Congress. So, why the continued nonsense?

    'Rat
     
  6. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #6
    Rat,

    What do you see as the major issues with protecting the border; security, smuggling, etc?

    I know this is a hot subject right now. But, it has been going on for decades. From my perspective, stopping terrorists from entering the country is about the only thing which has changed over the years.

    I lived along the border (Mexicali <> El Centro) for a few years. Illegal immigrants were an accepted way of life. There was a clear migration path, which started in the Imperial Valley for the winter lettuce. Then the workers would move north into the San Joaquin Valley to work a wide variety of Spring crops. In summer they would be in the Salinas area, working the summer lettuce. Then they would head back to the San Joaquin to work the fall grapes, and finally back to the Imperial Valley. And the cycle just repeated itself.

    Many of these works did cross the border illegally. But, once here and working, they were able to apply for a 'green card'. Employers are required to do a thorough background check and insure the individual was in the country legally, and had the right to work. Some did this (do), but others just give it a cursory glance, or ignore it all together. That was especially true prior to 9/11. So basically, if you could get across the border you could always find work. I maintain it was American companies which drew the illegal immigrants here. If they had really been verifying identification cards, and working with Immigration, this would not have become what it is today.

    I think what needs to be done is to 'clear the table', and create a new policy and procedures, which makes sense.
     
  7. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #7
    I agree with you, but your earlier point seemed aimed so squarely at Hillary Clinton as to be unfair considering no of the dozen or so horses in this race appears to have a clear-eyed idea of what needs to be done.

    As for continued nonsense, I'd lay that at the feet of both parties, the Dems for a failure of ideas and the Republicans for flowing back into their obstructionist bunker. Of course, the Repubs had more than a decade to work on this particular problem, so the Dems get more that a solid year before I'm going to call them out completely.
     
  8. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    SMM, it seems to me that the structure of the 1986 Simpson/Mazzoli reform provided an amnesty that led to the increase in inflow from Mexico. "Hang in, there, and they'll do it again."

    When there was a guest worker program and a relative trickle of illegals, we could deal with the problem reasonably well. Dealing with a flood is a whole 'nother order of magnitude of a problem.

    If hundreds of people can successfully cross in a particular area in a night, why can't ambitious terrorist types emulate them? A burro can carry a couple of hundred pounds of marijuana; why not Semtex, instead? Heck, I've crossed the Rio Grande in my Toyota 4WD PU with water over the headlights...

    I really don't know of any politically acceptable solution. None. Both parties are catering to the Latin vote, which makes sense, since political parties hustle identifiable interest groups. But a portion of the Latin politicos have brought race into the issue of illegals, so that's a giant fustercluck. We regularly hear of the need for low-cost labor, but I watch illegals cash weekly paychecks of some $400, so that labor isn't all that low-cost: What it is, is, a strong work ethic in entry level workers.

    Sure, employers aren't supposed to hire illegals, but I read in the news that a fake ID is easily come by. The only real solution, seems to me, is a tamper-proof national ID card--any proposal for which is Furor City in a heartbeat.

    Yeah, clear the decks and start over: Desirable, but I think that in terms of "politically acceptable" it's not possible. There is the cost of such an effort, as well, and Congress doesn't feel pressured enough to act.

    I sit around and try to figure what might work--but that same old constraint keeps ruining all my hopefully-practical ideas. Frustrating.

    hulugu, Hillary and I will never agree on political philosophy. Any and all of the rest of anybody's negative allegations about her are unimportant to me. But IMO neither party will bring about any significant change in much of anything to do with border security. Congress will harumph at great length, but it will merely be Willie the Bard's, "...full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

    Drifting a bit, it seems as though the Elint efforts and foreign assistance has kept Jihadists from what I guess could be called the "usual efforts" at doing harm. Physically, I don't see how anything short of many more people on the border would make much difference if they change tactics. But then you can start counting containers, and wonder what's in the 90+% of the 40,000 per day that don't get inspected.

    Face it, an open society like ours is vulnerable...

    'Rat
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #9
    Well you could always do a little deeper SSN check. The way it's set up right now, there is no way to know if someone else is using my SSN. You could also enforce the laws on the books. No new laws (or fences) should be necessary if we simply had the will to enforce what is already spelled out in law.
     
  10. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #10
    mactastic/rat,

    Enforcement of the laws is a large part of the solution. The Border Patrol were required to obtain an AA degree (if they did not already have one). They had a specialized curriculum, and two semesters of Poli Sci and Sociology were required. Poli Sci was my major, so I got to know many of these guys personally.

    There was no way they could maintain border security, except at the crossing points (Calexico<-->Mexicali, etc.). They actually had good equipment (infrared for example). They were simply understaffed. Today's technology is incredible in its' sophistication. I suspect the borders can be watched better with technology, then with a fence. Spend the money for that pork-barrel project on more guards, courts, magistrates, etc. I say give the border patrol a fair chance of succeeding.
     
  11. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #11
    Wow, I've gotten within a few miles of the border and there were green guys all over the place. I thought I was out in the boonies by my lonesome and suddenly there's a white HUMMVEE tearing up the road behind me and a spotter-plane orbiting overhead.
     
  12. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #12
    Reminds me of San Diego ...it ended up one the wrong side of the fence.
     
  13. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    hulugu, the Border Patrol has one of the highest turnover rates of all federal law enforcement, after the air marshalls. (Air marshalls quit from ultra-boredom.)

    In many areas, the BP guys work alone or maybe in pairs. They can get shot at on a sorta casual basis, or get a barrage of rocks thrown at them. It can be long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of raw terror. Then there are the confrontations with the druggies, who sometimes are backed by guys in Mexican Army uniforms in HumVees with .50 machine guns. Ya never know.

    Yeah, there is high-tech stuff. Often times, a .308 bullet from an FAL renders it inoperable, if there's not a human around to protect it.

    The Mexican border has quite a few "interesting" places. :D

    'Rat
     
  14. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #14
    My biggest issue with a border fence, besides it being a huge waste of money, is that it will make it hard, if not impossible, for certain animals to live how they have for centuries. It will cut off migratory paths and could cut off hunting grounds for certain animals. When the Sierra Club demanded that the Department of H.S. study the environmental impacts of the fence (as they are required to by law), Chertoff decided that it wasn't important, and moved ahead with construction on this monstrosity.
     
  15. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #15
    The trouble is that we discovered that Mexicans could fit through the doggy doors we had designed into the fence for the animals.
     
  16. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #16
    Another truly enchanting post.
     
  17. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #17
    Right.

    I know that you're more afraid of a non-existence brown threat, Swarm.

    But I care more about a real threat to the continued existence of certain animals.
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #18
    Careful now. Your thin veneer of acceptability is almost transparent. Anyway, what on earth is the point of building a 700 mile fence on a 2,500 mile border?

    235793166_98f61738b5.jpg
     
  19. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #19
    Another classic for the anals of time, swarmy. :( They're human beings, for Christ' sake. No need to drop the 'animal' inference. Illegal, perhaps; but there's no need to devalue them along with spurious actions.
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    Are you referring to time's ass here?? ;)
     
  21. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #21
    An "n" shy of right, eh? :D I'd say let's leave it, as is.
     
  22. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    The fence they built up in El Paso, some twenty years back, did help. It was in plain view of folks in that strip-city, the way it's laid out parallel to the river. Some areas, the fence can be a help. Others, it's not very effective. Sort of a function of terrain and distance from patrol-office centers.

    I really doubt there are that many land animals which migrate back and forth between Mexico and the U.S. Not that many migratory land animals at all, really. And animal populations in deserts aren't dense, to begin with.

    The biologists say that in the Chihuahuan Desert, the pounds per acre of bugs exceeds that of mammals. FWIW. :D

    'Rat
     
  23. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #23
    Study the sentence again. The door reference was for the animals. You guys see a cloud in every silver lining.
     
  24. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

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    #24
    Part of the problem is in the past no one was enforcing the laws on making sure the workers where legal and they where very lax on it. Now that went on for so long it makes it even more difficult to enforce now since it has so many workers now and completely cutting them off will make the very low level jobs empty and that will cause problems.

    Illegal immigrants work low level jobs like construction and farm workers. It is not hard to figure out where they will mostly likely be working. Just look for the jobs that are pushing 50% Hispanic.

    Now as for a fence would it help yes it would just because there is a fence there it will make a lot of people turn away. Will it stop it hell no. People who want to cross the boarder are going to find a way The fence makes it a little harder. For example it going to be a heck of a lot harder to get a vehicle though the fence so it going to reduce the numbers. Have nothing there it just makes it more a lot more tempting to try.
     
  25. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #25
    Which is why I was so surprised when I had three different trucks show up. We talked for a moment, and they headed off down the road again. I also got to spend a short time with the trackers who work to find illegals lost in the desert. Especially during the summer in Arizona, illegal try to cross some incredibly barren areas and a lot of them get into trouble.
    It's was one of the most interesting pieces I've worked on, we talked to the Border Patrol, officially and unofficially, we talked to Humane Borders, illegals themselves, and even a coyote (not the furry kind).

    And, when I did it, the Border Patrol was mostly worried about the coyotes going on high-speed chases and wrecking with a truck-bed full of illegals (it's happened many times), but I understand now there's been increasing violence and para-military groups operating there too.

    That's why I'm such an advocate for more guys, they need manpower as those stretches of desert are far too lonely for one guy.

    But, there are several species which depend on movement across the Border, including deer and even jaguar.

    Remember, the border runs from the Gulf to the Pacific, there's a lot of critters south of where I am.
     

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