2007-10-03 / Editorial & Columns


Border fence is long overdue, build it now!

Despite the wailing and complaining about the socalled "Border Wall" planned for the United States- Mexican border it is a good idea and one that should have been acted on 35 years ago when first considered by the Nixon Administration.

No one really wants to build a 16 foot fence along our southern border at a cost of billions of dollars, but because our border is disrespected and violated on a daily basis our nation has little choice.

Every nation has a right to protect its borders and make laws governing the immigration of foreign nationals. Try going into Mexico without the proper papers and see what the reaction of the Mexican authorities will be. If you do, be sure and take plenty of reading material with you because you will be in jail for a long, long time.

Last year 152,811 illegal aliens were apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol attempting to enter our country from Mexico, down from 207,197 arrests made for the same crime in 2005. That number is still far too high.

Estimates are that only one fourth of those who illegally cross our border are apprehended, meaning that close to a million illegal aliens enter our country annually. We recognize that most illegals are simply looking for better working conditions and a better standard of living for their families.

What about the criminals?

Last year 7,377 automobiles were stolen in Tucson, Arizona, 3,500 in El Paso, Texas and 2,415 in the McAllen, Mission, Edinburg area. Where do you suppose those stolen cars are going? They are going to Mexico where they are resold to the drug and human smugglers and used to carry contraband into the United States. (Brownsville lost only 431 cars last year, because they have city police and sheriff's deputies at the International bridges, 24-hours-a day).

What about illegal drugs?

Last year Border Patrol agents seized 468,879 lbs. of marijuana, a 26 percent increase over the previous year and 2,934 lbs. of cocaine, a 96 percent increase over 2005. And 50 percent of the cocaine seized along the Mexican border came from the Rio Grande Valley sector. The value of the narcotics seized was $473.9 million dollars.

Let's consider the arguments against the fence.

1. (From the chamber of commerce- It will hurt shopping in the Rio Grande Valley.) Oh, really, do you think some shoppers actually swim the river and then go shopping at La Plaza Mall?

2. (From the church - The fence will be inhumane because it will prevent the poor from finding their way into our country.) It should be the responsibility of the Mexican government to build a fair economic system that provides for the needs of Mexican workers.

3. (From the animal rights crowd - The animals will suffer because they won't be able to cross back and forth across the river). Tough luck, the birds can fly over and maybe the ocelots can walk around. (Has anyone ever actually seen an ocelot?)

We haven't even touched on national security. When we have a million illegals crossing our southern border every year how do we know that terrorists are not among them? Since 911 we have been lucky. Unless we control our borders we are not likely to be lucky much longer.

Will the fence solve the problem? Of course not, but it will send a signal to those who want to violate our border - for whatever reason, that this country isn't going to stand for that anymore. And it will make life a little harder for the human and drug smugglers.

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