Friday, December 23, 2011

The Political Farce Known As The Border Wall

The Texans who live on the ‘Mexican side’ of the border fence: ‘Technically, we’re in the United States’

"BROWNSVILLE, Texas—Pamela Taylor's living room has a Santa-hat-wearing stuffed dog atop a red doily on her coffee table, poinsettias near the couch, and, in the center of the room, an angel-topped Christmas tree with a few wrapped presents underneath.

Outside, the Christmas spirit is less visible, amid repeated warnings to KEEP OUT—though a "Merry Christmas!" sign hangs next to a warning to would-be trespassers that they're being filmed by a surveillance system. Written outside the front gate is the message: "Don't even think about parking here."

This will be Taylor's fourth Christmas living on what some Texans call the "Mexican side" of the U.S. border fence. Although she lives in Texas, her home is south of the 18-feet steel-and-concrete border wall erected by the American government. Taylor, who is 84, can see it from her front porch.

The wall was built to satisfy a law, passed in 2006 and 2008, that authorized 700 miles of fence on the southern border, 315 miles of it in Texas. President Bush said the fence would make the border safer and was "an important step toward immigration reform." Many of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates, with the exception of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, say they want to build a fence that spans the entire U.S. border. The Brownsville area shows just how complicated that project would be.

Because of a decades-old treaty with Mexico prohibiting building in the Rio Grande floodplain, the government built its border fence more than a mile north of the snaky river, trapping tens of thousands of acres of Texas--land in Cameron and Hidalgo counties--on the wrong side of the fence. The border wall is also riddled with miles-long gaps, seemingly placed at random.

gap with a road to some guy's Texas/Mexico home

The U.S. Border Patrol says that illegal crossers are pushed to these gaps, where they are more easily apprehended.

Some Texans, like Taylor, live completely on the other side of the $6.2 million-a-mile wall. Others had their property split in half by the fence, after the government seized portions of their land. At least 200 people in Cameron County had some of their land seized for the fence."

Mexican Border Fence Cost $3 Billion, Does Nothing



""If idiocy were a capital crime, at least 73 percent of Congress would be facing the hangman.

That’s the percentage of legislators who supported the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which created one of the most stunning boondoggles in U.S. history, at least according to “The Fence (La Barda),” which airs on HBO tomorrow at 8 p.m. New York time.
Emmy-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy (“Ghosts of Abu Ghraib”) starts out with the project’s major problem: There’s lots more holes than fence. The U.S.-Mexican border stretches over 2,000 miles; the fence only runs along 700 of them."

"Kennedy, who retains a sense of humor throughout the film, says the construction of the fence did not represent the nation’s greatest engineering feat. Part of the stretch through New Mexico, for instance, was built 6 feet into Mexican territory and had to be torn down and rebuilt at a cost of millions.
While the fence has deterred wildlife from using traditional migration routes, it is little more than a speed bump for many of the estimated 500,000 undocumented aliens who cross the border each year. Footage from cameras posted along the fence show people scaling it with little trouble; in a truly hilarious scene, a pickup truck roars up a ramp and flies over the barricade as if hellbent for Los Angeles in time for the cocktail hour."

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