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Thursday, September 29, 2016

On Thursday, senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) announced that they had reached a deal on an amendment to the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, which they hope will allow reticent Republicans to vote for the bipartisan reform. The amendment, which the senators have dubbed the “border surge,” would nearly double the size of the current border patrol force to 40,000, mandate the completion of 700 new miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexican border, and implement a mandatory e-verify system and an electronic entry-exit identification system at all international airports and seaports in the U.S. Only once all these conditions are met could immigrants begin attaining permanent residency.

Senator Hoeven pitched his amendment on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, calling the proposal “a very straightforward way to secure our border, and do so before providing a pathway to legal permanent residency for those who came here illegally.”

“Our legislation will provide significantly more resources to secure the border. More manpower, more fencing, more technology,” Hoeven argued.

The amendment was crafted largely as an alternative to one from Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), which would have mandated that a far stricter set of border security “triggers” be met before any undocumented immigrants could receive a green card. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had blasted the amendment as a “poison pill” specifically designed to kill the bill.

On Thursday afternoon, the Senate voted 54-43 to table Cornyn’s amendment, clearing a path for the bill to move forward with Corker and Hoeven’s. Reform advocates hope that, with Cornyn’s amendment dead, Republicans will be willing to sign off on Corker and Hoeven’s plan instead.

“I think this amendment has the ability, if passed, to bring a bipartisan effort behind information reform that would then send the bill to the House,” Corker said on the Senate floor Thursday. Senate reform advocates hope that around 15 Republicans will vote for the “Gang of Eight” bill, providing political cover for Republicans to support it in the House of Representatives.

The border surge plan would come with a hefty price tag; early estimates suggest that the new border security measures could add about $30 billion to the total cost of the bill. On the Senate floor Thursday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) argued that “it’s money well spent, because it makes the border more secure, which helps us with our sovereignty.”

Not all Republicans are pleased with the “border surge” plan. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), one of the most vocal opponents of immigration reform, lamented that the Corker-Hoeven plan “will just throw money at the border” instead of solving the root problem. Similarly, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) called the amendment a “fig leaf,” while Senator Cornyn warned against the amendment’s “false promises.”

Other Republicans, such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush, believe that the border surge plan pushes the bill too far to the right. Corker himself acknowledged that criticism during a Thursday morning appearance on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, saying, “For people who are concerned about security, once they see what is in this bill, it’s almost overkill.”

“Overkill” may be an appropriate term. Despite repeated claims from politicians on both sides of the aisle that “securing the border” must be priority number one for reform, the U.S.-Mexico border is actually more secure than it has been in decades. In fact, as the Center for American Progress points out, border security has actually surpassed the benchmarks laid out in the failed immigration bill of 2007.

Photo: Talk Radio News Service via Flickr.com

  • Dominick Vila

    Let me start by pointing out that the ongoing efforts to reform our immigration laws and strengthen border security are focused strictly on our Southern border. Illegal entries, including that of potential terrorists, are welcomed and go unchallenged, via our Northern border.

    Not surprisingly, what was originally an attempt to correct injustices and the root causes for the illegal immigration problem we have endured for decades has degenerated into building more fences, hiring more border patrol agents, and claims of sudden increases in the number of Mexican and Central Americans illegal immigrants crawling under or jumping fences to take advantage of the anticipated change that would allow 11 million illegal immigrants to someday become U.S. citizens. What I have not heard yet is what is going to be done about future immigrants. Are they going to be given an entry visa to enter the USA legally, or are they going to be marginalized as they have in the past?

    • jazzpianist

      Nothing has “degenerated” here. The immigration laws are sound. The problem is that they are not enforced. Stolen ID’s, drain on taxpayer and public resources are real issues. “Future immigration” will take care of itself.

      • Howard15

        If we stop hiring them they will stop coming. With Everify it is very difficult for the employer to hire someone who is not documented. This picks up on the fake and stolen ss #s. Start arresting and fining the employers and this is fixed in 30 minutes.

        • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

          And how are you going to stop those employers in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California who hire these folks “under the table” to avoid IRS Scrutiny? A lot contractors, agri-business and smaller hospitality businesses (hotels, motels, restaurants, diners) have no problem exploiting those folks by paying less than minimum wage, and (except in California) daring them to complain about it to anyone. Who will an authority like Sheriff Joe believe? Some undocumented dishwasher or the owner of a business who regularly donates to his reelection campaign?

          • Allan Richardson

            The top one percent have just the immigration policy they want right now, but they do not want the rest of us to know that. By not PHYSICALLY keeping people out and REQUIRING employers to verify every employee’s status, they get cheap labor. But at the same time, by keeping the public angry at that cheap labor for COMING, rather than angry at the employers who IMPORT them, they ensure that those workers cannot complain about any mistreatment, since deportation is financially even worse for them than tolerating the abuses.

            By requiring E-verify of all employers AND giving ICE (with some help from SSA and IRS … oops I just angered the TP) instructions AND THE BUDGET to enforce it properly, the local sheriff would be bypassed. But of course, the people who call for mass deportation while they are hiring illegal “slaves” do not want “federal interference” with local law enforcement.

          • Howard15

            Paying people under the table is tax evasion for the employer. That is a felony and punishment may include imcarceration. It is not enforced. Enforce it with a high profile hotel chain or restaraunt chain and they wont be hiring the undocumented anymore.Everybody else will get the message right quick.
            The problem with this is that many good empolyers will fear they may accidently hire an undocumented worker and aviod any hispanics at all. So we end hurting the very people we are trying to help. With Everify we avoid all this.

      • Dominick Vila

        A law with quotas that encourage the entry of foreign professionals, including people from countries that hate our guts and often commit heinous crimes once they are in the USA, while limiting the number of semi-skilled workers that can enter the USA legally is not only discriminatory, it encourages illegal immigration. Add to that the fact that many employers, especially in the agri-business, hospitality and garment industries are only too eager to hire illegal immigrants to reduce operating costs and maximize profits, and what we have is a recipe for disaster.
        What some members of Congress are fighting for is not a solution to solve our problem, but the preservation of the status quo to ensure their campaign contributors continue to profit from illegal immigration and, at the same time, feed the white supremacists the red meat they are looking for. It is all about money and power.

        • Allan Richardson

          Exactly! And tell me, are there so few talented singers, actors, and game show hosts born in America looking for work that we have to import them from CANADA or EUROPE? A series titled “America’s got Talent” has four judges this year, up from three, of which only one is American born (currently, a German, a Brit, and a Canadian; last year two Brits and a Canadian; one or more of these MAY be naturalized US citizens, of course).

          This complaint was tongue in cheek, because I enjoy the talents of Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Alan Thicke, Heidi Klum, Mel B, Piers Morgan, Howie Mandel, Alex Trebek and others as much as anyone. But it does seem that our hatred of illegal immigrants applies only to those who are not white. If Justin and his former girlfriend Selena Gomez had been stopped in Arizona for a traffic stop, HER papers would be checked (she was born in Texas) and HIS would not be (he is from Canada). And the internet was full of hate blogs for the young boy (born in San Antonio) who sang the National Anthem at two NBA final games in his mariachi outfit, telling him that as an “illegal alien” he has no business singing it.

    • jmprint

      You’re are absolutely right. They need to compare the cost of all these expenses compared to the losses they claim the illegals are costing. Too many children and young adults raised as American citizens unbeknownst to them are being held hostage. They would rather spend billions of dollars on fences, then allow human beings at a chance for a better life. With all the penalties and charges they are charging for the right to become a US Citizen that should be enough revenue to offset their expense. I just can not understand how a young adult who has never lived anywhere else except in the USA, can be deported to a country they have never called home. Anybody that does not acknowledge this, cannot and should consider themselves christians.

      • jazzpianist

        We don’t owe anyone “a better life”, especially non citizens who broke the law to get here. Being American is a privilege not a right. I don’t have to be “Christian” to make a decision, religion has nothing to do with this.

        • jmprint

          WHAT’S IN YOU…HEART!

      • Dominick Vila

        The worst facet of this issue is that some white supremacists insist on the deportation of children of illegal immigrants born in the USA, in direct violation of the 14th Amendment, never mind the fact that children have never been held responsible for crimes committed by their parents.

      • Dominick Vila

        The worst facet of this issue is that some white supremacists insist on the deportation of children of illegal immigrants born in the USA, in direct violation of the 14th Amendment, never mind the fact that children have never been held responsible for crimes committed by their parents.

  • montanabill

    The term is not “undocumented immigrants”. It is “illegal immigrants”. Plain and simple. And it doesn’t matter which border was crossed, if they arrived by sea or have over stayed a visa.

    As Dominick asks below, “…what is going to be done about future (illegal) immigrants?” Remember, we have already had one amnesty program based on ‘securing the borders’ several decades ago. Perhaps the only real solution is the requiring of every business or person hiring someone to verify status with massive fines for failure and insurance that illegal immigrants will receive no government aid of any kind with certain deportation of them and any illegally entered family members (including anchor babies). People will always find a way to get here if there is an incentive. If we are going to have hire new ‘border’ agents, let’s task them with verifying employment. Our system will still allow legal immigrants, valid guest workers, valid educational visas and political refugees.

    • Howard15

      Scary to say but I agree with you. We could probably eliminate a lot of existing border patrol agents with the use of everify. We already have the systems and the laws but they are not enforced. Why? the GOP is not really interested in fixing the problem, they like the slave labor pool and it fills up these new private prisons which were built in AZ for the purpose of not deporting immigrants but incarcerating them. Of course the GOP calls this out as to much regulation and big govt overreach.

      • montanabill

        Actually, the GOP is not interested in a slave labor pool. They would rather have Americans working with guest labor only for those jobs Americans feel are below their dignity. They do have a preference for trying to stop the massive flow through the border rather than sending big brother to your office or home door, but maybe most Americans would rather have a badge at the door rather than at the border.

        • Ursa Worlds

          Not so…GOP is always with the corporations…corporations want cheap labor!!

          • montanabill

            Apparently you haven’t been paying attention. Corporations are always courting government, regardless of which party is in power. Have you missed all the corporate bigwigs donating to the Democrats or serving on Obama’s advisory committees while working to minimize their own taxes?

    • jnap

      Montana bill, it is not a crime to be in the US without proper documentation.
      Would you put a child in prison for not having proper papers?
      You can deport someone not having documentation but not charge them with a crime and imprison them.

      • montanabill

        You are trying to sidestep the issue. It is, in fact, a crime to be in the US illegally. If you are here legally, there will be a documentation trail.

        • jnap

          It is NOT. There is no trial conducted. There is no prison sentence imposed and there is not fine accessed.

          • montanabill

            So if a burglar breaks into your house and steals your stuff, they are not criminals unless they are caught, tried and convicted?

  • Howard15

    $30,000,000,000 more for border security. This is from the party claims to be fiscally responsible and that we cannot continue to add to our debt for anything? What idiots.We can secure the border without any additional border patrol or building fences. All we need to do crack down on the employers who are hiring these undocumented workers. If an employer is knowingly hiring undocumented workers and not taking precations to verify the identities of his/her employees then this should be a felony with significant fines and stringently enforced. These border crossers are not coming here to eat ice cream, they are coming here to work. No jobs = no illegal immigration. It is that simple. Obviously the GOP is more interested in maintaining a slave labor pool for their constituents and filling up these private prisons with landscapers, maids, nannies, crop pickers, etc…….. When Sheriff Joe Arpaio was doing his crime supression sweeps where he went into businesses and arrested undocumented workers – we were expected to believe that the Sheriff knew they were undocumented but the employer didn’t ? Sheriff Joe Scorecard: 300+ undocumented workers detained and arrested vs. 0 employers detained or arrested. Really? What a joke.
    It probably does not matter since we will never get this through the House.
    DEMOCRATS ONLY IN 2014 FOR REAL IMMIGRATION REFORM.

    • Dominick Vila

      Particularly if our immigration law is reformed to allow semi-skilled workers to enter the USA legally. If that happens, and that’s a big if, future immigrants will not have to jump fences, they will simply fill out an application, get the necessary visa, enter the USA legally and get a green card to work here legally. With that in mind, why are we wasting billions on dollars on something that will soon become a relic of the past? Answer: because those consumed by ethnic and cultural prejudice have no intention to make it easy for people from South of the border to enter the USA legally, regardless of how badly we need them to do back breaking jobs none of us is interested in.

      • Ursa Worlds

        Why do we need semi-skilled workers with the unemployment the way it is?? We need to hire Americans!

        • johninPCFL

          Unemployment in the tech industry is below 5%. Why? Because every American who can do the job is working. So, either we shut down the tech industry in this country, or we allow the companies to bring in the skill necessary.
          Where is the 25% unemployment? Well, those whose principal skill is pouring sawdust on puke (most of Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina) seem to have trouble finding work. Maybe they need to get an education?

          • Allan Richardson

            Actually, the tech industry is missing a huge labor pool: retired or career-changed MAINFRAME programmers and analysts who could easily, with some help and OJT, pick up the details which separate the new systems from the old ones (most of these people are fairly knowledgeable as personal users of current technology), if the industry were willing to either keep them on and train them, or rehire them and train them. But they would rather get the cheaper, younger people, and the most talented of THEM happen to be from other countries.

            It makes no more sense than not allowing older auto mechanics who worked on pre-computer cars with carburetors to learn how to fix today’s cars and keep their jobs.

        • Dominick Vila

          As John already pointed out, Americans with marketable skills have no problem finding work. In fact, there are so many vacancies and so much demand in the high tech and medical sectors that we have no choice but to do everything we can to attract foreign professionals to fill the void.
          Our problem is that Americans without the education needed to fill the vacancies that do exist are reluctant to work in industries such as agriculture, meat packing plants, the garment industry, and hospitality. The reason is not because we are lazy, but because we believe those jobs are unworthy for an American citizen, because the pay is lousy, and because most of those jobs don’t offer a benefit package and lack job security.
          If we deport all the illegal immigrants that are doing menial, and often back breaking jobs, what will we do for an encore? Don’t expect too many white Europeans to fill the void. Those days are long gone, and not because we would not want them to come…

          • Independent1

            Dominick, Alabama kind of proved what you are saying a couple years ago. The legislature there passed the strictist immigration law in the nation that sent thousands of undocumented immigrants fleeing – and along with them some legal immigrants that were irate about the way the state was treating immigrants in general. It wasn’t long before some international companies in Alabama threatened to pull out of the state because of the anti-immigrant climate the state had created and a large number of the type companies you outlined started raising a ruckus because they couldn’t find Americans to fill the jobs they had open. It was close to anarchy in the state from the business community that was up in arms about a labor shortage the state had created with their asinine immigration bill. It didn’t take long for the legislature to redo the legislation to make it more amenable to the immigrants and companies as well. Far too many Americans are grossly misinformed about the illegal immigratgion situation. Republicans are like bulls in a china shop when it comes to really having a grasp of what’s needed for immigration reform.

        • Germansmith

          I agree.
          How many people that could work have cease to try to get a job mostly because between unemployment, food stamps or disability income, Medicaid or other benefits attained by them or family members they can just….get by.
          Why work for minimum wage if you can …get by, not working at all or working getting paid “under the table” as not to lose your benefits or having to pay taxes?
          In Miami there are thousands of people in that situation.
          But, we keep importing low skill labor that may eventually also become legal residents and also learn to …get by, and the vicious circle starts all over again.

      • Howard15

        There is still prejude but % wise it is fading. It is all about money! You cant pay guest workers $1.50 per hour. The bottom line shrinks to much at minmun wage. The guest workers would also have some legal protection. Pesky Govt labor regulations.
        By the way do you think those construction companies in AZ, NM , and TX who will be getting $30,000,000 to build the fence are Dems? Since when has the gop under this admin approve of any govt spending let alone propse and demand it.We can solve illegal immigrations in 15 minutes. Stop hiring them and thyey will stop coming. The GOP cannopt resist $1.50 labor

        • Dominick Vila

          You are correct. If American employers would stop hiring illegal immigrants, illegal immigration would come to a halt immediately. Unfortunately, some sectors of our economy, especially the agri-business, depend on cheap and willing labor to exist. If they stop hiring illegal immigrants they will simply go out of business and we will have to import our produce from Mexico, Chile and other countries. We already do a lot of that, by the way.
          As for the party affiliation of the construction workers that will be building the additional fence, that is anybody’s guess. I was a manager before I retired, and I never asked anybody about his/her political affiliation before I extended them an offer.

  • jnap

    Many of the undocumented immigrants came by airplane when they attended college in the US and never went back. That fence is sure to stop those airplanes. And then there are the tourists and those that come with a visa and decide to stay. That fence is going to fix that problem too, right?

    • martykayzee

      Yeah, but they ain’t Mexicans.

      • Dominick Vila

        You are right, many of them are from Middle Eastern countries and some did or plan to blow up our buildings and kill fellow Americans. Interestingly, nobody seems to mind. Instead, we focus our attention and spend billions of dollars making sure the dark skin people that plow and pick up our veggies and fruits are ostracized and maligned as much as possible. Time for another Abraham Lincoln.

        • Ursa Worlds

          Are you kidding me?? Here in Wisconsin illegals have more rights than blacks…they get money to open businesses, don’t get stopped by police, get free education, healthcare, and food stamps. And they are not working on the farm.

          • martykayzee

            Illegals have more rights than blacks in Wisconsin? Holy cow! What rights do blacks not have in Wisconsin that illegals do? How do you limit the rights of blacks in Wisconsin? We would like to do that in Mississippi. Please tell us right away…

          • Germansmith

            Blacks in Wisconsin do not have the right to be camouflage in the snow…you still can see then a mile away.
            Sorry, poor taste

          • Kansan

            Right. And the Jews run the banking system and the media. And they don’t hire anyone but dwarfs at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

            Everyone hates white Christian people They have it so hard.

          • Germansmith

            Kansan, you are a insensitive bigot

            We do not call them dwarfs anymore….they prefer the to be called “vertically challenge”

            But, hate to tell you this, Jews do run a great percentage of the banking system and the media and they are not hiding it.
            Just because somebody is named Stewart does not make him Scottish…there is a LOT of that going on.

          • Sand_Cat

            I guess you’re a sensitive bigot.

          • Kansan

            “Germansmith” proves once again that concrete thinkers have no sense of humor, irony or self awareness.

          • Germansmith

            Kansan
            I got your sense of humor…but I guess you missed mine
            I am not much into concrete, mostly bricks, stone, even fiberglass

          • Germansmith

            Why? Because I stated the fact that Jews control a great deal of the media, banking and have an oversize influence on our Congress?…I am not complaining or bitching about it…just stating a fact.
            If you want to prove me wrong, look in detail at the board of directors and executives of the largest banks, financial institutions, media outlets and financial think tanks and tell me who is there.
            They had a head start. For many centuries Christians and Muslims were prohibited from charging interest for lending money but there was still a need to get money loaned to finance businesses, wars, expeditions and such. Therefore the Jews fulfilled a role that make them rich, but also a target of greed and hate.

          • Dominick Vila

            I don’t know what is going on in Wisconsin, other than what I read in forums like this, and most of it is not very encouraging. I seriously doubt illegal immigrants are getting loans from the Federal government to open businesses anywhere. You must prove legal status and residency to qualify for a small business loan. They work hard doing things that most of us don’t want to do, save every penny they make, and eventually open small grocery stores or restaurants where the whole family works. Yes, their children do go to school and take advantage of our education system. Interestingly, most of them graduate from High School and many go to college. Who knows, they may fill the void created by so many white American kids who drop out of high school and who spend the day texting or playing video games.

        • martykayzee

          And many of them are from Germany, Japan, Ukraine, Ireland, etc. Not a cholo among them.

          • Dominick Vila

            There are still immigrants coming from Europe, but their numbers are minimal compared to what it was a century ago. Some of them do enter the USA via our northern border with tourist or student visas and stay indefinitely. Needless to say, nobody worries about them, and nobody would dream of even raising the issue.

  • martykayzee

    Evolution favors the offspring of the most adaptable. Therefore, we are subject to and must nurture that next generation.

  • MARK FREDERICK

    I know this that if they sell out on AMNESTY I will spend EVERY CENT I MAKE FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS TO DEFEAT THE TRAITORS THE NEXT ELECTION for a PROMISE FROM OBAMA THEN THEY ARE FOOLS IF THEY THINK OBAMA WILL SPEND A SINGLE CENT ON BORDER SECURITY, just where in the hell do you think the money is going to come from you idiots. VOTE YES AND YOU ARE FINISHED !!!!!!

    • jmprint

      ooh I scared.

    • Dominick Vila

      Obama has nothing to do with appropriations, Congress does.

    • Lynda Groom

      Obama is already spending more money on the border than was done by those before him. Facts do matter in this discussion.

      • Independent1

        Not only has Obama done more for border security over the past 4 years than any Republican ever did in any of their terms – even more than Bush did in 8 years – the Obama administration has rounded up and deported at least 30% more illegals than Bush or any other president in recent history.

    • Susan Dean

      Gosh, what a well-argued post (sarcasm). Incoherent screaming does nothing to establish the validity of your position.

  • MARK FREDERICK

    imprint, you must be a dicater like Obama!!

    • WhutHeSaid

      Better put on your tin-foil helmet — Obama will surely scan your brain after reading your posts!

      Nut-bag.

    • jmprint

      No, just better humans then you.

  • MARK FREDERICK

    Lynda, He’s spending money he doesn’t have on AMNESTY and making illegal immigrants legal to vote and he’s doing it so the demoCRAPS will have a lock on the elections for the next thirty years just like they voted in the last election and if you don’t believe it please pack your bags and leave this country with them.

    • WhutHeSaid

      You leave, you nut-bag. Who asked you and your family to come to this country? We would be a lot better off if we deported nuts like you and let the sane immigrants stay and take your place.

    • jmprint

      30 BILLION for Security…so you think that’s chump change huh!

    • Lynda Groom

      I used the term spending in the wrong context. As Dominic has already tried to inform you the President is not in charge of spending. That is covered in the Constitution and the Congress has that responsibility. Direct your anger where it belongs. BTW. if you had been paying attention you would understand that the earliest anyone could obtain the vote would be around 2026 if the bill is passed today. There is no need for me or anyone else to leave the country. Don’t be so afraid of your own shadow.

    • Independent1

      Are you getting all these wild unsubstantiated claims you’re making from Faux News or Rush Limpbag or Glenn Beck or just some other crazy wacko idiot????

  • 788eddie

    I’ve got to laugh at the conservative willingness to spend tons of money to “secure the border.”

    To the conservatives: where is your fiscal responsibility activism now? You want to spend how many billions to secure our borders? How are we going to offset these costs?

    So that Social Security and MediCare is not further threatened, I would suggest that we might take the funds to secure the border from the military budget (after all, there is a connection between the two).

    Why do I hear no suggestion of this in congress?

    • Independent1

      My sense is that the GOP’s willingness to spend 30 billion is probably because some large contractor that builds border fences (and which expects to get the contract) has offered to make a large donation to the GOP if the party can send some business its way. And why not when GOP legislators are so clueless that they’re not aware that a fence is not going to keep illegals from crossing the border and may well do nothing but greatly increase the environmental damage that the existing fencing has created which has already cost the US more than 50 million for mitigating the environmental damage and our relationship with Mexico which is ticked off because of the environmental damage the fence has created on their side of the border.

  • Germansmith

    What a great way to reduce unemployment at the border !! 40,000 more border guards (government jobs) and many thousands others contracted to build a bigger and better wall. Those Republican Senators know how to bring home the bacon !!!!
    Or we can hire the Chinese. They have plenty of experience building useless walls that piss off people in the other side and impede commerce. We may have 700+ miles of border with Mexico, but we have 12,000 miles of coastlines. Maybe there will be a good business selling boats and teaching coyotes how to navigate.
    This may help control the Mexicans…but how about the Muslim Terrorists? Those are more likely to come thru Canada… Another wall perhaps to keep those pesky Canadians running away from their healthcare system coming to the US?
    This money wasted would be of better use making sure E-verify works as intended and fixing all the incompatibility problems between government systems and databases.

    • Allan Richardson

      But the Chinese do not have any CURRENT experience building walls (except internet walls). Their wall-building experience is obsolete by a couple of thousand years. And who hires a worker whose skills are obsolete?

  • CrankyToo

    The notion that a big fence will make our Southern flank secure is a fallacy. It’ll keep out coyotes and jackrabbits, but it won’t stop the determined human being. And because this is an acknowledged fact, fences are not (primarily) designed to keep people out. Rather they are designed to provide a line of demarcation, beyond which someone can be prosecuted as a trespasser. We need to understand and accept that central fact.

    The keys to reducing “illegal” immigration are to:

    1. erect a complete demarcation line (any old fence will do, but preferably one equipped with sensors and observed by border security forces);

    2. prosecute and deport the trespassers we CAN catch;

    3. prosecute, fine and jail employers who are encouraging the trespassers by subverting our immigration laws; and,

    4. revise our immigration policy as necessary to encourage “legal” immigration.

    As regards our Northern border, if we do an effective job at 2 thru 4 above, we’ll obviate the need for a fence between the US and Canada.

    And with respect to terrorists infiltrating our borders, we need to understand that, as stated in my opening paragraph, the determined human will find a way to infiltrate. We’ll just have to continue to deal with them as we have for the past 12 years, though it means sacrificing some personal liberties. Also, in this regard, we need to ameliorate our foreign policies in such a way as to (eventually) change the minds of those people who are determined to kill us.

    Now, let’s take all those spare billions we’re going to save by building a cheaper fence and feed our hungry, clothe and house our needy, treat our ailing, and fix our roads and bridges.

    And for God’s sake, quit voting for the Greedy Old Pricks. They’re breaking our backs. This ain’t rocket surgery, people.

    • Independent1

      CrankyToo, what many that support building more fence along the Mexican border don’t understand is that the fencing already up is creating enormous environmental damage. The costs of trying to mitigate the environmental damage caused by the fencing already created has far exceeed 50 million dollars. In some places it’s blocking rivers which is creating flooding; in other places it’s blocking the migration route of wildlife including several endangered species; in other places it’s creating environmental damage on the Mexican side which Mexico is up in arms about. As you pointed out, fencing IS NOT going to keep someone out who is determined to come across the border – people that support building more fencing are seriously misguided. Illegal traffic across our southern border has already been reduced the lowest level in 40 years.

      • CrankyToo

        Excellent commentary, Indy. I hadn’t even considered how the fence is impacting the environment. And you are completely correct – the Obama administration has made significant progress in stemming the flow of illegal crossings from Mexico. Moreover, it has significantly increased deportations (over the Bush administration).
        Of course, none of these facts matter to the wingnuts – nor any other facts regarding any other issue.
        My fondest desire is that the GOP will continue its assaults on Latinos, LGBTs, women and the disenfranchised until they’re no longer a viable national party. Then, perhaps, we can seat enough Democrats in the House to reunite our government, restore true democracy to America, and move us forward. The key to success going forward is to educate the electorate, and the GOP, by virtue of it’s conservative extremism is helping tremendously in that regard.
        See you at the polls, friend….

  • MARK FREDERICK

    It’s like this, he has spent twenty billion on buying 2.6 billion rounds of ammo which is more than has been used in fighting the last two wars for his own little DHS army and weapons all for collecting everybody’s weapons when he declares martial law. He doesn’t give a crap about your Constitutional Rights and wants to dismantle our military so the U.N. can come in like they do to all the Third World countries like we’ve become. I didn’t know when I signed on that this is such a leftwing site. I have a couple of questions for all of you, Are you better off now than you were four years ago?, Do you feel safer than four years ago?, Is the United States stronger than it was four years ago? If you answered yes to any of the questions you are only lying to yourself and you are a major part of what the problem is today. You want to not only give your freedom away but the freedom of every other persons as well. I was in the Military for 22 years securing your freedom and now our military is a shell of what it was four years ago and that’s pitiful. I think Obama is the worst president of all time and he’s not finished tearing this country apart he has three more years to weaken the United States.

    • Lynda Groom

      Get your fantasies straight. The Dept of Homeland Security is planning to purchase 1.6 billion bullets, not 2.6 billion. Big difference. Also the purchase is to be made over the next four to five years.
      The feds are buying in bulk under what is known as ‘strategic sourcing contracts’ that give the government a low price. As an angry white guy you should be happy the government is saving you money. The idea that the government needs the bullets to come after your guns is just plain crazy. If the government wanted your guns they could take them very easily. Stop the nonsense…for it is bad for you.
      Also, now pay attention here. It is important to understand the difference between a request for a quote and a purchase. It is a wish list. DHS has not and is not buying 1.6 billion rounds in one year. Their purchases amount to about 1,000 rounds per year per armed employee covered by DHS. The agency is not stockpiling ammunition for use against American citizens, nor are they buying excessive amounts of ammo. That 1,000 rounds per year is barely sufficient to maintain a high level of proficiency with a duty weapon.
      I don’t know about you, but I use more than 1,000 myself each and every year at the range and I’m not in enforcement of any kind. Keep it real if you can.

      • Independent1

        Lynda, I’m not absolutely sure of this, but I think I read somewhere that DHS was ordering ammo for close to 100,000 personnel across the country for not only their use during active duty but also for their target practice needs (I’m not a real gun person). Do you know if I’m in the ballpark with that number?

  • stcroixcarp

    The Republicans want to build a 700 mile Iron Curtain between the US and Mexico. We need to remember that what keeps Mexicans out keeps US in.

  • tdm3624

    I thought the Republicans wanted to reduce government spending. Am I missing something?

    • Independent1

      We’ll, they want to reduce government spending except when they can channel it to some of their rich donors. My guess is that there must be some big contractor that builds border fences who has guaranteed the GOP a big campaign donation if the party can get legislation passed that would send business its way.

  • MARK FREDERICK

    Lynda, please add in the bullets purchased of over another one billion rounds for the Social Security Department and several other agencies of the Federal Government that are also ordering ammo and it comes to over 2.6 billion rounds. What does the Department of Social Security and the others need that kind of ammo for along with the Treasury Department.