Tree Huggers, Tax Cheaters and Landmine Lovers

Lots of thoughtful discussion on the last post -- many well-reasoned arguments for and against constructing a border wall. I love it!

For the record, I also love tree huggers, and Debater murracito makes an excellent tree-hugging point that had not occurred to me: the environmental consequences of building such an enormous wall could be devastating. Among other possible problems, just think of the construction runoff that would end up in the Rio Grande. Even if you don't give a patoot about the environment, remember that the river is also used for recreation. Would a wall severely limit those activities, or cut them off entirely?

A quick question for Debater Will, who asserts that "57% [of Mexicans] felt they had the right to enter the United States without United States permission." Could you share your source on that, por favor?

We get this analogy from Debater DC Dude, explaining why a border wall would not be akin to the Berlin Wall: "It's the difference between having a lock on your basement door to keep someone imprisoned there, and having a lock on your front door to keep criminals out." Several others made the same basic point. I would assume, by that rationale, that the Debaters who favor building a border wall also approve of the wall built by the Israelis. To those Debaters: Is that a correct assumption?

Debater SandyK says a wall would create a feeling of imprisonment among Americans. She dismisses the idea of armed aircraft patrolling the border. Her solution? Landmines! [See photo above? Now picture that face with an expression of extreme horror. That is what I look like right now.] Please, please, please reconsider your position, SandyK.

If given the choice between using landmines and using armed aircraft to secure the border, there's no contest -- at least the aircraft would be a visible threat, where as landmines are invisible and indiscriminate. Plus, eventually we're going to want the border clear again, and minefields are notoriously difficult and dangerous to clear. We would be absolutely out of our minds to plant landmines in our own soil.

Okay, I hope that takes care of that. Moving on ...

The only surefire solution to illegal immigration, Debater AgentG contends, is to eliminate the attraction of crossing the border -- the jobs. The source of the problem is all the employers who eagerly hire illegal immigrants so they can save money by paying meager wages, and in cash so they can avoid taxes. And that's if the employers pay them at all -- all too often, they just skip out on the immigrants, leaving them with nothing to show for a hard day's work.

These scoundrels unlawfully enrich themselves at the expense of others while law enforcement turns a blind eye. Whether you're in favor of helping illegal immigrants or kicking them all out, I bet most of us can agree that something needs to be done about those tax-avoiding, law-flouting employers.

A better answer, argues Debater Mark, is to make it easier to become legal residents. He's absolutely right about how challenging it is to get a visa -- much less residency -- for a foreign-born fiancée or spouse. He calls it a "proven law of economics" that legal immigrants ultimately create more jobs -- a story in the Post today about the increase in Hispanic-owned businesses in the Washington area, which has a very high population of Latino immigrants, suggests he's right.

By the second generation, many have made an impressive climb up the economic ladder. Debater James doesn't want to stifle those opportunities for others. "I don't like the idea of putting a barrier in front of anyone who is willing to work hard to create a better life for themselves."

By Emily Messner |  March 22, 2006; 4:51 PM ET  | Category:  National Politics , Your Take
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Emily:

My apologies for not posting the link in the previous thread. In 2002 Zogby International found in a poll that 58% of Mexicans feel that the Southwest United States rightfully belonged to them and that 57% of Mexicans answered Yes to the following question: Do you agree or disagree that Mexicans should have the right to enter the United States without U.S. permission?

The poll results can be found at Zogby International, here: http://www.zogby.com/soundbites/ReadClips.dbm?ID=4417

While I apologize about the datedness of the poll, if anything I would argue the number has increased along with the illegal immigration increases since 2002.

Posted by: Will | March 22, 2006 05:16 PM

Also interesting that you would mention the Rio Grande which, in a previous link you provided, has been decimated by illegal immigration.

This from http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_research79e6 (a link you provided two posts ago) "Water is already a scarce resource in Texas and the increased demand generated by population growth is exacerbating the problem. By 2010,over ten percent of the water needs in urban areas will not be met during times of water shortages.5 El Paso, San Antonio, and Albuquerque could run out of water in ten to 20 years.6 Increased demand for municipal and industrial water use often means buying up and drying out irrigated farmlands - leaving farmers and ranchers without water. As the Texas Agricultural and Natural Resources Summit noted, "As our population increases, water use for municipal purposes will dramatically increase and water for agricultural irrigation will be reduced. Unfortunately, our water resources will stay the same or decline."7

Population growth has taken a toll on the Rio Grande, which is no longer strong enough to reach the sea.8 So much of the Rio Grande river is being used to accommodate population growth that Larry McKinney of the Texas Parks Wildlife Department commented, "It's hardly even a river anymore. It's more a managed irrigation ditch."9"

What many people underestimate is the Environmental impact of illegal immigration, which is substantial.

Posted by: Will | March 22, 2006 05:19 PM

I have a solution for illegal immigration.

Legalize it and charge them to immigrate. Right now we allow about 5,000 Mexicans to apply and come to the US, but an estimated 700,000 people cross the border illegally. How about if we allow 500,000 to immigrate and charge them $200-500 each and use the money to construct a realistic security system. I think the security answer is a wall or improved fence in parts and some detection system in others because the environmental factor is not a joke. A jaguar was seen in southern AZ a few years ago which is freakishly cool. Many large mammals range across the border (other than people). I digress...

Legalize it and charge them to cross. We need to make sure the people crossing aren't diseased, criminals or terrorists. Without legal means the tunnels will just get longer, the black market will just get more expensive, the stakes will only get higher (more dangerous).

The only problem is allowing economic immigration rather than just our standing policy of political immigration. With the only 1st world/3rd world border in the world I think we can make an exception for our many south of the border friends who are continuously lured here by the sweet, sweet nectar of minimum wage labor (mmm... $11,000 per year without benefits for full time work when the poverty level is about $18,000. Who wants to keep them out?).

http://www.bernards.blogspot.com

Posted by: Sr. Bojangles | March 22, 2006 05:21 PM

Emily: SandyK is a pulsating ball of inconsistencies compounded by an innate lack of honesty and inability to admit error. Asking 'her' (?) to reconsider her position is like asking the Israelis to leave Israel (with all due apologies to the Israelis). It ain't going to happen.

Posted by: lpdrjk | March 22, 2006 05:26 PM

Sr. Bojangles said:

"With the only 1st world/3rd world border in the world"

Sr. Bojangles, you got me thinking. I don't think anyone has mentioned a 1st world/3rd world land border that DOES have a wall specifically to keep out illegal immigrants.

Spain has two enclaves in Africa (Ceuta and Melilla) that border Algeria. Recently, the Spanish built two parallel walls/fences along the border in an effort to reduce illegal immigration, which had seen thousands of Africans (not just Algerians, and some from as far south as Zimbabwe) illegally entering Spain and hence the EU. If you're interested in finding out more, here's an article about the wall:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4294426.stm

And here's a profile on Ceuta and Melilla:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/country_profiles/4209538.stm

Notably, African immigrants have used ladders to get past these barriers. Also, Algerian security forces (note: not Spanish) have been known to shoot illegal migrants exiting over the barriers (something that Mexican authorities would definitely not do).

I'm not in favor of a wall, but Ceuta and Melilla provide an interesting parallel.

Derek

Posted by: Derek | March 22, 2006 05:35 PM

I have read time and time again about how the illegal immigrants only do jobs we won't do. So, I guess it really down to the dollar. Is that what we have become? Does the dollar define who and what we are?

Posted by: Easy Money | March 22, 2006 05:36 PM

Emily:

I disagree with the Israeli wall comparison. They don't compare well. One reason is purpose, the wall isn't built to keep illegal immigrants out but to keep terrorists out (and to save lives).

Since rockets are easily fired over walls it seems an impractical "solution" to terrorism. But that's just me.

Furthermore there is a "scope" issue. Twice the population of Palestine is jumping the Mexican-American border annually. I wouldn't so much call our borders porous so much as I'd call them wide open.

Posted by: Will | March 22, 2006 05:45 PM

I gotta run right now, but Emily, the Israeli Wall analogy is inapt. Bringing Middle East politics into this discussion opens up a hornet's nest of obfuscating factors.

Also, I don't see why you brought up Sandy's inane landmines suggestion and gave it such prominent play, unless you were intentionally trying to make the pro-enforcement crowd look extreme, which you said you weren't going to do after your infamous "vigilante," "paranoid," "racist," "xenophobic" etc. post.

I can't tell precisely which employers you want to go after, Emily -- ones who actually don't pay illegal workers after promising to, or ones that hire illegals period, even if they pay them. I think I'm sensing a consensus building among the various points of view here that a system of checking workers' status is what we should go for. Very simple and cheap to set up, and it would probably eliminate our illegal immigration problem without a wall.

Sorry Em, I give today's post a C-. Enforcing the labor laws already on the books and implementing a simple system for an employer to check the immigration status of an applicant is a big key here, and it should've gotten bigger play than the landmines.

The point is: if you're so against the Wall, Emily, then you've got to be for the system of employer checks and going after employers who hire illegals. Let's try that for a couple of years, and if it doesn't solve our illegal immigration problem, then we'll go for the wall.

Posted by: DC Dude | March 22, 2006 05:56 PM

Emily, another point. You write:

"He calls it a "proven law of economics" that legal immigrants ultimately create more jobs -- a story in the Post today about the increase in Hispanic-owned businesses in the Washington area, which has a very high population of Latino immigrants, suggests he's right."

But the article you cite states:

"Most Hispanic businesses are even smaller than Merino's. Nationally, only 12 percent have paid employees."

There are lots of legal immigrants who create jobs, but as a whole, immigrants from Mexico are not well-represented among this group, as the paragraph from the Williams/Kang piece shows.

Posted by: DC Dude | March 22, 2006 06:02 PM

Will's source was a 2002 Zogby Poll that had 58% of Mexicans saying the SW USA was wrongfully taken from Mexico and should be peacefully brought under Latino political rule again via "La Reconquista".

Link, which also discusses political activities within the US to hasten that day by La Raza and MeCha de Aztlan and the dates when California through Texas become majority Mexican again:

http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecenters861a

As for SandyK and landmines, no doubt she is referring to other "contested borders" where walls, armed troops, AND landmines successfully block hostiles from crossing borders. Landmined borders were quite common in Africa, Asia, the ME, and were used by both sides in the Cold War to prevent infiltration.

The horrors! The horrors! Of landmines! Is a talking point, to be sure, but they are enormously effective as a supplement to any border protection scheme.

They, walls, armed troops, Johnnyg in NE DC's armed predators, plus sophisticated modern sensors all exist as a definative counterargument to anyone saying it is technically impossible to stop mass invasion across any border because "they are too long, people will just climb over barriers or tunnel underneath them."

If mines were ever used, they would not be of the surrupticiously planted type along smuggling paths hoping to blow up illegals, but of the nature of well defined, posted minefields meant first and foremost like electric fences, attack dogs, security personnel authorized to use lethal force on intruders, and razor wire - to deter tresspass. Few things are more effective, save attack dogs, at stopping tresspassers, than the fear of walking into a posted minefield. They have been found to be several more times in stopping enemy infiltrators than armed men authorized to kill on sight...even though military studies say minefields are less lethal. Human psychology. (A) It is valor to try and get past armed men. (B)It is insanity to voluntarily step into a minefield or scale a fence with attack dogs on the other side.

If the stakes are high, like we find ourselves hit by WMD brought across the Mexican Border or the "Migration" becomes an openly recognized 3rd World invasion, all high security means and methods may be given a look. All those means are routinely used in the US on high value targets, and along hostile borders like the old Warsaw Pact one and still, on the Korean DMZ..

Israel just showed, once they got past the Zionist extemists that opposed any Border, how border barriers effectively put an end to "immigrants" into Israel Proper with hostile intent. There are still a few Jihadis that penetrate, but the new border barriers DID effectively end infiltrations and suicide bombings as an effective tactic of the hostile Islamoids..

And the Israelis did it without land mines.
So far.

While no one is talking land mines yet on the Mexican Border, or Armed Predator drones - they exist as theoretical possibilities as means to absolutely, positively, and definitively end infiltration of our Southern Border if we find masses of terrorists joining the Mexicans, or the Mexicans themselves shift politically and openly declare a Reconquista is underway to reclaim California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and seceed from the USA once Mexicans become the political majority or approach majority status - and we Americans wish to maintain our sovereignity over those 4 states from a new enemy.

The international "Ban All Landmines" movement leaders still do not approve of any landmines, but do conceed there is a world of difference between use of landmines intended to terrorize and clearly marked landmine fields intended on blocking enemy movement.

*************************

I have met a few "Reconquista" supporters of the "clueless white Lefty still in college type", and a few Mexicans - that think we "unfairly took" land from Mexico in "imperialist war". Who talk about the demographic inevitability of Mexican rule over the SW USA. My counter to them is if we have another Civil War, they will lose - "rapido!", most will get sent back unless they side with America, and we take Baja California for our troubles and war deaths (except the Tijuana enclave we force the Mexicans to keep). If we keep getting their surplus, unwanted citizens shoved on us - we have a right to take surplus, ineffectively utilized Mexican land in a counter-Reconquista. The Mexicans sputter on that, especially when I dream out loud of the value of 4200 miles of mostly unused beachfront property on Baja that would be usable if we slapped up 4-5 nuclear powered electric/desalinization plants to support 4-5 million American immigrants settling previously waterless
Baja. No, the Mexicans that talk "Reconquista" actually go beyond sputter to a rigid, infuriated "How-DARE-You!!" if you mention America can grab land, too, if Mexicans play that game. So don't say "we can grab Baja easier than you can get California" if you meet some Mexicans talking Aztlan in Cancun or in a Mexican dominated neighborhood in the USA. You WILL offend them!

Muohoh-ha-ha!!!

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 22, 2006 06:12 PM

How does everyone feel about the DC Dude Plan:

***

1) Agree that measured legal immigration is overall a good thing, and illegal immigrations is overall a bad thing.

2) Create a system whereby employers have to check the immigration status of applicants, and can only hire legal workers. This is already law -- enforce it. We'd see the flow of illegals drop immediately.

3) Hold off on the wall for two years, and see if step 2) has stopped our illegal immigration crisis. Don't do anything yet about the illegals already here -- some will go home, the ones that are most rooted will stay.

4) At the end of the two-year period, if 2) has solved our problems, no wall. If our illegal immigration problems are the same or worse, then we build the wall. I doubt we'll need it if we simply do step 2).

5) Once we have control over our borders at the end of that two-year period, either with only step 2) or with step 2) + wall if it becomes necessary, then, *and only then*, do we have a national discussion about what to do with the illegals here. I suspect that if we really do get a handle on our inflow, the discussion will lean towards allowing those rooted here to stay.

6) As should happen in countries that follow the rule of law, the number of immigrants allowed in will then be set by Congress. We can talk guest worker plan, increase in legal # of workers, whatever, but *not until our borders are secure from the influx of illegals, and not until our government enforces our labor laws to make sure new illegals aren't attracted by illegal work*.

This is the DC Dude Plan. What does everyone think? Emily, any way you can give this consensus-building idea some play instead of leading with the landmines?

Posted by: DC Dude | March 22, 2006 06:17 PM

Build a wall?? What a waste of money but if we do, let's make sure it is tall enough to keep migrating birds out since they will affect us even more (possibly) with avian flu. Come to think of it, let's build a wall to keep those pesky Canadians out. Finally, let's take the entire Baja and say we forgot to occupy it after the Mexican War.
Oh yes...Benjamin Franklin once said something like this: "I do not think we should let them in as they will not fit with us."
He was talking about Germans then migrating to the Keystone State.

Posted by: John | March 22, 2006 06:32 PM

Okay, looks like I'm going to have to defend my position on landmines through sheer emotionalism.

And BTW, it won't be that difficult to remove them. This is the USA, not the red zone in Iraq. There are ways to track landmines (for friendlies).

The point is, the borders will have to be defended. Talk isn't going to stop the drug traffic. Talk isn't going to stop coyotes dragging in illegals. Talk isn't going to stop land animals running across the border and spreading possible virii (something folks aren't considering -- consequences, folks, consequences). Talk isn't going to stop a armed conflict (with Mexico or with terrorists using it as a back door). Action is needed.

All the other proposals are about the "set it and forget it" ideal. Which is exactly what it means -- today we're all hot and heavy over the issue, tomorrow no one cares (at least those not on the borders http://turandot.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/Photographs.php

The borders need to be defended, and all talk and clean walls don't work. Action will work, and remind folks to obey the Law, as well.

SandyK
Who knows there's no clean way to defend the borders -- either you do or you don't

Posted by: SandyK | March 22, 2006 07:03 PM

Yep,

Fill the US/Mexico border with land mines. And since "it won't be that difficult to remove them", the resourceful illegals will just "remove" them on the way in and maybe sell a few to any Al Qaeda operatives who are also en route.

Or maybe they won't have to come into the US this time. Maybe they will just stay permanently on the border, dig these up while the US govt keeps on replanting them, and export them to say Iraq where they will fetch some good petro dollars for Jose. Those insurgents won't need to bother with crude IEDs any more. And Jose won't be bothering us either. He'll be gainfully employed.

Posted by: Borg | March 22, 2006 07:54 PM

landmines are stupid for a number of reasons, illegality and public relations (which is more important than it sounds) just two off the top of my head.

mines are an act of war, plus, we have government workers on both sides of the border who's job it is to maintain the border (cleaning it, etc., measure chemicals in the water, also mark the boundary - it moves with the river over time. they also are responsible for making it passable for endangered species who are, by US law, allowed to occupy their natural habitat that spans both texas and mexico). landmines will not happen, you can wish all you want, still not happening.

requiring employers to check the status of their employees is a good idea, the problem is the enforcement. some illegals get fake social security numbers and can make it on the payrolls if there is no real check done. many employers think just asking for a social security card is enough of a check, which of couse its not. i think that is the hardest part, getting employers to obey laws, getting politicians to pass stricter laws, and getting police to enforce the laws.

i dont know if this fits in this post "tree huggers, tax cheaters and landmine lovers," but ill throw it out there anyway. doing things (bilaterally) to improve quality of life in mexico. im referring to the high levels of corruption there, as seen right on the borders with drug violence and violence directed at women. a lot of that is done with [mexican] police complicity. the corruption goes higher than that, and i thought bush was on his way to helping fox do something about that before 9/11 when we got "sidetracked," so to speak.

the wall is supposed to cost upwards of 2.2 billion dollars, without factoring in environmental cost (always hard to pinpoint, but HUGE), plus our world standing will take a noise dive with comparisons (accurate or not, perception matters) of berlin and israel. i think most countries would get over it eventually, but we lose the moral high ground to say they should or should not do this or that. they will respond, "but you guys built that wall, who are you to judge?"

Posted by: sure buddy | March 22, 2006 08:07 PM

Build a wall .... between ourselves and a country with whom we've been at peace for decades and with whom we engage in a bunch of trade ....

in contrast to Israel, where the wall is also a stupid idea, .. a wall trying to keep peaceful Mexicans out who simply want to earn a living .... President Fox tried to engage Bush on economic development - building business and wealth in Mexico so people would want to remain and live well ... and what has come of it in the 5 years of Mr Bush's administration?

Landmines? Only reason we don't sign the global treaty banning landmines is that mess between North and South Korea - otherwise we should have signed, and quit making/using so many. to put them on our border? how many of our vigilantes do you want to maime or kill that way? how many rabbit and coyotes? you hate illegal immigration so much you'll blow up innocent, peace-loving humans who are just trying to live better?

Build a wall ... boy does that have echos of the Maginot Line that "protected" France from Germany early in WWII. Would be about as successful too ... gonna mine the coastline when Mexicans take to boats?
You think the coast guard is busy around the Florida Keys just wait 'till the Mexican flotilla begins ..

Posted by: Mill_of_Mn | March 22, 2006 08:32 PM

"You think the coast guard is busy around the Florida Keys just wait 'till the Mexican flotilla begins .. "

It might result in some interesting Cuban style automobile-boats coming our way. I secretly root for that Cuban to make it with all the way in one of those.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | March 22, 2006 08:46 PM

How about just encouraging development in the border region. An increased American presence in the area would bring eyes, facilites, and security. It would mean that fewer illegal immigrants would die in the crossing, while simultaneously guaranteeing that more of them would be caught and sent back sooner. The government could offer attractive loans for land purchase and development in the reigion, which would also help the state and local economies.

Posted by: gtowner | March 22, 2006 09:37 PM

It's not simple

The contrast between the pay for labor here, even at the lowest imaginable level, and the average in Mexico (and Central and South Americas generally) creates the same kind of movement that we see in osmosis in the lab. Given the gap between wealth and poverty in those countries (one we seem to be attempting to emulate in the U. S. A.), we see desperate people facing harrowing odds to gain some means to support themselves and their families, to get a foothold toward hope.

We can understand the desire, for it is the same desire that brought [most] of our ancestors to these shores. The difference is that "then" most people labored for a living and labor law here began to reflect that labor was a worthy thing. We've got problems today. All you have to do is look at Harold Myerson's column today to see what those problems are.

The issue is that monetary policy ties money value to goods, to objects, to any arbitrary "standard" except the one it really represents. Money, value, wealth is produced by someone's labor, plain and simple. Yet we somehow expect that we can pay one person at one rate and another at a different rate for essentially the same expenditure of sweat, of breath, of life. We treat the fact of necessary effort to produce a unit of goods or service not as the inclusion of someone's life energy (although in computer games they seem to have gotten it) but as worth whatever you get the worker to accept. (Coercive tactics are allowed. Threaten "globalization" or "outsourcing" or any of the other euphemistic expressions that have been coined to impress.)

Sandy, I can't believe you said what you said. Have you no feeling whatsoever for life? You would blow someone to smithereens to keep them out of "your" country? Can you never imagine for a second that some day it may be you seeking hope in another place? Do you not think that inexorable global warming is not going to create migrations, famines, devastations that will affect the entire world?

Well wait! Why is it not possible to peg money to the average standard of living of the particular country or region where things are being done? It makes sense. A person works for an hour anywhere in the world and for that hour earns the equivalent of 4 loaves of bread or something along that line. All we've got now is a way for powerful people to manipulate the labor force of this place or that to enrich themselves. It's lunacy. And everyone buys into it: Globalization . . . it's inevitable, you can't fight it. And who benefits?

So here we are, land of the free and brave. We are cowards talking about walling people out (well walls work two ways, the edifice in Berlin not withstanding), or seeding the borderlands with murderous mines, or hunting people down. We need to start looking at and attempting to put into action meaningful solutions that treat all "men" [humankind] as equals. That's our talk. Can we walk it?

Posted by: Jazzman | March 22, 2006 10:42 PM

laws have to make sense. in a way that speed limits often do not.
Laws have to make economic sense, and in a democracy, the must make humane sense, ie, you can't let people come in to work and then just throw them out when they are done... that kind of behavior isn't even sanctioned for conventional employment: you have to be fired for cause.
Walls are appropriate where theft is involved. A fence is appropriate to mark a boundary, but a berm, nicely built, would make much more sense to me.
"You are entering the United States, lands kept and government by and for the people, the citizens of the United States and it's invited/authorized visitors."
There should NOT be a border that is not at least minimaly protected: "You only have the freedoms you can defend" and the same applies to ownership: you cannot own what you cannot protect, or more gently spoken, be a good steward of.
Yeah,the border should be well defined, courteously patrolled, and marked with a berm, at least a 4 foot rise with nice informative signs. (You can see I haven't a clue what the border really looks like)
As to the notion that Mexicans feel they have a right to enter the US, some 57%: I am sure that is true, and likely conservative. We have, they don't and it's no skin off our nose, not at the level they would see it. Add the fact that the border is poorly defended and that American's love cheap labor and hire the hell out of the people, yeah, they have a right.

Posted by: gerald berke | March 22, 2006 10:47 PM

laws have to make sense. in a way that speed limits often do not.
Laws have to make economic sense, and in a democracy, the must make humane sense, ie, you can't let people come in to work and then just throw them out when they are done... that kind of behavior isn't even sanctioned for conventional employment: you have to be fired for cause.
Walls are appropriate where theft is involved. A fence is appropriate to mark a boundary, but a berm, nicely built, would make much more sense to me.
"You are entering the United States, lands kept and government by and for the people, the citizens of the United States and it's invited/authorized visitors."
There should NOT be a border that is not at least minimaly protected: "You only have the freedoms you can defend" and the same applies to ownership: you cannot own what you cannot protect, or more gently spoken, be a good steward of.
Yeah,the border should be well defined, courteously patrolled, and marked with a berm, at least a 4 foot rise with nice informative signs. (You can see I haven't a clue what the border really looks like)
As to the notion that Mexicans feel they have a right to enter the US, some 57%: I am sure that is true, and likely conservative. We have, they don't and it's no skin off our nose, not at the level they would see it. Add the fact that the border is poorly defended and that American's love cheap labor and hire the hell out of the people, yeah, they have a right.

Posted by: gerald berke | March 22, 2006 10:54 PM

I don't think a "wall" is a particularly good idea, now, though the old saying; "good fences make good neighbors," does come to mind.

My preference is for rigidly enforcing present laws against hiring and employing illegal aliens for any purpose. I would like to see enforcement activity against employers -- even casual ones -- stepped up considerably, and would also like to see fines and penalties greatly increased, and very stiff prison sentences imposed for those convicted of not only employing illegal's, but also for those that help them in any but a strictly humanitarian way.

The chance that any illegal's now here could return to their home countries and apply for legal status in immigrating to America should be quashed now once and for all. Also the old rule that children of illegal's born in America become automatic citizens.

I'm sure some fiery young Mexican nationalist's dream of reuniting southwestern America with Mexico, but that would be an extremely dumb move on the Mexicans part, because all it would do is make the area turn into more of a 3rd world region than it is now. Capitol would flee like crazy and there wouldn't be any jobs. There are likely American Indian natives that strongly wish everybody but themselves would go away too. But that wouldn't lead to a utopia either as the native types tortured and slaughtered each other with glee for thousands of years before other peoples came into the picture. I don't think they would act much different these days just because a hundred years of so-called civilization has shown them a better way to get along.

If a "guest" worker program is enacted, there needs to be strong provisions included that enforces paying these workers genuine and mandatory "living-wages." No, not minimum wages! These provisions will also need to require good "employer-paid" health insurance. No sense bringing them here if all they do is go on clogging up hospital emergency rooms everywhere because they can't afford private medical care.

Guest workers need to be recruited from all nations, not just Mexico, and they should be required to take -- and pass -- English language classes. This nation uses English for everything, if Spanish or other language speakers want to remain ignorant of English and only speak or otherwise use Spanish or their native form of speech as a mother-tongue, they can stay home. We don't need them. Citizenship however, still needs to go only to those whom are registered and law abiding applicants whom have jumped thorough all the hoops.

Speaking of "needs!" Lets send Senator Kennedy and others of his ilk on a permanent mission to Mexico and other source countries of illegal aliens. Kennedy and his cohorts can preach about workers rights, civil liberties, how awful America is, and so on. They wouldn't be saying anything different than they are now, but at least the rest of us wouldn't have to hear them blather on.

If, within four to five years all illegal's haven't moved out on their own or been tossed out, and more continue to come, then there will be little choice but to build the wall, install the land mines, and shoot to kill. Some folks just won't take the hint, and stronger actions will be required. I hope this doesn't become necessary, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

Posted by: Joe | March 23, 2006 12:29 AM

Borg wrote:
===========================================
Fill the US/Mexico border with land mines. And since "it won't be that difficult to remove them", the resourceful illegals will just "remove" them on the way in and maybe sell a few to any Al Qaeda operatives who are also en route.
===========================================

Oh, that would be even better, Borgie, as they can carry them with trackers right into their cell.

And in order to get the tracker out of the mine, they have to blow it up (and themselves to retrieve it). :)

One time use thingee, ya know? :)

Borg wrote:
===========================================
Or maybe they won't have to come into the US this time. Maybe they will just stay permanently on the border, dig these up while the US govt keeps on replanting them, and export them to say Iraq where they will fetch some good petro dollars for Jose. Those insurgents won't need to bother with crude IEDs any more. And Jose won't be bothering us either. He'll be gainfully employed
===========================================

Like I said, these aren't 20 year-old Clay mines, but the tracking type. With a very short fuse on tampering.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 01:25 AM

Chris Ford wrote:
===========================================
As for SandyK and landmines, no doubt she is referring to other "contested borders" where walls, armed troops, AND landmines successfully block hostiles from crossing borders. Landmined borders were quite common in Africa, Asia, the ME, and were used by both sides in the Cold War to prevent infiltration.

The horrors! The horrors! Of landmines! Is a talking point, to be sure, but they are enormously effective as a supplement to any border protection scheme.
===========================================

They're very good at protecting large areas with little manpower. If you got to protect your squad from a battalion zoning in on you, you can't out beat them with SMG and mortars -- you trip them unnoticed.

Placement of mines are crucial. Not just inserted anywhere, but in high traffic areas. It disrupts the migration pattern, and forces the unfriendlies to search for an easier route -- like right to a Border Patrol station.

People are smart and don't want to become a statistic, they'll map out the regions that aren't mined and try to cross there, where our limited resources (Border Patrol) can nab them.

And unlike Predators and snipers, minefields are clearly marked (sorry, Emily, but lost limbs and such don't apply here as it's border hardening, not a battlefield), which further deters the WISH to cross.

Walls makes people feel like prisoners, and there's a sincere want to bring them down. Remember when they built the first fence around the school to prevent off-campus lunches, and kids coming to school with penitentiary shirts on in protest. I came away from that experience to hate fences, walls, and barriers.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 01:36 AM

Oh, and the other benefit of landmines: nothing to spoil the view (expect for signs clearly labeling the area a minefield). Eight to ten foot high walls prevent the ability to see beyond it. Which for security reasons, not a good thing (as the Border Patrol has to scout).

Predators can only survey a small area, and they can be seen in advance (coyotes can be look outs too). And all they have to do is dig low to escape them (or think of other methods to deter thermal sensors). Landmines are just there, and do their job without a 10 man support team, $100,000+ price tag, and can protect a large swath of land with little active monitoring needed -- would have to clear a lot of mines to get to the border, and by then the Border Patrol would be around.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 01:46 AM

Fellow readers, regarding the wall...

A wall even bigger than the one being proposed was already built for national security and immigration many years ago. It's called the Great Wall of China. It is so long that it is visible from space.

That wall, as we all learned in school and as it has been mocked by history, solved nothing because people went around, over, under, and just through it. That's what people do.

And yes, it is the same. So much so, that the US will probably have no choice but to employ the same people it's trying to keep outside the wall to build it and maintain it, just like the Chinese used Mongolian slaves to build its Wall.

Fun facts to share:
1) Most US Border Patrol and Customs & Enforcement Officers are foreign born naturalized US citizens because for $35K a year most Americans rather do something else away from the scorching desert sun.
2) The uniforms for Border Patrol agents are made in Mexico.
3) Most Immigrants, and I'm one, would like to be able to come to the US, work a few month of the year, and then go home to their families--what, you really thought we like living next to David Duke?

People, we don't need a wall. What we need is investment in Latin America so we don't have to come here in the first place.

Peace.

Posted by: Papito2you | March 23, 2006 02:04 AM

Not funding the next Castro country. Nope. They're so corrupt in those countries they're equal to the double-dipping well known in African "business".

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 02:13 AM

Totally f***ing bananas, the pair of you. Emily Messner is absolutely right to call you out on it. That's not valid opinion, it's criminality.

SandyK apparently has a thing for websites with old photos of cruel and unusual forms of capital punishment. Chris Ford has simply never written a post that wasn't a call for more bloodshed and torture.

What perfect exemplars of your movement. The blindness is classic. What idiotic plan could be more likely to blow up in your face than planting anti-personnel mines in your own soil?

Since you advocate land mines you presumably also advocate randomly shooting thousands of men, women and children caught crossing the border, because randomly killing men, women and children is exactly what your mines would do.

SandyK, since you claim to know a lot about mines, you must have been suffering from amnesia when you referred to the "Clay" (sic) mine.

I assume you were referring to the Claymore mine, which bears no relevance to your dimwitted proposal since it's command-detonated and would need an observer to press a key to blow up the hapless Mexicans.

And Predators cannot be seen from the ground, by the way. And there is no feasible way for Mexicans above ground to hide their thermal signature.

The shallowness of your understanding of these matters just shines through your witterings.

Posted by: OD | March 23, 2006 02:28 AM

"sorry, Emily, but lost limbs and such don't apply here as it's border hardening, not a battlefield), which further deters the WISH to cross."

What the hell does this mean? 99% percent of the limbs lost to AP mines weren't lost anywhere near an active battlefield.
Are you actually claiming that mining the US-Mexican border would not produce any lost limbs?

"Walls makes people feel like prisoners, and there's a sincere want to bring them down. Remember when they built the first fence around the school to prevent off-campus lunches, and kids coming to school with penitentiary shirts on in protest. I came away from that experience to hate fences, walls, and barriers."

Whereas of course you would have understood completely if they'd sown anti-personnel mines around the school instead.

Posted by: OD | March 23, 2006 02:34 AM

Emily, it is clear that you understand at least 10 percent of what is happening with illegal immigration and it's effect on America.

Posted by: John | March 23, 2006 03:21 AM

I have a suggestion for reducing illegal immigration that would not only not cost the government any money, it would actually reduce the deficit. Impose a $5.00 per hour worked tax penalty on employers who hire workers who are not legally eligible to work in the United States. Then allow whistleblowers who turn in empolyer violators to keep a significant percentage, say 25% of the additional revenue collected by the Treasury as a result. Allow the Treasury 60 days to initiate efforts to collect violators once it has been notified. Then if the Treasury fails to act within 60 days, allow the snitches to initiate private lawsuits to collect the funds and to keep legal costs plus 40% of the recovered funds.

We have laws against highering undocumented workers, but successive administrations have made enforcement a low priority. This plan provides a way for private citizens to enforce immigation law when the government fails to do so.

Posted by: Michael Mavroidis | March 23, 2006 04:25 AM

We need a military wall until one is built. Most, if not all illeagals pay no SS taxes but drain our services. Talk about our kids not getting SS when they come of age. Here is a 15 million personal drain plus their kids.
It's not just hotel workers,landscapers,dishwashers,etc. anymore. Here in NY on Major Housing Projects were once Unions and even non- union skilled trades performed the total construction, payed into SS,Taxes,etc. (I for one)Managed to support a family,buy a home,etc.
These building sites today there are only 3 trades that I know are Americans. Electricans,Plumbers,Utlity workers including Heavy Equipment operators.
I would say over 90% of all workers on these sites are illeagals. So with only 10% paying into SS and taxes,Kiss SS for our kids goodbye.
The following trades are gone cause the Mexicans,etc. work for 100.00 a day cash.
Concrete workers,Skilled laborers, Concrete lathers, concrete finishers, carpenters, sheathers, insulation installers, roofers, sheetrockers, spacklers, painters, cabinet installers, door and molding installers, siding mech., sprinkler installers and general laborers.
How are our Young kids going to enter the building trades at that rate to compete and buy a 500k home on Long Island?
Wheres the justice? I call for a billion dollars from congress for paddy wagons for deportation.
The joke is on Long Island they want to build hiring halls with taxpayer dollars for these Illeagals. I know the Marxists rule is to destroy the country from within, and their off to a great start.

Posted by: Mike Teigue | March 23, 2006 05:10 AM

Continued: I have 2 hardworking kids in their 20's both of whom are working up to 80 hours a week in meanial jobs. One has a Bach. degree. Their boyfriends can't find hard working jobs with good pay, benifits, etc. So wheres their future? As far as I'm concerned they don't have one. I put the blame on our no enforcement of our Immigration laws.
Both parties are to blame equally. There not for whats right, there there for themselves and the allmighty brown bag of cash. I just hope its not too late or a horrific future awaits all of us. Support your local Min. Men . org. There starting to do something about it. Leagally to. Our next President will win on a strong stance on this issue alone.
How does anyone know the illeagal working next to you isn't a killer, pedifile, rapist,etc. You don't and either does your country. Our jails are full of them. At a cost of 42k a year per illeagal.

Posted by: Mike Teigue | March 23, 2006 05:34 AM

OD wrote:
===========================================
What the hell does this mean? 99% percent of the limbs lost to AP mines weren't lost anywhere near an active battlefield.
Are you actually claiming that mining the US-Mexican border would not produce any lost limbs?
===========================================

Yep. Because of tracking.

http://www.ewh.ieee.org/soc/aes/taes/aes411/4110051.htm

This is the 21st century, not 1967 or 1989. Every single landmine could be tracked with a serial number and geographical location.

So you guys can just drop that idea.

This isn't a Helter-Skeleter proposal, this is doable and quite cost effective (satellites are already in use), and track tags are pennies on a dollar. With clear signs marking their location, only idiots and suicidals would dare test them out.

This isn't to surprise anyone, but to deter them with REAL fear, not some toothless laws (AMerican prisons are better than where some of them have fled from to begin with).

OD wrote:
===========================================
Whereas of course you would have understood completely if they'd sown anti-personnel mines around the school instead.
===========================================

Actually, I wouldn't support it.

But I'll support protecting the border with a cheaper alternative, and one that pays for the consequences of one's actions, not hots and cots in a federal pen.

Oh, and ask Clinton about illegals and prison riots, as well. As a governor he had to face it (and why him and Jimmy Carter are cool with each other).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 06:01 AM

OD wrote:
===========================================
SandyK apparently has a thing for websites with old photos of cruel and unusual forms of capital punishment. Chris Ford has simply never written a post that wasn't a call for more bloodshed and torture.
===========================================

Don't ask about my forensic photo collection then. At least those were grainy black and whites. Want full color photos of aviation disaster victims, instead? It's amazing what physics can do to a body -- like having the chance to view the last grimance of a victim (burnt in the skull) before only the skin of the face was almost surgically ripped off, under the water.

[Disclaimer: No Emily I'm not a budding serial killer -- dad was a forensic chief, and I've studied forensic anthropology for 20 years. Know very well the extend of blast injuries, and it's psychological effect (similiar to nuclear arms, and why the suggestion of landmine use as a deterrant -- as you showed yourself how effective it can be). Like teaching kids to keep their hands away from the stove, the punishment must be quick, thorough and lasting so they won't do it again. Same goes with illegals coming here, as prison and the revolving door policies don't work].

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 06:19 AM

Landmines are NOT difficult to locate or defuse if properly laid in the first place. The link above talks about those indiscriminately scattered in Bosnia, Cambodia, etc. by third world armies which do NOT lay them properly. The US Army makes detailed maps when it lays a minefield, enabling the speedy, safe and 100% effective removal of mines laid. Modern mines available to the US military can also be set to deactivate after a fixed period of time, months or years, leaving the field 100% safe without demining. The quality of the mines and the army that positions them would make such an operation in the US completely safe. Shame on you for such sloppy thinking.

Posted by: Daniel from Columbus | March 23, 2006 06:32 AM

Train a division of attack dogs until the military gets there. Give two dogs to each boarder patrol agent, and each min. man.
Put a 50cal on humvees followed by a train of paddywagons.
Put out signs about landmines in area.In Spanish. Our luck,it would be in English.

Posted by: Mike Teigue | March 23, 2006 06:44 AM

I wouldn't go as far to say 100% safety (explosives are dangerous and mishaps do occur, even with combat engineers), but unlike in 1967 (Vietnam) and 1989 (Afghanistan) the mines aren't just laid anywhere. Both sides will know their location enough to know to avoid the region.

Folks decry it, but it's no worse than shooting someone when a Border Patrol officer demands an illegal to stop, and doesn't. Chances are more folks would be killed by gun battles on the border than losing a leg on a landmine.

But the FEAR of them in just talking about the subject tells volumes.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 07:30 AM

Do you know that not only mexicans but thousands of human beings fron central and south america try cross the borther too? Only looking for survival and a future. Have the USA done something to help latin america develop? remember Pinochet coup? El Salvador? Nicaragua "contra"? cuba block? panama invasion? Thank you US for thinking that the only solution is genocide, that makes the world a much safer place. Any way, i´ve not heard yet that the terrorist of 9-11, or madrid, or london enter illegaly to those countries.

Posted by: james | March 23, 2006 07:38 AM

I am confused, why is there an immigration crisis? I live in San Diego and see no "Crisis". I wasn't tripping over illegal immigrants when i walked out my door. Open immigration built this country. It was Irish and Chinese workers who built the railroads, Americans were too expensive. It was Italians and other European immigrants who built New York City. As for Chicago, please, there was time you could days without hearing English spoken in that city. Look at each of those cities now? Mecca's of jobs, culture, and life. We don't need a wall; we don't need to stop immigration. People in this land have been crying about immigration since the first Native American got mad that is daughter was dating a white dude. America is better now then it was then, and it will be better tomorrow then today. The only difference is you cry babies will be have another country to pick on.

Posted by: dubba | March 23, 2006 07:42 AM

The citizens of the United States of America have to survive too. They're our own, and we take care of our own.

If folks can't change their country, like our forefathers did, then it's not our fault -- nor can we be the world's keeper. They need to build their own country, like every other country has done. It's called SURVIVAL.

And if folks are that dumb to cross a marked minefield, we certainly can't afford to take them in and give them services to do so, while denying our own citizens those valuable slots.

This ship is full already.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 07:47 AM

Landmines are NOT difficult to locate or defuse if properly laid in the first place. The link above talks about those indiscriminately scattered in Bosnia, Cambodia, etc. by third world armies which do NOT lay them properly. The US Army makes detailed maps when it lays a minefield, enabling the speedy, safe and 100% effective removal of mines laid. Modern mines available to the US military can also be set to deactivate after a fixed period of time, months or years, leaving the field 100% safe without demining. The quality of the mines and the army that positions them would make such an operation in the US completely safe. Shame on you for such sloppy thinking.

Posted by: Daniel from Columbus | Mar 23, 2006 6:32:12 AM |


100% completely safe eh? Rain and floods and soil erosion and earthquakes won't move them around? And the US army won't make any mistake and mismapping or missetting the deactivation period of them? Computer records won't ever be lost? If the Army is so good with mine technology how come IEDs are such a big problem in Iraq?

Or some kids or dumb hicks (probably republicans) won't somehow stumble into them?

Go ahead mine the border of Texas along the Rio Grande and see if after some big hurricane if they don't come floating into some rancher's front yard. Or the California border near San Diego and see if the next earthquake won't deposit them along some hiker's favorite trail.

Nut!

Posted by: Borg | March 23, 2006 08:47 AM

Mike:

"Most, if not all illeagals pay no SS taxes but drain our services. Talk about our kids not getting SS when they come of age. Here is a 15 million personal drain plus their kids"

You have it a little backwards. Without immigration the U.S. is right at about zero population growth. Because all of these baby boomers are going to retire soon and start collecting Social Security, the only way my generation (and your children's) will be able to pay their social security is with the help of immigrants and the taxes they pay.

Mike, are you a contractor in New York? How do you know that 90% of the workers are Mexicans? and that they work for $100 cash? Those wages seem very low to me. And I am willing to bet there are a lot more Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Hondurans than you think in that group of "Mexicans."

Posted by: Greydawg | March 23, 2006 08:58 AM

This debate is about a wall dividing the United States and Mexico? I thought we were talking about the US and Canada. It seems to me that would come in much more handy to keep our young men here once we invade Iran and the draft starts back up. Perhaps we could conscript illegal aliens in exchange for citizenship.

Posted by: Jose Feliciano | March 23, 2006 08:58 AM

I think the comparison to the wall being built by Israel is not entirely apt. That wall is designed to keep terrorists (or for those hyperlefties, people who want to blow up or kill Israelis) out. The proposed wall on our border is designed to keep out people who want to build houses, collect trash, and create a better life for themselves and their families. I am not necessarily opposed to the wall (though landmines ?!! or predator aircraft ?!! are ridiculous) but the goal is not the same as either the Berlin wall, which was keeping people in, or the Israeli wall, which is keeping murderers out. A US/Mexico wall would keep out some individuals who are willing to break our immigration laws but who otherwise are probably mostly law abiding.

Posted by: Wallwatcher | March 23, 2006 09:07 AM

Borgie exclaimed:
===========================================
Go ahead mine the border of Texas along the Rio Grande and see if after some big hurricane if they don't come floating into some rancher's front yard. Or the California border near San Diego and see if the next earthquake won't deposit them along some hiker's favorite trail.

Nut!
===========================================

Hey, Borgie how are landmines triggered?

Maybe you need to take a day off, ya know??!!

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 09:09 AM

I read the various comments and here's my two cents.

1. Who cares if Mexico is alienated by our fence?

2. I support an amnesty for those who are already here. It's hard for me to kick out any immigrant when we are a nation built on immigrant labor.

3. The reality is we will reach a tipping point if we allow illegal immigration to continue. What happens when the noncitizens outnumber the citizens in the community?

4. The biggest reason I support a wall goes back to my first point, Mexico. The reason the government of Mexico doesn't a wall is because a porous border allows them to perpetuate an unresponsive government. If a Mexican can't find a job or has some other gripe, the government merely has to wait him out as he will get fed up and go north.
It's only when those people have no other option will their government get off its ass and make positive changes. The fence will put the lid on Mexico's top and things will heat up.

5. Interesting thing about all these fair trade agreements; they drive American wages down but they don't improve the quality of life for foreigners. NAFTA drove a lot of Mexicans off the land because they couldn't survive; they then headed north and took the low paying jobs Americans now shun because one can't support a family on them. Unfortunately what is low pay to an American is considered a living wage to an illegal immigrant. After a few years they wake up and realize they are at the bottom of the social ladder (un marginale)in this country. They realize the middle class life remains an illusion; their salaries simply don't allow them to live decently.

Posted by: Robert | March 23, 2006 09:16 AM

There isn't any one simple solution and maiming and killing people sneaking into our country is no solution. At the end of the day we need to live with ourselves. A wall would certainly help slow the traffic but ultimately people would attempt to breach it, dig under it, or climb over it.

It seems to me that for the sake of all involved we need to enforce current law. Employers should be fined heavily for knowingly employing illegal immigrants and labor/safety laws need to be enforced when legal immigrants (and everyone else) are involved. To be fair, we need to make it easier for employers to validate an immigrant's papers.

Some immigration is welcome but the current flood simply isn't sustainable.

If they can't get work the flood will slow to a trickle. If it isn't profitable, employers won't hire them. Once that element is under control then we can think about work visas.

I know it has been said before but I felt the need to repeat it.

Posted by: JimboA | March 23, 2006 09:26 AM

The gall you people have! What makes you think this is your country? What have you done for it? Nothing! I say let them all in, if you break the law you are out of here- American born or not. It has been said a million times on this blog, you don't know if the immigrant is a criminal or not, more importantly our government doesn't know! How do i know you are not a criminal? What we need is a undercover federal police force that spies and tracks anyone in this country. Break the law, good luck finding someplace else to live. I am tired of my tax dollars going to prisons just because you were born here. Go murder someone in another country. If you get kicked out and come back, your shot on the spot, no questions asked. Don't like my plan? Well try living in Cuba and see how you like it there! Yeah that is what i thought, you don't like it one bit do you? I didn't vote for Bush to see some dude get four hots and cot on my dime. I want all you criminals out of my country. SandyK- you routinly speed, you could kill a child and well as you said child killers shouldn't be in the country. Out you go crazy a**! P.S. when you are forced out my country please do watch you step, we placed a few landminds out there.

Posted by: crazed conservative | March 23, 2006 09:35 AM

both Iowa and Arkansas are participating in pilot programs sponsored by the US Department of Labor to develop New Americans Centers. For example, Iowa actually wants to increase its population and views legal immigrants as a means of doing so. Therefore, Iowa invites legal immigrants (whom they refer to as "newcomers" or "new Americans") to come to their state, receive job training and social services so that they can become productive members of American society.

Perhaps this is a solution to the immigration debate. Allow states that are looking to increase population bring immigrants in legally, provide them jobs (including training, if needed) and the support services necessary to get the immigrants settled into an American way of life. This seems like a legal solution to the issue in which all sides come out winners.

Posted by: A different point of view | March 23, 2006 09:38 AM

Hear ye hear ye all American patriots!

Since mines can now be safely deployed and since the republican run federal govt has failed utterly to carry out its solemn duty to protect our national border, we recommend to all communities and localities that want to prevent illegal immigrants to come into their midst, to plant mines all around their locality borders. Clearly marked of course. All open and unmined entrances into the community can then be stricly and easily controlled by the local militia.

To reduce first time mining expenses localities have the choice of employing low cost undocumented immigrants once.

Posted by: SandyKKK | March 23, 2006 10:22 AM

Emily, I disagree that something needs to be done about those tax-avoiding, law-flouting employers. I like my cheap vegetables and fruit, picked by Mexicans, Dominicans, Haitians, and Salvadorans. A wall would only be knocked down by the American growers because there is no other labor to harvest their crops. Don't ask and don't tell.

Posted by: Turnabout | March 23, 2006 10:24 AM

Maybe you need to take a day off, ya know??!!

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | Mar 23, 2006 9:09:48 AM


And let the undocumented guy move right into my hard earned slot?

Nut!
Resistance is FUTILE.

Posted by: Borg | March 23, 2006 10:25 AM

From the above responses, I see the idea drones patrolling the border is viewed not only as cruel, but also as nuts. I believe most of you are closed minded, and as such, will not reasonably consider the benefits of this approach.

First, it would not be necessary to actually use "Predator" aircraft. Rather, it would be more sensible to design less expensive, lower flying unmanned craft. Second, a drone does not have to be armed (but can or its use only for observation and communication).

I do not know what the cost of these would be, but I believe they would be less expensive than the ones deployed in the ME, and I bet a lot less expensive than building and maintaining a wall over long, sparsely populated areas, and as mentioned by some, as back up in walled zones.

For years I have been watching with fascination the development and use of drones. I believe border patrol would be a desirable and effective use of this technology.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | March 23, 2006 10:26 AM

Emily, you're wrong that "A wall would create a strong incentive for the illegal immigrants already here to stay here; once an immigrant has crossed illegally into the United States, he would be much less likely to leave, knowing how hard it would be to get back in."

90% of the illegal immigrants are men, who wire their pay back to their wives and kids back home, and return after several years, richer than the men who stayed behind in the village. A wall would increase his incentive to smuggle his family into the US, creating even more illegal immigrants.

Posted by: Turnabout | March 23, 2006 10:35 AM

Well, from the looks of it, it's a damn good thing I love Mexican food. All this Texan has to say is, Adios America!

Posted by: Will | March 23, 2006 10:43 AM

Building walls, planting landmines, using fighter aircraft against poor, defenseless men, women and children--does this remind you of another country that our brilliant, courageous, honorable Vietnam evading leader calls part of the axis of evil-- North Korea?

I don't recognize this country anymore. What have we become? A superpriviledged, blonde, neoconservative, radio talk show host name Laura Ingraham goes on the Today show yesterday and besmirches the memory of a number of journalists who have died in Iraq by attacking the courage of those in who "report IEDs exploding in Baghdad streets from the safety of their balconies. Yet, in the same breath she brazenly posts a photo-op of her own journewy to Irawq posing seductively with horny, hoohah marines in the Green Zone, a safe precinct she lever got out of.

You have the President of the United States yesterday before a handpicked crowd of the typical "groupies" he likes to aurround himself with who pamper him with "harball" questions like: "Mr. President--and may I say I thank God for every day you have been our President--why does the media always seem to report only the bad news from Iraq?" That patetically laughable setup was followed by a transparently orchestrated standing ovation with wild cheering. Does that tell you what kind of courageous leader we have?

And now, on the op-ed pages of America's premier newspaper, we hear voices calling for land mines, fighter jets and "great walls" to be employed to keep starving poor people out of our country.

Right. Bring us your tired, your poor so we can massacre them.

I tell you this: Unless America changes its ways it is going to fall. And the sound you hear throughout the world will not be a lament--it will be the sound of joy and relief comingled with anguish and sadness that such a great and noble race of people had fallen so far from their own pure and decent faith.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 23, 2006 10:51 AM

America ain't going nowhere jaxas. Grow up (or graduate, sounds like typical undergraduate tripe)

Posted by: | March 23, 2006 10:55 AM

While it may seem ridiculous to some to build a wall - the most ridiculous thing would be to do whatever costs the country the most. Now if the Border Patrol is correct in their calculation that 14.4% of the people coming across our southern borders are felons - then letting these people across without deterrence would be the most ridiculous thing to do!

It costs 40 to 60K a year to warehouse these people. It costs even more not to warehouse them. Imprisoning dangerous, active felons is is the cheapest thing to do! Ask anyone in law enforcement.

So obviously, the cheapest thing to do is to prevent these 14.4% of the immigrant population from againing residency here and throwing out the millions of felons who came here illegally since amnesty was gained in 1987 by Ronald Reagan.

Current estimates are there are between 11 to 20 million illegals that means we have between 1.6 to 2.88 million illegal alien felons that have entered our country since 1987. Not a happy thought.

Posted by: Jim | March 23, 2006 11:10 AM

Hey, Jaxas!

There are FIVE BILLION people in the world living in countries with lower per capita income than MEXICO. That is 15 times the number of people now living in the U.S.

Are you going to let them all into the US, until our quality of life degrades to that of Somalia? Or are you going to be the one to decide who does/doesn't get in?

PS: North Korea needs landmines to keep its people IN. Nothing morally wrong with using lethal force to keep people OUT of your nation.

PPS: Whats up with the racist comments about blonde? Can I make fun of superpoor liberals with kinky hair?

Posted by: Paul | March 23, 2006 11:19 AM

I don't know who you are since you didn't identify a forum name.

But I fully recognize the sentiment. It is the same sorry sentiment that prompted Laura Ingraham--a typically preppy, overindulged neoconservative who is enraged because the news media has the unmitigated gall to report the dismal failure of neocon ideology in Iraq.

As for your rather insulting suggestion as to my education, I have a Masters in economics am a graduate of the Air War College, have 33 years of service to the Air Force as an officer and a civilian.

Typically, when a conservative encounters an inconvenient and unattractive truth, they take out after the messenger. Just like you took out after me.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 23, 2006 11:19 AM

My point Paul--as it has always been--is that the very unhealthy global conditions that you describe, the billions and billions who live in such desperation and poverty, while multi-billionaires hog the greater share of the wealth produced on this planet, is untenable. It can't continue.

Walls, fighter jets, landmines, minutemen, border patrols and all of the hoohah supernationalism you people wallow in cannot change it.

My comments about Laura Ingraham are just the same sort of trash she daily heaps on liberals and media people. Like a great many of these superpriviledged windbags--her, Limbaugh, etc.--they make millions dishing out such swill but blanch painfully when forced to taste it themselves. And face it, she things that George W. Bush winds are Divine. And she is in very close proximity to the source of those winds.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 23, 2006 11:31 AM

Hey, Jaxas

And MY point is that "the very unhealthy global conditions.., the billions and billions who live in such desperation and poverty, while multi-billionaires hog the greater share of the wealth produced on this planet.." will NOT be solved by letting the entire Third World invade our country.

America is the best thing the world has ever created. It is and can remain a source of progress. But if it is allowed to be overwhelmed by Third World ignorance and savagery, then there's nothing left and the world returns to barbarity like it did after the fall of Rome.

PS: Racism is racism, whether it's practiced against whites or non-whites.

Posted by: Paul | March 23, 2006 11:36 AM

As for the unnamed poster who first took my comments on, you are precisely right--under George W. Bush, "America ain't goin nowhere...!"

Posted by: Jaxas | March 23, 2006 11:37 AM

Jaxas-

It is this same elite-ownership class that supports amnesty and welcoming illegal immigrants with open arms -- because they require the cheap labor necessary to minimize costs.

These unhealthy global conditions are irrelevant to the current debate. The United States shares two borders, one with an economically productive neighbor and one with an economic disaster. It is not the responsibility of the United States or its citizens to subsidize bad government in Mexico by welcoming them with open arms.

10% of Mexican citizens already reside in the United States of America. Three million enter our border illegally each year, and more legal immigrants come from Mexico than from any other country. At what point is a country too generous with its immigration policy?

A decade ago illegal immigrants were costing this country 20 billion dollars in social services. That's not gross 20 billion, that's 20 billion after factoring in the taxes that few of them paid. Do you think the illegal immigrant population has increased or decreased in the past 10 years? What implications do you think that has had on the net cost of illegal immigrants?

I would love to live in a world where the US could say "Give us your tired, your sick, your poor, very poor, in fact also very sick" and be able to sustain that indefinitely. We do not live in that world. Do Americans have the responsibility of alleviating the suffering of Mexicans under the Mexican government?

Keep in mind this alleviation is not simply "Welcome them in!" It is "Accept a lower quality of life for all Americans as the underclass perpetually drains our resources." Maybe you are willing to lower your quality of life for the 15 million illegals currently in this country, but you do not speak for the lower class of Americans who really feel the costs of immigration -- the ones who send their children to failing schools filled with anchor children, who have to suffer lower health care service because they subsidize illegals, the ones who become displaced workers or must accept lower wages.

These people have a right to petition their government for grievences. It is not Juan who breaks one law by crossing the border or his White American contractor who breaks two that deserves a break. If you are so horrified by the wall then I suggest you start mediating a solution that involves local enforcement over employers. The sooner we reach a sensible solution that doesn't involve total amnesty or LAND MINES (not my idea) the better.

Posted by: Will | March 23, 2006 11:45 AM

I am not one who welcomes this set of affairs on our borders. All I am saying is that all of this policy stuff and all of the proposed fixes are merely like taking radiation treatments for an incurable cancer. Until we find and treat the underlying causes--the inequitable distribution of the world's resources, the unchecked growh in population in these poor, undeveloped parts of the world, a more compassionate international policy of cooperation and aid--we are simply sweeping water out of our basement before the next flood.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 23, 2006 11:58 AM

Nuclear land mines--it's the only answer. As each explodes it leaves behind a nuclear desert in which it will be soooo much easier to spot terrorists; and the radiation will create mutations, some of which will likely cause at least some of the terrorists to turn into proper tax-paying citizens of either Mexico or the U.S. WMDs; they work every time, and all the time!

Posted by: Aslan365 | March 23, 2006 12:09 PM

Johnnyg in NE DC wrote:
===========================================
For years I have been watching with fascination the development and use of drones. I believe border patrol would be a desirable and effective use of this technology.
===========================================

The problem with them is range. They also can't operate in a hurricane; in a bad storm; in a geo-electrical storm (nor GPS/Military satellites); and require a whole staff to operate (which isn't cheap). It's an extra layer that's prone to failure. They are good for single shot missions in good weather.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 12:25 PM

Hey, Jaxas!

I can see that you're running out of intellectual steam fast. You strike me as one of the Hate-America-First crowd that is disapppointed the world isn't a happy place and places all their inchoate blame for this on America.

If we put off all that pesky "policy stuff" and "proposed fixes" about solving the problem of out-of-control immigration until we've fixed global poverty, then America will be drowned by the Third World's ignorance and despair before 2050.

PS: You say you have 33 years Air Force service. That sure helps me put the final outcome of Viet Nam into perspective!

Posted by: Paul | March 23, 2006 12:29 PM

Jaxas-

More compassionate? Than what? Having 10% of the Mexican population on our soil? The US legally allows 1 million immigrants a year, more than any other nation (and nearly 1/3rd of the entire legal immigration on the planet).

In 2004 we allowed 173 thousand Mexicans to legally immigrate to the United States: That's more than we allowed from all of Europe and nearly twice as many as we allowed from the 2nd highest American Dream Suitor: India.


400 thousand of our legal immigrants came from the Americas, of which only 22 thousand were Canadian. 380 thousand people immigrated legally to the United States from Latin America in 2004.

If this isn't enough generosity, I would love to hear you qualify exactly what you mean by "generous"? Is it 800,000? 1 Million?

What it certainly is NOT is the 3 million from Mexico alone that enter this country illegally each year. These three million show an insulting disrespect for the laws of our land, not to mention for the half a million Latin Americans who legally immigrate here.

If the United States has the most compassionate immigration policy in the world, and this is not enough, then shouldn't we focus on the countries who are not picking up their respective slack first?

Posted by: Will | March 23, 2006 12:38 PM

Mexico has its share of the blame, Mr. Fox is complicit in the flood of illegals. He views it (it seems) the way his poorest citezens do, as a source of a better life for his family.
Mexico's failings are being heaped on our country which is simply not fair.
There are many ways to stop illegal immigration, the easiest being a thousand dollar fine per individual, per company; doubled each subsequent violation.

With hold funds to states and cities that are sancuaries(sp). Not hard to do really there is just no will, or courage on the part of legislators.

Lumping the illigal alein problem with distribution of wealth is a non-starter and not the point.

Finally....rounding up 12 million people is really quite easy, forcing Fox to take them back may be harder to do. The round-up also smacks of the Jewish round-up by the Nazi's; but who is kidding who if you think Americans are Nazi's you lose the right to be in the debate as a shrill moe.

I just do not know why pro illegal alien groups are not fighting the human rights battle in Mexico, and place the blame on Fox for being as corrupt and inept as the Mexican goverments of the past.

Throw 12 million more poor people back into Mexico and the goverment will fall like a domino.

We have enough poverty here we do not need to have more illegally imported.

Posted by: 11bravo | March 23, 2006 12:41 PM

Hey, 11bravo

You hit the nail on the head!

Vincente Fox is dumping his troubles on the US the way southern welfare departments used to "help" welfare recipients by buying them a one-way bus ticket to New York.

Imagine if the American revolutionaries in 1776 had simply emigrated somewhere else instead of standing up to King George. The 12 million poor Mexicans with enough ambition and courage to sneak into the US should be back in Mexico fighting their corrupt government.

PS: You don't need to round up illegals in Gestapo tactics. Simply cut off the jobs and social services they get here, and make them live in constant fear of "la migra" and most will self-deport.

Posted by: Paul | March 23, 2006 12:54 PM

"The problem with them is range. They also can't operate in a hurricane; in a bad storm; in a geo-electrical storm (nor GPS/Military satellites); and require a whole staff to operate (which isn't cheap). It's an extra layer that's prone to failure. They are good for single shot missions in good weather."

SandyK

Well, if they want to cross during a hurricane, more power to them. They would probably would have a better chance with that than with landmines. LOL.

I disagree that range is an unsolvable engineering problem. The routes would be essentially identical, and some drones around now can be kept aloft well over a day. I also do not believe would not require a huge staff per mile to operate. This is not rocket science, and with existing GPS, such a system can radio the precise position of illegals.

At least it would be worth a try.

Posted by: | March 23, 2006 01:15 PM


I agree that the illegals pouring into this country has created huge problems, but placing a wall around our border is not the answer. Our government needs to work diligently with the government of Mexico, to find reasonable and humane solutions. It is going to take both countries working together to solve this...We cannot isolate ourselves by building a wall! It is important that we keep on friendly terms with our bordering countries. We have been working with Canada on border issues so why aren't we working with Mexico?

Posted by: JanB | March 23, 2006 01:25 PM

Hey, JanB!

Working with Mexico to find "reasonable and humane solutions" is based on the premise that Mexico City truly wants to find a "solution" to the fact that 10% of its population now lives over here.

The unfortunate fact is that the current situation is EXACTLY what they want, so they see no need for a "solution."

Remittances from the US are the third biggest source of foreign income for Mexico, after oil and tourism.

Mexico is a very racist country. The white elites in Mexico City are ethnically cleansing their country by sending mestizos to the US.

This is no accident. Mexican government policy is consciously, actively and openly encouraging the colonization of the US by its people. They are doing to us what the British and the Spanish did to the American Indians. Whether or not you think this is poetic justice, are you willing to sit back and watch your children and grandchildren suffer the same fate of the American Indians?

Posted by: | March 23, 2006 01:37 PM

JanB-

It is to any current or future Mexican President's advantage that the United States deals with this unilaterally. The majority of Mexicans feel that the Southwest United States is their historic property and that they have a right to travel in and out of the United States irregardless of law here.

Any Mexican President that seriously addresses immigration from their side commits political suicide. This political climate encourages, at best, apathy of the problem, or at worst, as evidenced by Vincente Fox, advocacy. In 2004 the Mexican government issued a booklet on how best to cross the border, identify Border Patrol Agents, avoid them, etc. The Mexican Government has everything to gain from illegals entering our country. 2% of the Mexican GDP is funded by American immigrants (majority of whom are illegal) sending money back home. This number can only rise with increasing illegal immigration.

Furthermore the Mexican government has a perfectly reasonable domestic agenda best served by influencing American policy. The more immigrants the Mexican government can pass the border illegally the more electoral influence the Mexican government has over American state governments.

The reason we cannot work with Mexico and we can work with Canada is simple: Mexico has everything to gain from not working with us whereas Canada does not.

Posted by: Will | March 23, 2006 01:38 PM

When I was a Company Clerk in the Army, my Company Commander was trying to keep the AWOL (Absent without leave) rate in our company down. This is very frustrating especially around three day holidays. The way he vented his anger was to dream of taking the next AWOL soldier and put him up against the Mess Hall wall and shoot him. He figured anyone who went AWOL from then on was actually a deserter and he could dropped from the company rolls and his AWOL statistics.

This whole border nonsense reeks of the venting. If you want to slow migration it needs to be a long term item. We need to apply the same effort in building up Central America (our true neighbors) as we are in Iraq. Given the fact this is long term effort it is probably beyond the vision of US politicians (they wont even enforce current law).

SO I suggest the following additional irrational solutions:

Set up labor camps with meager rations and water. All Illegals are sent to the border camps where they are used to build the "Walls". They are only allowed to escape into Mexico. (NOTE: conditions must be worse on our side then on the Mexican side).

Another solution that could be implemented at the same time. Allow hunting of illegals withing 15-25 miles of the border for a small bounty. We managed to destroy the several predator popluations this way. Besides bounty hunters, the American Aristocracy probably make it the must do tourist experience. (I am not sure if mounting the trophies should be allowed but we would have to see how the wind blows on that issue.)

So I have added my two bits to the lunacy and venting of the comments above.

Posted by: Hal | March 23, 2006 02:45 PM

To: Borg
I would take my chances anyday in a US Army minefield, with or without landslides, earthquakes, etc. (and did so in Vietnam in 1968-69). You need to do some homework about the types of mines the US uses and the professionalism with which they are deployed and mapped vs. the IEDs and other junk improvised mines deployed by third world armies. Study a bit before jumping to quick and unsubstantiated conclusions.

Posted by: Daniel from Columbus | March 23, 2006 03:52 PM

Pro-immigration forces have several ridiculous arguments:

1. That stopping the free migration of people is un-American because "we are all immigrants with no moral right to stop other immigrants". Which ignores all nations were settled by people immigrating out of what was once Ethiopia. And few want to stay in Ethiopia. And 5 billion people are not trying to get into Mexico or China or Gaboon Africa. They are trying to get into a few prosperous Western nations to seize the benefit of wage differentials those Western nations took centuries to build up...at least until the differentials are equalized. We have as much right to stop 100 million poor 3rd Wordlers who will effectively destroy us and our way of life as Immigrant Nations Japan or Mexico do (Mexicans brutally block settlers trying to get into Mexico along their Southern Border).

2. Many nations have guarded their borders to prevent floods of armed or unarmed settlers. The Lefty argument that it is physically impossible to stop tens of millions from coming in, 100s of millions if logistics puts them at our border is ridiculous. The Soviets stopped 5 million organized and armed German settlers from colonizing their nation under a "lebensraum" policy.

Thailand recently stopped millions of desperate Burmese, Laotians, Vietnamese, and Chinese from flooding their relatively prosperous nation and efectively destroying Thai civilization through several methods: (1)Word permits only given to Thais or approved immigrants and backed with massive fines and jail for law-breakers. (2) Accepting no "desperate refugees" that fled other lands rather than fight for freedom. Thailand only accepted refugees on a temporary basis for the UN, stuck them in refugee camps until they either went back to Indochina, China, or Burma (Myanmar). Thailand interdicted all boats of people trying to get in. And turned a blind eye to Thai pirates robbing wannabe invaders to further discourage them. Along Thailand's borders, draftees watched, electronic surveillance and fences were employed, and yes, hundreds of miles of posted minefields blocked any invasion through those barriers.

The result was Thailand was saved as a nation, it's poor not made poorer and the middle class saved from the 10s of millions wanting in.

3. There is no paeon to Emma Lazarus in the US Constitution. There is no moral obligation to make America into another socially, environmentally degraded, overpopulated mess like Subcontinent and China face. We face a demographic explosion if unchecked immigration continues. 225 million in 170, 300 million now due to La Migra, 363 by 2030, 420 by 2050 (500 million if "family reunification" is widely allowed after blanket amnesty). India in 1900 had 238 million people, including Pakistan and Bangladesh. Despite war, disaster, and famine killing over 50 million - there are now 1,404,000,000 people there. China had only 500 million in 1950 and are now 1.2 billion despite famine and Mao's slaughters.

The real lunacy is thinking we can have any shot at Kyoto, energy independence, environmental preservation, mantaining reproductive autonomy, fixing dysfunctional cities if we are immigration-driven to add 250 to 830 more Americans in the 21st Century.

4. While the ostensibly liberal Lefty position is America's "great moral obligation" to let any "hard-working" 3rd worlder in, any refugee fleeing rather than fighting oppression...and then later sending for their large families...the ignored people those Lefty elites don't seem to care about are the American poor and the blue collar workers whose American Dream is being destroyed so 3 million more illegal foreigners a year can seize a piece of it. Lefty elites are as bad as the wealthy fatcats destroying poorer parts of America to get profits sent to their gated, low tax, no free health care provided communities.

The black underclass has lost most "first rung" jobs. Unemployment of young black men in cities is 51%, up from 32% during the 1970s "crisis" of unemployed blacks. That does not include a 8% incarceration rate. In Middle America, outsourcing and the march of illegals into taking over construction trades, service industries, and other blue collar work has threatened the middle class and is nationally lowering wages 3% a year for the last 20 compared to what it would be if immigration was stopped.

The anger of shafted blue collar whites, blacks, and long term hispanics is intense...and growingly directed at wealthy elites and liberal apologists for the 5 billion 3rd Worlders wanting into the USA.

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 23, 2006 04:01 PM

Aside from all the social and economic issues discussed in this forum, there are public health issues.
It pays to remember that both the Public Health Service and Ellis Island were originally created for the purpose of controlling tuberculosis. Immigrants were given a physical and those that had signs of active TB were returned to the ships.

Today the CDC released updates of TB activity in the U.S. It is worth noting that since 2001 the number of TB cases occurring in the U.S. among foreign-born persons is higher than the number among U.S. born persons. Prior to 2001 that was not the case. Also, for the second year in a row, the total number of TB cases is higher among Hispanics than among any other group. That data can be found here:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5511a3.htm?s_cid=mm5511a3_e

In the same release, CDC documents the worldwide emergence of what are being called XDR strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the cause of TB) that cannot be killed by any currently existing antibiotic. That information can be found here:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5511a2.htm?s_cid=mm5511a2_e

With over 2 billion (yes, 1 in 3) persons worldwide infected with M. tuberculosis, most of them poor and in the developing world, we need better control over who is entering our country. If for no other reason, for public health.

Posted by: Buck | March 23, 2006 04:08 PM

My ancestors came to this country in the early 19th century fleeing the Napoleonic wars, the reactionary tyrannies of post-Napoleonic Europe, and famine in Ireland. Today's immigrants come from the Third World fleeing war, tyranny, and famine. We have no moral standing, no right, to keep them out.

The Israeli wall is wrong because it is built on Palestinian territory to keep Palestinians out of parts of Palestine. A Rio Grande wall would presumably not suffer this defect. However, it would take hundreds of thousands of border guards and tens of billions of dollars annually to build and maintain an effective border defense against illegal immigration along the southern border. None of the right-wing racists acknowledge the real cost of this. Even a wall that prevented migrants from entering through the empty spaces would not prevent anyone from using forged documentation, hiding in ships and trucks, and other traditional methods of unofficial migration.

I agree with the comment that legalizing immigration would solve much of the problem. Internal and financial/economic controls would be more fair and more effective (certainly more cost-effective). Have the IRS audit parents who haven't filed if their kids are registered in public schools. Penalize employers with fines if they pay employees less than a legal minimum wage. Let people who want to live and work in the US have the same rights as Americans; some might not choose to compete in the labor market if they had to produce $5/hour worth of output.

We also need much freer trade with the developing world. Many people would be perfectly happy to work for very low wages in their low-food-cost low-rent countries, but we won't buy their goods, so companies are forced to bring these low-value jobs inside America's borders. This is especially a problem in agriculture, textiles, and simple manufacturing.

It's time for America to get back into the business of leading the world towards prosperity and freedom, instead of defining ourselves with guns and walls and paranoia.

Posted by: Lex | March 23, 2006 05:33 PM

Hal wrote:

"Set up labor camps with meager rations and water. All Illegals are sent to the border camps where they are used to build the "Walls". They are only allowed to escape into Mexico."
_______________

This is a solution that might have had effect fifty years ago. Today large structures are built more with capital equipment than labor, which is part of the pressure on the part of the middle class that works in trades.

For all the taxes I've paid and in exchange received perceptively little (applying especially to local property taxes more so than income taxes), I wish that some agents of government would simply move some people from pointless desk jobs and have them do light yard work. Cutting my small lawn and picking up leaves in the fall would seem to be a very small service for what is paid in outrageous excess.

A small example of my grievance about local taxes might help to illustrate. For many years, the assessment for the local charity hospital included in the tax bill actually exceeded the school tax. How many illegals were put in good health at my direct expense, collected through the power of the tax collector, I can only wonder. At the time, my generous annual assessment was certainly more than my own individual health expenses in any given year.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 23, 2006 05:49 PM

Lex, when your ancestors came to the country, what did they do? Did they break our laws from the first day? Or did they join our country, get a job, and become citizens, assimilating with the American way of life and following our laws?

Posted by: Freedom | March 23, 2006 05:49 PM

Lex-

"My ancestors came to this country in the early 19th century fleeing the Napoleonic wars, the reactionary tyrannies of post-Napoleonic Europe, and famine in Ireland. Today's immigrants come from the Third World fleeing war, tyranny, and famine. We have no moral standing, no right, to keep them out."

Your ancestors came to this country lawfully, fleeing to a land that welcomed them with no legal restrictions against their coming. Today's immigrants are attempting to enter a country that has specifically barred their entry legally. It is not a moral issue. It is a legal one.

This current debate does not concern the greater entity of Third World immigration, nor should it, since the United States cannot practically accept all who would want to enjoy the American dream (all 5 billion of them?)

The debate concerns the 3 million Mexicans a year who enter our country.

Which "war" are Mexicans fleeing from when they enter the country? The opposite conclusion can be made, since Mexico is not at war and the United States of America is. Mexicans do not flee war, they apparently want to reside in it.

What "tyranny" do Mexicans flee except their own elected President Vincente Fox? Are you suggesting that Vincente Fox was not elected democratically?

What "famine" do Mexicans flee? The correct word is poverty, for if famine were the culprit our borders wouldn't be open to Mexicans but to the Somalians and Ethiopians who suffer "famine", not poverty.

Posted by: Will | March 23, 2006 06:13 PM

OK, can we all mostly agree to agree that
1.) we want to end the state of anarchy on the U.S. - Mexican border?

2.) Since there are many diverse opinions as to the desirability of the labor pool that's coming across that border, do you suppose we could also mostly agree at least that we want to keep terrorists and criminals out?

Suppose I could wave my magic fairy wand (I know I have it in a box somewhere...I've just got to get around to that closet one of these days) and cause the first two things to happen. I don't know what that would even look like, but I doubt it would take the form of a wall, simply because I don't see it working, but I do see it costing billions of dollars that could be better spent, say, helping to fund border state schools and hospitals.

And land mines. OK, let's say that land mines do work. Let's even say that they are more affordable than the wall. Sure, why not, seems more plausible than the wall in any event. But -- and I know I'm going to be accused of every reprehensible political stance up to and including being the personal sex slave of Osama bin Laden -- I'm going to bring some good ol' fashioned Christian, yes, Christian morality into play and say, it's morally reprehensible to kill and maim people for the crime of, for the most part, wanting to come and work. It's like chopping the hands off thieves or stoning adulterers to death: much as the idea may be appealing to one who's just had your car window smashed, it's still not ok (for the record, I've been carjacked and date raped, in case you think I'm just another bleeding heart). No, we don't want floods of people crossing here with no control whatsoever. But the punishment does not fit the crime.

OK, meanwhile, I've just been through the whole damn closet and now I'd better come out of it -- there is no magic fairy wand in there. I have no effing idea how to secure the border. Sorry for getting everybody's hopes up.

Maybe the border debate is analogous to the abortion debate. Nobody likes abortions, but maybe a better way to prevent abortions would be some combination of sex ed, availability of contraception, and dose of some good old time religion. These measures may not confer the satisfaction that some people get out of standing outside of a clinic and screaming at women, but what if they really did a whole lot more to "save babies?" Wouldn't that be a good thing? Likewise, maybe the people who are all juiced up at the thought of shooting/bombing/blowing up Mexicans wouldn't get the same satisfaction out of the pursuit of a sane economic policy, that took into account the needs of ordinary people on both sides of the border, people who basically just want to be ok. Not as exciting, certainly not very good fodder for an action movie, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try, does it?

Posted by: Pro Sanity | March 23, 2006 06:23 PM

We've been reading the argument that other people on the planet living under tyranny have the unreserved right to enter America, whatever the consequences for America.

It's time to make some significant negative examples of less than friendly states exploiting this idea. Mexico has never been a friend in tough times of the USA, always a complaining parasite. During WWII it never sided with the Allies. It was passively hopeful that Fascism would win and award it pieces of U.S. territory. Same stuff during the 19th century involving imperial France.

Mexico is the principal example of political tyranny in the hemisphere. It super-concentrates wealth and control with its racist elite. Unfortunately, it just happens to be our geographical neighbor. Its only relief valve is the border with the United States, which it uses to the fullest.

Now is the time to send illegals back and put Mexico into the glorious internal revolt they historically dream about. As a result, they'll probably sell Baja to China to bail out collapse, but, maybe that's all they've got to offer in reality.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 23, 2006 07:52 PM

Straight Leg (11Bravo) wrote:
===========================================
I just do not know why pro illegal alien groups are not fighting the human rights battle in Mexico, and place the blame on Fox for being as corrupt and inept as the Mexican goverments of the past.
===========================================

Because it's easier to try to change US policy. Down in Mexico they'd just jail them as an enemy of the State. Plus, who has more money for more "entitlements"?

Human trafficking is a crime.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 08:32 PM

In response to an earlier comment which I can't seem to find, we DID take Mexican land unfairly in an imperialist war. The sole objector to this land-grabbing war was Abraham Lincoln, when he was a Senator from Illinois. Henry David Thoreau ("Civil Disobedience," "Walden," etc.) also wrote extensively of his reservations about the Mexican War.

Building a fence around the Mexican border screams of xenophobia at best. I agree with earlier comments that shady employers need to be held accountable first. It is wrong in a nation of immigrants to deny others the ability to better their lives and the lives of their children merely because they are poor upon entering our country.

Indeed, more should be done to encourage lawful immigration. As the comedian Carlos Mencia recently quipped, "So, you want to build a wall around the Mexican border? Who's going to build it?" We cannot blame the industriousness of illegal immigrants for our own laziness. Additionally, we cannot blame them for our missing jobs. For that we have to examine the companies who have sold us down the proverbial river.

Shameless blog plug:
http://intellectuallyidiotic.blogspot.com

Posted by: Kevin Cleary | March 23, 2006 09:44 PM

interesting comments. I'm an australian and i am interested in the oft stated view that you should "fine the employers of illegal labour". Sounds good, but I doubt you would ever have the number of inspectors you would need to police such a job. I wonder though, do people who employ illeagals claim the cost as a tax deduction on their company tax returns? if they do, surely it must be easier to create an effective fine by disallowing such a deduction. No doubt your IRS already has more than enough staff to get this job done. Remember your own history, in the end you only got Capone on tax.

Posted by: mooneyc | March 23, 2006 11:39 PM

Here's a thought. Illegal immigrants are just that; ILLEGAL. We should close the loopholes that allow employers, organizations and landlords to employ, shelte and harbor illegal aliens. With the information databases available today, from Choicepoint or the government's "Pilot Program" for example, we should be able to hold employers to a reasonable standard on determining employment elegibility and legal permanence elegibility. Outfits like the Church, who complain of being criminalized, could offer aid to repatriate illegal aliens without reporting them to the authorities. Aiding in the arrival and permanence of illegal aliens is currently a felony. HB 4477 does not change much if any of that. Fines should be statutory and mandatory to ensure that no one gets a slap on the wrists like Walmart did on the janitor fiasco. Egregious infractions to the law should require unnavoidable prison terms. Illegal aliens who are unable to reasonably explain the origin of their assets should have them seized as proceeds of a criminal enterprise and the proceeds from their auction should be used to offset the cost of deportation and the balance distributed among the agencies involved in the arrest/deportation with at least 5% being earmarked towards cleaning up the ecological mess left at the border.

As to a guest worker program, I would begin by encouraging our legislators to strip every enticement for irregular arrival. In other words, legislate that American citizens can only be the offspring of U.S. citizens or legal residents. This would leave out everybody else. The guest worker program should require a set proportion of every year to be spent in their home country/state in order to forestall the abandonment of enntire families left to fend for themselves in third world countries. Those who opt to marry a U.S. citizen would have to go back to their country and commence a "fiance visa" process just like anyone else. The employers would have to deduct and forward to the wpeciffic countries the tax and social security withholdings required by law in those countries as well as paying a 7% premium over the regional average wage for the position according to Department of Labor surveys plus prividing health insurance for the guest worker and his companion relatives. Finally, all guest workers, or their host employers, would have to put up a bond to cover the cost of using bailbond recovery agents and forcible repatriation should the guest worker decide to remain extraoffically in the U.S.

I would recomend that the wall on the border be the type used on highways to reduce noise polution and made of concrete. I would encourage randomly rotating National Guard and Reserve units through the border to ensure that the border is patroled and to avoid potential corruption issues. Further, I would encourage that those who hire coyotes be considered part of the conspiracy to smuggle huimans and be prosecuted under that felony count. I also would encourage local jurisdictions to allow landowners and their employees to have the option to shoot trespassers as long as they have posted the fact on every available point of entry in the languiages spoken on both siedes of the border. OTM's should be afraid, very afraid...

Posted by: Carlos Rodriguez | March 23, 2006 11:47 PM

Posted by: Chris Ford

"The horrors! The horrors! Of landmines! Is a talking point, to be sure, but they are enormously effective as a supplement to any border protection scheme."

Little Hilter, you would enjoy killing little Mexican children.

"If mines were ever used, they would not be of the surrupticiously planted type along smuggling paths hoping to blow up illegals, but of the nature of well defined, posted minefields meant first and foremost like electric fences, attack dogs, security personnel authorized to use lethal force on intruders, and razor wire - to deter tresspass. "

How stupid can you get, attack dogs to cover 2000 miles, that would take 50,000 dogs? Assuming two shifts, 100,000 dogs? And what about the handlers, kennels, and veterinarians. What if your attack dogs step on your landmines?

"If the stakes are high, like we find ourselves hit by WMD brought across the Mexican"

Good possibility if little Hitler Ford got his way and started blowing Mexican Citizen up with his landmines.

"the Mexicans themselves shift politically and openly declare a Reconquista is underway to reclaim California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and seceed from the USA once Mexicans become the political majority or approach majority status - and we Americans wish to maintain our sovereignity over those 4 states from a new enemy."

No little Hitler, the Mexicans are coming for you, they know where you live.

"The international "Ban All Landmines" movement leaders still do not approve of any landmines, but do conceed there is a world of difference between use of landmines intended to terrorize and clearly marked landmine fields intended on blocking enemy movement."

Landmines, the killer that keeps on killing.

"I have met a few "Reconquista" supporters of the "clueless white Lefty still in college type", and a few Mexicans - that think we "unfairly took" land from Mexico in "imperialist war". Who talk about the demographic inevitability of Mexican rule over the SW USA. My counter to them is if we have another Civil War, they will lose - "rapido!", most will get sent back unless they side with America, and we take Baja California for our troubles and war deaths (except the Tijuana enclave we force the Mexicans to keep). If we keep getting their surplus, unwanted citizens shoved on us - we have a right to take surplus, ineffectively utilized Mexican land in a counter-Reconquista. The Mexicans sputter on that, especially when I dream out loud of the value of 4200 miles of mostly unused beachfront property on Baja that would be usable if we slapped up 4-5 nuclear powered electric/desalinization plants to support 4-5 million American immigrants settling previously waterless
Baja. No, the Mexicans that talk "Reconquista" actually go beyond sputter to a rigid, infuriated "How-DARE-You!!" if you mention America can grab land, too, if Mexicans play that game. So don't say "we can grab Baja easier than you can get California" if you meet some Mexicans talking Aztlan in Cancun or in a Mexican dominated neighborhood in the USA. You WILL offend them!
Muohoh-ha-ha!!!"

Little Hitler Ford, if only you added to that comment "endorsed by the republican party".

Posted by: Jamal | March 24, 2006 12:32 AM

Posted by: Chris Ford

"2. Many nations have guarded their borders to prevent floods of armed or unarmed settlers. The Lefty argument that it is physically impossible to stop tens of millions from coming in, 100s of millions if logistics puts them at our border is ridiculous. The Soviets stopped 5 million organized and armed German settlers from colonizing their nation under a "lebensraum" policy."

You stupid dumb ass, you forgot the ones that were kidnapped from their foreign lands and brought in illegally as slaves to this country.

"Thailand recently stopped millions of desperate Burmese, Laotians, Vietnamese, and Chinese from flooding their relatively prosperous nation and efectively destroying Thai civilization through several methods: (1)Word permits only given to Thais or approved immigrants and backed with massive fines and jail for law-breakers. (2) Accepting no "desperate refugees" that fled other lands rather than fight for freedom. Thailand only accepted refugees on a temporary basis for the UN, stuck them in refugee camps until they either went back to Indochina, China, or Burma (Myanmar). Thailand interdicted all boats of people trying to get in. And turned a blind eye to Thai pirates robbing wannabe invaders to further discourage them. Along Thailand's borders, draftees watched, electronic surveillance and fences were employed, and yes, hundreds of miles of posted minefields blocked any invasion through those barriers. The result was Thailand was saved as a nation, it's poor not made poorer and the middle class saved from the 10s of millions wanting in."

You moronic drop out, none of those countries are true democracies.

3. There is no paeon to Emma Lazarus in the US Constitution. There is no moral obligation to make America into another socially, environmentally degraded, overpopulated mess like Subcontinent and China face. We face a demographic explosion if unchecked immigration continues. 225 million in 170, 300 million now due to La Migra, 363 by 2030, 420 by 2050 (500 million if "family reunification" is widely allowed after blanket amnesty). India in 1900 had 238 million people, including Pakistan and Bangladesh. Despite war, disaster, and famine killing over 50 million - there are now 1,404,000,000 people there. China had only 500 million in 1950 and are now 1.2 billion despite famine and Mao's slaughters.
The real lunacy is thinking we can have any shot at Kyoto, energy independence, environmental preservation, mantaining reproductive autonomy, fixing dysfunctional cities if we are immigration-driven to add 250 to 830 more Americans in the 21st Century."

You were saying earlier 500,000,000, now it's 250 to 830? You really need to quit drinking and get your facts right.

"4. While the ostensibly liberal Lefty position is America's "great moral obligation" to let any "hard-working" 3rd worlder in, any refugee fleeing rather than fighting oppression...and then later sending for their large families...the ignored people those Lefty elites don't seem to care about are the American poor and the blue collar workers whose American Dream is being destroyed so 3 million more illegal foreigners a year can seize a piece of it. Lefty elites are as bad as the wealthy fatcats destroying poorer parts of America to get profits sent to their gated, low tax, no free health care provided communities."

You voted for the wealthy republican fat cats, now choke on them, you ranting under educated idiot.

"The black underclass has lost most "first rung" jobs. Unemployment of young black men in cities is 51%, up from 32% during the 1970s "crisis" of unemployed blacks. That does not include a 8% incarceration rate. In Middle America, outsourcing and the march of illegals into taking over construction trades, service industries, and other blue collar work has threatened the middle class and is nationally lowering wages 3% a year for the last 20 compared to what it would be if immigration was stopped."

You're a real MLK aren't you? You spew racist comments on the black community and then want us to side with you, cram it up your ass little Hitler. The black underclass lost those jobs due to little Hitler racists like you. You don't like dark skinned people of any kind, get used to it us being here in greater numbers. Take that to bed with you tonight.

"The anger of shafted blue collar whites, blacks, and long term hispanics is intense...and growingly directed at wealthy elites and liberal apologists for the 5 billion 3rd Worlders wanting into the USA."

Little Hitler, don't count on anyone following you.

Posted by: Jamal | March 24, 2006 12:56 AM

What is this ridiculous crap about mines?

When people said they would kill and cripple indiscriminately, you all start saying no they won't, they can be tracked and we know where we laid them.

That's not the bloody point. What do you think the purpose of minefields is?

I see it now. You are actually thinking: "Oh no, minefields won't be indiscriminate. They'll only kill Mexican border-crossers."

That includes thousands of men, women and children who mean no harm to anyone. But you regard that as an appropriate targeted use of force.

Nothing actually brings people to this page in droves like the chance to call for harsh measures against Mexicans.

But landmines is just sick. Many of you seem to feel that foreigners are just not full humans.

Ordinary American citizens are routinely calling for the killing and maiming of unarmed and helpless foreign civilians in the most blasé manner.

There isn't the slightest danger that the real-world US government would mine the border, of course. The fact that the fools on this page even discuss it as a serious option shows how out of touch their evil little minds are from reality.

What alarms me is that there are so many of these people. Why aren't we allowed to call them what they clearly are?

Posted by: OD | March 24, 2006 12:59 AM

Jamal-

You're insane babble is not welcome here. Repeatedly calling other posters "Hitler" or "stupid dumb ass" is neither constructive nor entertaining. Take a hike.

Posted by: Will | March 24, 2006 10:37 AM

Posted by: Will

"You're insane babble is not welcome here. Repeatedly calling other posters "Hitler" or "stupid dumb ass" is neither constructive nor entertaining. Take a hike."

Will,

You choose to ignore Fords attacks on anyone different than himself, you have that right, and you have the right to defend Ford and what he represents. Ford is offensive to many people, left, right, moderate, republican, and democrat, he is not entertaining, perhaps to you? The only redeeming value in him is he hurts his cause far more than he helps it. Will, get your facts correct, it was not "posters", it was one poster. This person attacked me racially first, I have an option to sit and take, "take a hike", or I can defend an entire community. If you find it unacceptable for someone to defend an entire community, then scroll past my posts.

Posted by: Jamal | March 24, 2006 01:06 PM

Jamal-

The difference between you two is one of content. Chris Ford is offensive to everyone, but he generally backs up his offensiveness with at least verifiable (or verifiably false) claims. I do not appreciate when Chris Ford calls anyone an idiot, as he has called me countless times, but his insults are typically followed by some kind of factual claim.

In your post you called him a "stupid dumb ass" and then made an inane reference to slavery. Then you insinuated he had dropped out of school --highly questionable given the amount of knowledge Chris Ford has regarding a number of issues, no matter how offensive he may be-- with an inane reference to the undemocratic countries he mentioned. Then you insinuated he had been drinking, which is unverifiable. Then you called him undereducated, again probably false, and told him to choke. Then you called him racist/hitler with nothing interesting to add.

Perhaps I was unnecessarily harsh with you. I obviously do not want you to "take a hike" because I engage you on this blog as much as anyone and I enjoy engaging in debate. I do not expect anyone to be able to defeat Chris Ford in a name calling spat because frankly if he ever successfully brings a person to his level he will destroy them with experience.

I urge you in the future to attack the substance of his arguments. Simply calling him Hitler, or racist, is intellectually lazy and it is neither constructive nor entertaining. Chris Ford does not afford everyone respect, but his arguments should be evaluated based on their merit, not on his likeability.

Posted by: Will | March 24, 2006 01:38 PM

Jamal best look to Los Angeles to see how his dream of Black & Brown against Yellow and White is working out as a racially- ordered class struggle. Illegal immigrants have taken over schools that blacks used to rule and have replaced blacks in most jobs outside affirmative action and patronage government jobs. Compton and Central LA are now "Nueva Mexico" teritory. And those Hispanics are generally down on blacks, while being accepted as good co-workers by Asians and whites..The same friction between what black liberals thought were natural allies is also manifested in political competition. It is rare to see blacks and hispanics in coalition other than forced coalitions imposed by Democratic Party leaders, which only drives disaffected hispanics shut out by the traditional black inner city political machine in various SW cities into Republican arms.

OD is mystified on the idea of minefields. Mainly because he does not understand their application or technology.

Mines have been utilized mainly to deny an enemy territory. They are employed in war to be force multipliers - guarding attack avenues far more cheaply and with less manpower and phyical resources used than employment of barriers or armed men. Guerillas, not regular Army, have used them as terror tools. (employed outside known minefields to kill and maim ordinary people going about their business or as booby-traps for patrolling troops)

Minefields guard borders as assuredly as armed troops authorized to shoot invaders can, and cheaper. As long as no one invades, no invader dies.

OD - "That's not the bloody point. What do you think the purpose of minefields is?"

Territory denial. No casualties generally happen in posted minefields because no op-force just walks into them. They may try and defeat them with sappers, but no one just walks into a posted minefield.

OD - "I see it now. You are actually thinking: "Oh no, minefields won't be indiscriminate. They'll only kill Mexican border-crossers."

Posted minefields would be expected to kill no one. The Thai, Korean, Kashmir minefields are posted and the usual casualty is a pig or cow that can't read signs.

OD - "That includes thousands of men, women and children who mean no harm to anyone. But you regard that as an appropriate targeted use of force."

Peaceful invaders are still unwelcome invaders. To date, no peaceful protestor of nuclear weapons has attempted to scale walls of American, French, British, or Russian nuclear weapons facilities that have prominent signs saying lethal force will be used on any trespassers. China doesn't need to post signs.

OD - "Nothing actually brings people to this page in droves like the chance to call for harsh measures against Mexicans."

The "harsh measure" is: "Avoid this Minefield. You Might Die If You Try And Illegally Invade Our Homeland, Be You An Arab Terrorist With Anthrax or a 9-Month Pregnant Mexican Desperate to Drop An Anchor Baby."

OD - "But landmines is just sick. Many of you seem to feel that foreigners are just not full humans."

Oh, my heart bleeds! No doubt you feel all nations should have unguarded borders and military, prison facilities unguarded by security staff authorized to shoot, electric fences, guard dogs....as well as posted minefields? Anyone should go where they please on anyone else's land? No homeowner should be allowed to use force on intruders?

OD - "Ordinary American citizens are routinely calling for the killing and maiming of unarmed and helpless foreign civilians in the most blasé manner."

I don't advocate murderers scaling prison walls then electrocuting themselves on a juiced-up fence. That would be their choice, done at their own violition. Same with any Mexican or Al Qaeda operative dumb enough to scale a fence, disregard signs, and drop themselves in the middle of and try and walk across a posted minefield.

OD - "There isn't the slightest danger that the real-world US government would mine the border, of course. The fact that the fools on this page even discuss it as a serious option shows how out of touch their evil little minds are from reality."

If we were hit by an Islamoid WMD attack that originated crossing the Mexican Border, or the Hispanic mass immigration takes the nature of an unending hostile invasion to take American land and resources...we will mine that Southern Border as fast as we mined the DMZ in Korea or we protected our flanks and supply areas during the Gulf War with minefields laid to keep our troops safe for a few weeks then deactivated and gathered up when the war ended.

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 24, 2006 09:02 PM

Occam's Razor rules: landmines are the simpliest, cost effective, PASSIVE, deterrant we have. They can be placed, tracked and removed as needed. Cost pennies on the dollar to produce, and require no additional costly maintenance and survey teams.

It WILL do what other deterrants won't: scare the bejeezes out of illegals and their coyotes. Which will force them to legally apply for citizenship, and only if they're willing to assimilate -- not riot on this side of the border if they don't get things for free (and without commitments).

BTW, for all those who claim Mexicians were here first, they weren't. They're a mixture of Spanish and Indian cultures. The original inhabitants of Mexico and South America didn't speak Spanish, let alone worshipped a Christian God, or lived in such poverity -- and they too migrated to the region (and fairly early too).

But I don't want the US to go the way of Rome, for that's how it began to fall (especially relying on foreigners to fight and man their military).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 26, 2006 01:27 AM

"To date, no peaceful protestor of nuclear weapons has attempted to scale walls of American, French, British, or Russian nuclear weapons facilities that have prominent signs saying lethal force will be used on any trespassers."

That is a complete falsehood. There have been dozens of cases in Britain of peace protestors climbing or breaching fences at US bases where just such signs were displayed. In one case they even managed to damage the periscope of a Trident submarine.

Determined people will do desperate things. Including crossing fences to enter a minefield. And moreover, you seem to be forgetting that your original claim was that mines were cheaper than a physical barrier. Now you say you need a physical barrier to protect the minefield.

Chris Ford's claims about Korea and Thailand are nonsensical. The minefields on the 38th parallel are not laid on a border that is crossed by civilians. Rather, the whole area is dormant battlefield inhabited only by troops and border guards.

As for Thailand, the people-friendly mining program described by Chris Ford is a figment of his bloodthirsty imagination.

Thailand's government is desperate to get rid of the mines that infest its border areas. The Thailand Landmine Impact Survey estimates the country has 297 mine-impacted communities.

The Thai army runs its own de-mining program wuth help from the UN, Britain, Canada, Japan and the US.

Thailand signed the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention in 1997 and was the first Asian country to ratify it. Thailand is a vocal leader in global efforts to ban anti-personnel mines.

Here's a link: http://maic.jmu.edu/Journal/9.2/profiles/thailand/thailand.htm

Where are you getting your facts Chris?

Posted by: OD | March 27, 2006 10:20 AM

I might add that mining the Mexican border would be rightly seen by Mexico's government and people as practically an act of war.

Relations would instantly go horribly sour.

In fact, I actually suspect this is your purpose in supporting this idea. People like you, Chris Ford, would like nothing better than to provoke conflict with Mexico.

In your ideal scenario, someone would start shooting, and the US could manufacture a pretext to seize Baja California, as you speculate in your earlier comments.

In fact your musings on grabbing lebensraum in Mexico read exactly like an exercpt from Mein Kampf.

Posted by: OD | March 27, 2006 10:25 AM

Posted by: Will

"Perhaps I was unnecessarily harsh with you. I obviously do not want you to "take a hike" because I engage you on this blog as much as anyone and I enjoy engaging in debate. I do not expect anyone to be able to defeat Chris Ford in a name calling spat because frankly if he ever successfully brings a person to his level he will destroy them with experience.

I urge you in the future to attack the substance of his arguments. Simply calling him Hitler, or racist, is intellectually lazy and it is neither constructive nor entertaining. Chris Ford does not afford everyone respect, but his arguments should be evaluated based on their merit, not on his likeability."

Whether his arguments have merit or not, if racial slurs are brought into a debate, then those slurs deserve to be addressed, with no less vigor. If ford is so able a name caller, then why are getting involved?

Posted by: Jamal | April 1, 2006 10:18 PM

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