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The question of the "fence"

By Kerry Marsala
web posted May 22, 2006

Living in such close proximity to the border between Arizona and Mexico I have often pondered the complexity and history behind illegal border crossing. It was just recently on a trip to Nogales, Arizona that I stood and photographed the border entry and the fence between us. It struck me as I photographed the entry point how there were faces looking through the fencing screen at me with eyes filled with what I could only ponder in interpretation. I do not know what they were really thinking, nor did they know what I was thinking -- but it was a sobering passing of a moment gazing at one another through a screen in a fence between two different worlds.

The day gave way to me thinking about many aspects and it is now what I want to share with you.

How long have those who felt compelled to cross over illegally been doing so? Did they do it because they were ignorant to the operational system to come to America legally? On the other hand, were they well aware of the complexity of it but felt such a deep seeded fear that legal means overwhelmed them, thusly compelling them into taking other measures? Did they just have no regard for law and order? Did those who crossed via the "help" of a coyote, seem to take extreme measures? Did they feel it to be the only way to earn more than a meager day's wages of non-existence in their own country? Still yet, I wondered… how many crossed over open desert in scorching temperatures because they felt there was no other way to find economic freedom.

Where does the responsibility lie over the illegal crossings and will we ever find the answers to a problem left to fester and boil over the past fifty or so years?

Being an investigation junkie and enjoying the absorption into the complexities of why we humans do what we do, I have observed that when law enforcement is in pursuit of any long term illegal activity that they look carefully and examine each and every layer in order to find the nucleus, the "boss hog" so to speak, of the operation. So, if we begin to look at this illegal entry activity, or better yet what many think to be a breech in our national security, let us begin this investigative view by looking at the "fence."

There is an approximately 2,000-mile long border separating the United States from Mexico. Along this boundary line between countries, there are snippets of fencing, over worked border patrol officers, volunteer patrollers, air surveillance, and such like trying to uphold our laws for entering our country.

Along a small stretch between San Diego and Mexico a more complex fencing situation has seem to be a deterrent, its cost was said to have been around $25 million or 1.7 million per mile . A great point about the building of a more complex fencing system I believe is made viable in the research on this topic by VDARE.com. An article by Edwin S. Rubenstein presents logic in that our government never had a problem with creating our 46,000 eight-lane Federal highway system, so why would our political leaders have a problem funding a border protection plan of complex fencing? This is something I believe the citizens of the U.S. ought to be asking of their political leaders, why indeed.

Apparently, some sitting in the U.S. Senate either have seen the light or are running politically scared -- for our U.S. Senate has finally approved a proposal to build 370 miles of a triple-layer fence along parts of the border that stands between the U.S. and Mexico. Now that only leaves around 1,620 miles in need of complex fencing system (figure is minus the 10-mile complex-fencing border built in San Diego).

Do not take comfort in this yet though as progress being made by our political leaders…

Since the United States can no longer seem to function as a self-contained entity of her own constitutional letter -- According to an AP report, "Mexico and four Central American nations condemned the U.S plan to build hundreds of miles of triple-layered fencing on its southern border, saying it would not stop illegal immigration." As the foreign ministers of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Mexico held a news conference they stated that building barriers was not the way to solve problems between neighboring nations, but did these four nations who do not economically take care of their own citizens offer any solutions? No simply stated, Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez was quoted saying, "The position of Mexico and the other countries is that walls will not make a difference in terms of the solution to the migration problem. Therefore, Mr. Derbez, according to your colleague, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Jorge Brizs the solution offered is that the U. S. needs to make a major immigration overhaul and that was the only way to stop the wave of people heading northward. Briz stated, "All of us are looking for a comprehensive migratory regulation so that millions of Latin Americans can continue working in and supporting the United States economy."

Hmmm, now that is a very interesting philosophy for a political leader to be offering his own country men… go to the U.S. so you can help support their economy. What is Mr. Brizs implying here? Is he really saying to heck with his own country's economic needs?

Of course, the President of Mexico, President Foxx, had to put in his own two words as well, "Building walls, constructing barriers on the border does not offer an efficient solution in a relationship of friends, neighbors and partners."

Might I ask then, what does President Foxx? Is neglecting your own citizens in a country rich in natural resources and, having the ability to become her own strong independent nation, but never doing so in the time you and those before you have served her own citizens of Mexico?

Why do others outside the U.S. continually expect us to acquiesce to their demands and needs? In addition, the millions of dollars a year stolen from American citizens economically via free medical care, social security fraud, and so on -- does the real "boss hog" of this continual problem really lie within our own government? I am posing this question. We can point our fingers at world leaders and their demands, shouts of discontent, tirades of how dare we say no… but ultimately who is responsible for caring for their own?

President Foxx will pontificate, "We will go on defending the rights of our countrymen without rest or respite. With passion we will demand the full respect of their human rights," but ask yourself, where are our political leaders of the United States? Where are their words of passion to care for their own? The "boss hog," of this illegal alien wave lies within our own government and their lack of taking care of it for over fifty years; it is not the responsibility of any other government or nation.

The real question of the fence is just this, how much longer will we try to pass the blame? Will our leaders continue to play politics to gain votes, acquiesce to other nations demands, let volunteers do the governments' job, and then act as if we do not understand why hoards of illegal aliens are willing to die to cross a desert? It was through our poor excuses for border control that our political leaders contributed to the day 9/11 occurred in this country.

Ask your political leaders today, how much longer before you take responsibility for your lack of action and your contribution to a national crisis.

If safety has to begin with a fence, then begin it today.

Kerry L. Marsala is a freelance journalist who is terrible at being patient enough to check punctuation and grammar. She figures if Bernard Shaw can get away with it, she might have a chance too.

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