A simple fence could solve our invasion problem

Currently, the roads are a nightmare for Border Patrol officers and a huge advantage for the illegal aliens who slip through here every night. The solution, is to cut down the hillsides and use the dirt to fill a portion of the bottom of the gulch, creating a 90-foot-wide roadway across the top that can be fenced and lighted and patrolled 24 hours a day.

"At some point in time, we have to have an enforcement zone here," he said. "There's a problem at the border, and it needs to be fixed. Ignoring it is not going to make it go away." Since 1997, the Border Patrol has been building a barrier wall extending 14 miles inland from the point along the coastline where Mexico and the United States meet. It started as a 10-foot-high wall made of military surplus steel landing mats used for aircraft in Vietnam.

Over the years, the wall has been supplemented by a second fence made of steel mesh, with a lighted roadway between the two fences that is constantly monitored and patrolled by Border Patrol vehicles. But 3.5 miles of the project remain to be completed, and Smuggler's Gulch is the most vulnerable spot along that span between the ocean and the San Ysidro border station five miles inland. The Border Patrol wants desperately to complete the last section but has been stymied until now by environmental and regulatory roadblocks.

This spring, as part a military spending bill, Congress gave the Border Patrol a green light to complete the border fence, essentially pre-empting the state laws and federal environmental regulations that opponents had used in court to stall the project. The act left some state officials powerless, and fuming.

Opponents say that not only would such a project alter the landscape, but it also would create a huge problem of silt build-up in the Tijuana River Estuary, which runs from the gulch northwest to the Pacific shore. The estuary is a federally protected wetland and wildlife refuge that is home to a number of endangered bird species, including the light- footed clapper rail, the California least tern, the least Bell's vireo and the American peregrine falcon.

The project divides the area's congressional delegation as well. The primary sponsor of the barrier is Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, represents the district that includes the border and is a staunch opponent of the project, at least as currently designed.

Filner said the border fence would take $50 million to complete, money better spent elsewhere defending the border. But Hunter, who has been agitating for tighter security along the border for more than a decade, said the fence was necessary to protect the security of the nation. "There's just no sense in having that big a hole just a few miles south of the biggest naval base in the country," he said.

"Security concerns should override what I now consider to be frivolous opposition to this project," Hunter said. "I think it's time to move ahead and get this thing built."

The San Diego border fence has undeniably reduced the illegal traffic across the border in the southwest corner of California. In the early 1990s, the Border Patrol apprehended an average of 500,000 illegal border crossers a year in the San Diego sector, representing half of all apprehensions along the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico. Last year, the total was 138,000.

But as the traffic in San Diego has decreased, there has been an exponential rise in crossings in the Arizona desert, a far more hazardous route, as migrants have sought a less fortified path. In 1997, before construction of the San Diego barrier, the Border Patrol recorded 129 deaths among illegal migrants. Since then, the average has been close to 400 deaths a year, largely attributable to the more dangerous routes through desert and mountains of eastern California and Arizona.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joey is a fag

17 July, 2005 00:06  

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