Two Girls vs. The Border Fence

The border fence loses:

I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for the Congress to see what a waste of time, effort, resources, and money the border fence is, though. It’d be nice if they remembered the words of General George Patton: “Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.”

But I won’t hold my breath for that either.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Quick Takes, US Politics
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    My brother-in-laws and me could build a fence that is just as effective for a bit less than $4 million per mile.

  2. JD says:

    How much more would it cost to attach an electrical current to that thing?

  3. mantis says:

    How much more would it cost to attach an electrical current to that thing?

    Ooh, ooh, and poison darts that shoot out at people too! And motion activated pens that have dogs or bees or dogs with bees in their mouths so when they bark they shoots bees at you!

  4. JKB says:

    Any fixed emplacement is simply to slow the invader or funnel them to fewer locations. To stop the motivated you need armed response. The simplest “guard” response to the fence would be snipers who could cover a mile or two of fence each. Then as the invader struggles over the top, they are clipped.

    But yes, the ground near the fence should be covered in 6″ spikes and the top of the fence should be treated with a silicon based lubricant. Then, they climb, they slip, they realize their mistake.

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    JKB,

    Any fixed emplacement is simply to slow the invader or funnel them to fewer locations.

    Poor people looking for jobs aren’t “invaders” and the fence isn’t nearly strong enough to stave off a single blast from a tank turret, so it’s useless against an actual military invasion.

    Additionally, your incredible impractical ideas will cost a fortune. How do you propose to pay for them.

  6. mantis says:

    Additionally, your incredible impractical ideas will cost a fortune. How do you propose to pay for them.

    He doesn’t. He just likes fantasizing about killing immigrants.

  7. john personna says:

    Sharks with friggin’ laser beams.

  8. Lgbpop says:

    To Alex Knapp: Please, take your liberal double-talk and go to Mexico with it. (Matter of fact, climb the fence and enter Mexico illegally – you’ll see how illegal immgrants OUGHT to be treated.) Your statement – “Poor people looking for jobs aren’t “invaders” – is patently disingenuous. What defines an invader is not his condition but his actions. If one enters a country without having applied for the requisite visa and/or other documents and refuses to enter at a recognized port of entry he is an invader, even if his only motive was to look for a bathroom so he could take a leak. We are the land of opportunity, not idiocy. We have laws, obey them; not just the ones you approve of, but all of them. After all, Saint Ted Kennedy wrote most of the immigration law we have on the books now.

    As for the cost of JKB’s tongue-in-cheek ideas – look at all of the deaths caused by Mexican drug runners and druglords along the border, the skyrocketing cost of education in the border states, the higher taxes levied to pay for emergency medical care incurred by these wetbacks and I ask you, what has the cost ALREADY been by doing things your way?

    Go ahead, deplore our sentiments and condemn our methods. Better yet, hold a candlelight vigil – boy, THAT’LL show us you mean business.

  9. john personna says:

    Lgbpop, in the old days we’d say “buy a dictionary.” Now, when I can see you have a web browser, you have no excuse. Two words: “invader” and “refugee”

  10. Lgbpop says:

    Ahh, another master of the obtuse. I own a dictionary, haven’t needed it for years. Refugees are welcomed. Invaders are not.

    I suggest you buy a book on English punctuation and grammar. You neglected the final period in your paragraph, and the final words are not a sentence but a clause.

  11. Observer says:

    Ahh, you are another master of the obtuse. I own a dictionary, but I haven’t needed it for years. Refugees are welcomed. Invaders are not welcomed.

    I suggest that you buy a book about English punctuation and grammar. You neglected to place a final period in your paragraph, and the final words are a clause, not a sentence.

    Lgbpop, I took the liberty of editing your last comment to correct several grammatical errors.

  12. john personna says:

    So Lgbpop … you understand that invaders “enter forcefully as an enemy; go into with hostile intent: ”

    or “Germany invaded Poland in 1939.”

    We are Poland and Mexico is Germany? Serious?

    (Since you have taken the pedantic path, note that “serious?” is the kids’ ironic for of “seriously?”)

  13. john personna says:

    “form of” of course 😉

  14. An Interested Party says:

    “Go ahead, deplore our sentiments and condemn our methods.”

    Well, when you refer to people as “wetbacks” and another of your ilk suggests using snipers to keep people out, you really don’t deserve very much in terms of respect…

  15. mantis says:

    And it shouldn’t be “are welcomed.” The verb tenses conflict. It should be something like “will be welcomed” or “are welcome.”

  16. Lgbpop — if your concern is that the “invaders” haven’t gone through the formalities to legally enter the country and legally seek work here, then that surely means that you have nothing at all against legal immigrants.

    But I bet that you would recoil in horror at the notion of relaxing the legal restrictions on seeking a work visa and I will further bet that you oppose the institution of a guest worker program. This despite the fact that such programs would transform those you characterize as “invaders” into the legal immigrants that you would claim you have nothing against.

    Methinks the problem is not with either the legality or the labels attached to these people. I think you either object to some immutable attribute about them, or you object to the fact that they are looking for jobs here at all, whether they do so legally or illegally.

    Tell me why I’m wrong.

  17. michael reynolds says:

    JD:

    This is off-topic, but I noticed in your avatar you’re enjoying a cigar. I’ve given up smoking them, but like a pervert who has sworn off porn, I kind of want to know the dirty details anyway. What kind of cigar is it? Was it good? Oh, yeah, tell me everything.

  18. michael reynolds says:

    They are absolutely “invaders” by the way, no different than Huns going into Poland or Japanese invading Manchuria, or the Nazis invading France.

    With the insignificant exception that they aren’t carrying swords or guns but hoes and weedwhackers. And the part about how they’re not here to kill anyone, just watch the kids while we go to work, or cut up the chicken parts.

    But if you set aside the fact that nannies and landscapers aren’t quite the same as mass-killers and war criminals, they’re totally the same thing.

  19. Trumwill says:

    Oddly, I am coming around to the idea of a fence. Not because I believe it would work – I am pretty sure it would not – but because the lack of relatively rudimentry attempts to secure the border leads a fair number of otherwise reasonable people to listen to unreasonable ones. It’s obvious that nothing short of poisonous darts will satisfy some of the commenters here, but I am starting to think it would calm other concerned people down. Right now the biggest thing the border hawks have going for them is the appearance that their opponents simply don’t care about the illegal immigrants coming over here, which sits wrongly with a lot of people (and not just the poisonous darts crowd). The anti-anti-immigration people either need to convince the general public that this is not an issue that they need to worry about (which has not happened) or they need to do something to calm the boild before some *destructive* (and also likely ineffective) laws start gaining more traction.

  20. Lgbpop says:

    I’m all in favor of legal immigration. I’d rather see our own citizens be willing to take some of the jobs this country still has to offer these days, but itf there are jobs going begging why not let someone with a work visa apply? I don’t support relaxing the work visa requirements, because so many of our illegal immigrants ended up that way by staying here after their work visas expired – and they only applied for those in many cases because they didn’t want to go through the involved process of applying for resident alien status in the first place. A lot of people have to disabuse themselves of the notion that all people here illegally are oppressed somehow at home. Some may be, but most aren’t. Most are opportunists looking for better money without having to spend any of it on nuisances such as paperwork.

    Transplanted lawyer ‘s remark: “Methinks the problem is not with either the legality or the labels attached to these people. I think you either object to some immutable attribute about them, or you object to the fact that they are looking for jobs here at all, whether they do so legally or illegally.” is sheer projection. Just because he’s incapable of believing such a thing doesn’t mean that others can’t do so, and genuinely do so for logical reasons – it merely means he’s incapable of seeing any other opinion other than his own. A splendid example of liberal thinking, but a tautology nonetheless.

  21. I’ll admit to what looks like a failure of imagination, Lgppop. This very likely arises from an inability to understand the nuance of your position, so blinded and confused am I by the offense to my fragile, leftist sensibilities by your strange (yet somehow manly) statements, the likes of which I have never before encountered at any of the Chardonnay-and-Brie tasting parties which are my main social outlet. As best my puny, leftist brain can make out, you:

    A) Are all in favor of legal immigration and have no resentment of those who go through the work visa application process before coming here,

    B) Passionately resent the “invaders” who come here “looking for better money” without observing the proper legal requirements to do so,

    C) At least impliedly acknowledge that there is both a significant economic demand for this labor as well as a significant supply of people willing to meet that demand, because they perceive that they can make “better money” here than at home;

    D) Acknowledge that observing the legal requirements to come here are such an “involved process” that the burden of process itself deters people from initiating it, and still

    E) Oppose relaxing the “paperwork” requirements of getting work visa, resident alien, or (presumably) naturalization, and thus easing the burden of compliance with the law which you claim would .

    That looks to me like you prefer that the immigration process be so burdensome as to drive the bulk of those seeking better economic opportunities to evade, rather than comply with, the law — it looks like you prefer that the legal system render the bulk of the people who are going to come here anyway be criminals.

    …But my addled liberal pseudo-logic may be missing something here. Please, educate me about what I’ve missed.

  22. Please amend:

    E) Oppose relaxing the “paperwork” requirements of getting work visa, resident alien, or (presumably) naturalization, and thus easing the burden of compliance with the law which you claim would make such people welcome in your sight.

  23. Trumwill, I would trade a border fence for a guest worker program, both to be implemented simultaneously.

  24. Lgbpop says:

    I don’t speak in nuances, and my statements don’t need profound interpretation. I say what I mean. If you can’t understand simplicity, I feel badly for you. I don’t like illegal immigrants because they committed an illegal act to get here, and they contribute little to our country all things considered.

    I have trouble understanding why some Americans go out of their way to sympathize with the lawbreakers and desire their continued presence here when it has such a negative effect on their fellow countrymen. I cringe when I hear someone say “they’ve been a law-abiding citizen except for crossing the border illegally.” If they crossed the border illegally they are not law-abiding, and they are not citizens just because they are here. Citizenship amongst other things involves the sharing of a common language, government, way of life and ethos. It is the willingness to defend one’s country from attacks on its land, populace or way of life. I read just today where a Briton in South Dakota – a thirty-year resident alien – lost his gun permit because the state had amended its conditions to carry to include US citizenship and South Dakota residency. It stuck in my mind for two reasons: the reporter was taking the side of the Briton and coming up with all sorts of reasons why he should not have lost his permit, even though it’s one of the few times I ever saw a member of the media defend anyones’ right to bear arms…the other reason was the ACLU was taking up his cause as well! If only they so assiduously attempted to safeguard that right to US citizens. Sorry, if he was here for thirty years and not part of a diplomat attachment from the UK he’s still a resident alien. Become a citizen if you want to enjoy the rights of citizenship.

    Every country in this world protects its borders but we are supposed to let outsiders arrive however they feel like it, learn their languages and roll out the welfare cart for them? That doesn’t even include the costs of providing medical care and the human carnage on our roads from the DUIs. Lord knows, we have enough of the domestic variety. We don’t need an additional one or two a week committed by foreigners as happens here in Florida.

  25. Lgbpop says:

    I just saw this: “That looks to me like you prefer that the immigration process be so burdensome as to drive the bulk of those seeking better economic opportunities to evade, rather than comply with, the law — it looks like you prefer that the legal system render the bulk of the people who are going to come here anyway be criminals.”

    I guess your summatiion of your capabilities is spot-on. I don’t care what the motivation is of those people coming here illegally! I would rather they just obey our laws as we are expected to obey the laws of their sovereign nations in return. Furthermore, until you have talked to all of the illegals to find out why they come here, all you are doing is making assumptions based on sheer speculation. You have no more idea why they come here than my dead grandmother.

    The legal system has nothing to do with deciding whether or not these people will be considered criminals, after they get here, and that I do prefer. THE LAWS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS SAY THEY WERE ILLEGAL WHEN THEY COMMITED AN ILLEGAL ACT TO ARRIVE HERE. If you want the laws changed, work within the existing system to elect people who will change the laws – don’t try to end-run the system by finding judges to reinterpret existing law that’s plainly written in the first place.

  26. I’ve said nothing whatsoever about judicial modification of immigration law.

    I’ve also said little about the motivations of the immigrants. It is you who said “Most are opportunists looking for better money without having to spend any of it on nuisances such as paperwork.” Of course, “until you have talked to all of the illegals to find out why they come here, all you are doing is making assumptions based on sheer speculation. You have no more idea why they come here than my dead grandmother.” By that standard, you are in no better position than I to opine on why they have come here. But in fact, we agree — they are opportunists looking for better money. I don’t happen to see anything wrong with that.

    And in fact, pretty much the only thing you’ve pointed to about those people coming here to work for higher wages than they could earn in their home countries is that they haven’t done the paperwork to do so legally. I’m proposing making it easier to do that paperwork so the immigrants in the future can more easily comply with the law. If the only objection you have to articulate about these people being here is their failure to have done the paperwork prior to arrival, why do you so strenuously resist the idea of giving FUTURE immigrants having a simplified and more streamlined set of paperwork to do?