Thursday, March 30, 2006

30 seconds is pretty good ...

Build the much-ballyhooed wall between Mexico and the United States and how long would it take would-be immigrants to breach it? Molly Ivins has expert testimony on the subject:
... it was '83 or some year right around there when we held The Fence climbing contest. See, people talked about building The Fence back then, too. The Fence along the Mexican border. To keep Them out.

At the time, the proposal was quite specific -- a 17-foot cyclone fence with bob wire at the top. So a test fence was built at Terlingua, and the First-Ever Terlingua Memorial Over, Under or Through Mexican Fence Climbing Contest took place. Prize: a case of Lone Star beer. Winning time: 30 seconds.

I tell this story to make the one single point about the border and immigration we know to be true: The Fence will not work. No fence will work. The Great darn Wall of China will not work. Do not build a fence. It will not work. They will come anyway. Over, under or through.

Viva Terlingua!


Writer said...

A chain link fence definitely won't do. Why risk the climbing and cuts? Just pack some wire cutters.

If the feds are going to build a chain-link fence, I don't see what the big deal is. It's cash in the bidders' pockets. Let em do it.

Right Of Texas said...

I disagree.

A Wall AND doubled border patrol would be a big step in helping prevent illegals.

Even if it just DRASTICALLY reduced the number coming across, it would still be worth our expense.

The wall costs at most 4 billion dollars..

Illegal immigration costs just the state of Texas 4.7 Billion.

Anonymous said...

"The wall costs at most 4 billion dollars"

Unless you can't use illegal immigrant labor ... then maybe $10 billion. ;-)

markm said...

You need a wall, not a chain link fence that they can cut a hole through in a few minutes with wirecutters. There is a 17 mile sheet steel wall south of San Diego. I think it replaced a chain link fence that was more holes than fence anymore. The wall sticks out into the Pacific a few hundre yards to discourage swimmers, and runs inland to the mountains. It appears to have stopped most illegals from crossing in that 17 miles.

Of course, until the other end of the wall is in the Gulf of Mexico, illegals will go around it. Not long after the wall was built, a number of illegals froze to death when a sudden snowstorm hit the mountains just past the end, and the desert and agricultural areas further inland have seen both a great increase in the number of illegals crossing and in the number of them getting themselves killed in ways as various as dying of thirst and drowning in an irrigation canal. (And liberals blame us for building that wall that drove them to make such a dangerous crossing.)

My suggestion: make the wall out of adobe brick where the climate and local materials make this practical, and of concrete block elsewhere. Put sensors and barbed wire coils on top, of course. Sentence every illegal alien we catch to one month of hard labor building it before we send them back.

This will leave some organized smuggling tactics for law enforcement to counter - false papers, tunnels, false bottoms in trucks, maybe even small airplanes - but it will make illegal crossings much more difficult to execute and much more expensive and should shut off 90% of the flow.

Anonymous said...

markm's right - if they built it as high and thick as the Great Wall of China with barbed wire on top, it would definitely have taken the Terlinguans 60 seconds to make it past. By then of course our snipers could gun them down.