Border Fence = Land Grab

Please give us your property -- we'd like to build a symbolic gesture on it:

Some landowners have complained that they could lose access to the Rio Grande, the only freshwater source in the region, which they rely on for irrigating crops and livestock. Others would have their land behind the fence, cut off from the rest of the United States in a border no-man's land.

Opponents have said federal officials have failed to keep them fully informed on fence plans and refused to listen to residents' proposals for alternatives. Others say the fence is a waste of taxpayers' money and will hurt border economies.

"It's just a continuation of a battle with our government. We are for security. However the way they are approaching solving security problems, we just disagree with," said McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez. "We just don't see how a non-continuous fence, when you have 6,000 miles of land borders, is going to stop terrorism and illegal immigration. We continue to believe it is a waste of taxpayers' money."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Elemenope||

    Welcome to one of the very few issues upon which Ron Paul is crucially and lamentably idiotic. A chintzy wall? Seriously, there's a desert there, which is ten times more effective than any piece of shit wall in keeping people at bay.

    I get that Paul is all about national sovereignty, and that's just great, but I fail to see how a plywood-concrete slab frosted with razor wire is somehow going to help undo the erosion.

  • ||

    Once upon a time, "We continue to believe it is a waste of taxpayers' money" was a meaningful argument; now, wasting taxpayer money on gratuitous theatricality is mandatory.

  • Jack||

    Can you put a price on an enduring symbol of our deep dislike for brown people? You can? 49 billion? Man I dislike the brown folks as much as the next guy but not 49 billion much

  • ||

    Working as a city planner taught me something important: when a politician takes a magic marker and draws a line across a map, a lot of really bad things are going to happen.

  • Hedey LaMar (not Hedley)||

    All we need is a bunch of trinkets, and then we pull the ol' number six on them.

    Voila.

    Snatched the land.

    joe - have you seen the maps they used to decide where to draw the sectors in Berlin? Total chaos!

  • ||

    The Rio Grande makes it an irrigated desert. I would be like building a wall north to south in California's Central Valley. I say we maintain border security but build the wall further north and declare the Rio Grande Valley as disputed territory. Then say it is not enough in jurisdiction for birth right citizenship to apply. You might have to move your wall north by 100 miles but in most parts of Texas you could do that. It would create something like the maquiladoras system that is on the other side of the border. It would also allow us to relax some new controls that is making it impossible for people to commute back and forth like they use to do.

  • ||

    "We just don't see how a non-continuous fence, when you have 6,000 miles of land borders, is going to stop terrorism and illegal immigration. We continue to believe it is a waste of taxpayers' money."

    Maybe we should give the railroads a mile on either side of every fence they build?

    ...or maybe we should forget the whole thing. Sometimes it's a good thing if stupid ideas are implemented badly, but this obviously isn't one of those.

  • ||

    Hedley,

    Hey, roads are nice and straight and they cut right through. We'll just draw the lines down the center of the road.

    That's a great idea, boss! Can be in charge of this part?

  • VM||

    :)

    you got it!

    ('cept where they put the toll booth)

  • paul||

  • robc||

    joe,

    Working as a city planner taught me something important: when a politician takes a magic marker and draws a line across a map, a lot of really bad things are going to happen.

    Ive never been a city planner, and yet, Im very aware of this.

  • ||

    Sovereignity trumps property rights when the USA
    is being invaded by 12-20 million Illegal Aliens!
    280 million US citizens want the border secured
    Get With The Program if you are a citizen, go
    home if you think open borders are the future!
    The world is getting smaller and walls must go higher!

  • Elemenope||

    oneifbyland --

    If the world truly is getting smaller, perhaps it is high time to invest in Spanish and Mandarin lessons. Seems more practical than, you know, walls.

    I find the whole "we are being invaded by 20 million illegals" rhetoric as the height of ridiculousness. We have been invaded by 20 million illegals, and yet here we are, still Amerika the vaguely whitebreaded English- speaking monstrosity (but beautiful!) we have basically always been, complete with Big Macs and (until very recently) unevenly written TV.

    If our national identity were based upon our indigenous culture or heritage, America would have been dead very long ago. And, thankfully, it isn't, as each group who has claimed to be the rightful paradigmatic "Americans" have had at least one cultural foolishness to their names.

  • ||

    OneifbyLand,

    There's a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing.

  • fyodor||

    Please give us your property...

    Who said anything about "please"? Wouldn't be a problem if there were any "please" involved.

  • thoreau||

    Working as a city planner taught me something important: when a politician takes a magic marker and draws a line across a map, a lot of really bad things are going to happen.

    Ah, but that's a magic line. It's a line that separates good people from bad people! We need that line! Our national identity and future depends on it!

    If those ranchers can't get water from the Rio Grande, they'll just have to buy it from good, decent American rivers! And if that's expensive, they can cut costs by hiring cheap Mexican workers!

  • Episiarch||

    There's a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing.

    This? This is ice. This is what happens to water when it gets too cold. This? This is Kent OneifbyLand. This is what happens to people when they get too sexually frustrated.

  • Minion of URKOBOLD||

    ANY THREAD THAT MAKES GOOD USE OF "REAL GENIUS" IS A +6 MAGIC THREAD OF GENTLE TAINT ELECTRO-STIMULATION.

  • ||

    I just got my Xbox 360 back from warranty servicing. Return address on the package?

    McAllen, TX

    I am glad to know my console was a little cheaper because it was sent to Mexico for repairs, but I wonder if Microsoft is trying to keep that under wraps?

    I mean, if you're sending it to Mexico, send it to Mexico. Don't send it to some dinky border town and have em' drive it across...

  • ||

    You want your XBox handled by the good people of the Mexican Postal Service?

  • Jesse Walker||

    some dinky border town

    Not so dinky, says the fellow whose brother lives there. It has a population of 126,411. The entire (cross-border) metro region is 1,700,634.

  • ||

    joe,

    Good point.

    Jesse,

    That's interesting. So only 7.4% live on the U.S. side? I imagine many of those people work at places that ship and receive things crossing the border, while the other 92.6% work fixing, making or otherwise contributing to the items shipped.

    It's kind of sad that this is the way things have to operate in our country. Then again, I'm happy that a major corporation has institutionalized what the xenophobic assholes are railing against...

  • Jesse Walker||

    So only 7.4% live on the U.S. side?

    Not that few! The metro region includes more than just the Mexican territory.

  • ||

    Jesse,

    Oh, duh! Sorry, I had a Polish moment...

  • TLB||

    If Reason opposes the BorderFence, let me suggest the best way to block it: try to reduce IllegalImmigration by working to oppose corporatism and racial PowerGrabs. We're never going to have the OpenBorders that Reason wants, so they might want to face up to reality, as difficult as that is for them.

    P.S. The MexicanGovernment recently explicitly stated that they're going to be working with U.S. non-profits to push their agenda inside the U.S. While some well-known groups like the ACLU already have direct or indirect links to that government, and it's hard to find a non-profit that deals with these issues that doesn't have some sort of direct or first or second degree link, it can get worse.

    P.P.S. The MexicanGovernment didn't say that those non-profits had to be far-left. Maybe this is an opportunity for Reason to profit from being useful idiots for that government.

  • Episiarch||

    TLB, do you mind if I name my first child after you? "Dipshit Knight Episiarchson" has a nice ring to it.

  • Jennifer||

    We're never going to have the OpenBorders that Reason wants, so they might want to face up to reality, as difficult as that is for them.

  • Jennifer||

    Stupid HTML server bullshit.

    We're never going to have the OpenBorders that Reason wants, so they might want to face up to reality, as difficult as that is for them.

    Facing reality can't be any more difficult than mastering the art of using a Spacebar.

  • ||

    Returning our immigration policy to what it was for the first 150 years of this country's history is completely implausible...

    But imposing the largest forced migration in the history of the western hemisphere (kicking out 12 million Paperwork-Deprived America-Joiners) and stopping a smuggling industry comparable in scope to those that grew up around alocohol and marijuana prohibition is completely plausible.

    OK.

  • Ali (formerly iih)||

    Border Fence = Land Grab

    I thought this was an article about Israel/Palestine. I guess not all fences are created equal!

  • ||

    Stupid HTML server bullshit.

    Facing reality can't be any more difficult than mastering the art of using a Spacebar.


    Jennifer,

    Have you considered the possibility that Lonewacko has been screwed all this time by HTML problems?

    Perhaps he writes...

    We're never going to have the Open<space></space>Borders that Reason wants, so they might want to face up to reality, as difficult as that is for them.



    ...and the result is as we see.

  • Jennifer||

    Have you considered the possibility that Lonewacko has been screwed all this time by HTML problems?

    Considered and rejected. More likely: Lonewacko hates Reason because he, and only he, knows that their server wouldn't suck so badly if they're hire by-God AMERICAN programmers, instead of undercutting their own countrymen by hiring Mexican IT guys willing to work 12-hour shifts for nothing more than a pre-1982 copper penny and a stale burrito.

  • Jennifer||

    "They're" = "they'd." Lousy Mexicans.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Gee OneifbyLand

    Perhaps we can use u house or apartment to house these illegal aliens until we can deport them. You should be more than willing to do ur part to keept the invaders out.

  • ||

    If Reason opposes the Border-Fence, let me suggest the best way to block it: try to reduce Illegal Immigration by working to oppose corporatism and racial Power-Grabs. We're never going to have the OpenBorders [sic] that Reason wants, so they might want to face up to reality, as difficult as that is for them.

    Maybe the staff at Reason opposes the fence because it is nothing less than a useless boondoggle.

    Everybody, get real: The reason why so many people cross the desert to get to the US is because getting an honest-to-God work visa is like pulling your own teeth with a monkey wrench: It costs $100 just to apply, the government steals your money by rejecting your application (no refunds), there is no guarantee you will be given one when you need the work, plus the INS treat you like you just walked from under a stone. The problem is bureaucracy. People would rather come, work and return after the season, but since getting to the US was hard enough, there is a perverse incentive (courtesy of the Fedgov) to stay and bring the family along.

    Really, if getting a work visa was easy, people would just go to the US to work, send money home, and return for Christmas: no welfare, no "free" schools, no nothing. Hey, the US is EXPENSIVE: sending money back to (for instance) Mexico makes more sense than bringing the whole damned family. It is the Fedgov's fault and no other.

    Besides, the economy NEEDS the immigrants: makes many things much cheaper and affordable, making it possible for many to allocate resources to other needs. Take away that source of cheaper productive labor, and see just how much a lousy hamburger costs in the end.

  • lunchstealer||

    Ali,

    In all fairness to the border fences in question, nobody's shooting katyushas or hellfires back and forth across the Rio Grande.

    Well, except maybe for the DEA.

  • ||

    Wonderfully written, Francisco Torres. Do you mind if I shameless rip you off and send that into my local paper as a letter to the editor?

  • Ali (formerly iih)||

    lunchstealer,

    Most of the rockets cross from Gaza. Not the West Bank. Also, how is a wall going to stop rockets? May be it is good for stopping suicide attackers, probably not rockets.

  • ||

    "Besides, the economy NEEDS the immigrants: makes many things much cheaper and affordable, making it possible for many to allocate resources to other needs. Take away that source of cheaper productive labor, and see just how much a lousy hamburger costs in the end."

    Amen brother!

  • ||

    Wonderfully written, Francisco Torres. Do you mind if I shameless rip you off and send that into my local paper as a letter to the editor?

    Joe, copyright law makes it possible for me to send your ass to jail for the terrible crime of writing with your own hands and your own machine what amounts to a set of letters in a certain pattern, because I happen to own that pattern, now and forever, even if I did not create the letters, or the grammar.


    Of course you can use it. :-)

  • TLB||

    Re: WorkVisas, let me suggest just sticking to ElviraArellano's justification for ignoring our laws. It resonates with the DennisKucinich crowd!

    Besides, the economy NEEDS the [serfs/ChildLaborers/slaves]: makes many things much cheaper and affordable, making it possible for many to allocate resources to other needs. Take away that source of cheaper productive labor, and see just how much a lousy [hamburger/cotton/bottle of whale oil] costs in the end.

    If Reason were intellectually honest (and truly libertarian), they'd be discussing the full and true costs of the cheap labor they support. The fact that they do not - and, AFAIK, never have - shows that they're not really libertarians nor are they intellectually honest.

  • ||

    Well, Francisco, to avoid legal consequences, I'll make sure to write all the adverbs as adjectives.

    Other than that, I'll rip you off shameless.

    :-)

  • ||

    Since people who work with a gun to their heads are exploited for cheap labor, Lone Wacko proposes to solve the problem with more men wielding bigger guns.

  • ||

    "If Reason were intellectually honest (and truly libertarian), they'd be discussing the full and true costs of the cheap labor they support. The fact that they do not - and, AFAIK, never have - shows that they're not really libertarians nor are they intellectually honest."

    A perfect example of pretending to know what one does not actually know.

  • ||

    If Reason were intellectually honest (and truly libertarian), they'd be discussing the full and true costs of the cheap labor they support.

    Seems like a non sequitur to me. What does being "truly" libertarian have to do with discussing costs?

    Anyway, what would be the full and true costs of the cheap labor they supposedly support? I believe your comments stem from, mostly, a nonsensical view of economics. Cheaper labor is like anything cheaper: allows people to allocate the extra resources to other ends.

    Let me give you an example: Suppose you have a lawn, and there are kids in the street willing to mow it for you. You have $20.00 to spend. Louie charges $20.00, Huey charges $30.00 and Dewey charges $15.00, each to mow the same piece of real estate. Which one would you use? If you choose Dewey, you would be able to save at least $5.00 and as much as $10.00. Those $5.00 can be used by you for other ends, like buying food. You just got yourself a mowed field and food, for $20.00, instead of just a mowed field for $20.00, or no mowed field and $20.00 if only Huey was available. You became RICHER. So WHERE IS THE F&CKING COST that you ALLEGE?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement