Border "Surge" Amendment To Immigration Bill Has Liberal Groups on the Fence

Credit: Phillip Capper/wikimediaCredit: Phillip Capper/wikimediaSome liberal groups have not responded in favor to the Senate's approval of the Corker-Hoeven amendment to the immigration reform bill, which advocate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) promised would leave the U.S. with the "most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall." One pro-immigration group has withdrawn their support from the Gang of Eight reform plan and others are considering similar action as a result of the amendment.

From USA Today:

Presente.org of Berkeley, Calif., has supported the Senate bill that allows the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants to get U.S. citizenship. But it says the bill has been tainted by the proposed flood of Border Patrol agents to secure the southwest border.

The group said the added presence of thousands more Border Patrol agents, fencing and surveillance technology will militarize border communities and make the legal, cross-border traffic even harder to maintain.

"As advocates for real immigration reform, we cannot, in good conscience, support a bill that's guaranteed to deepen the crisis for citizens and non-citizens living in border communities," said Arturo Carmona, executive director of Presente.org. "As the legislation moves to the House, we are drawing a line that we cannot and will not accept more extreme measures disguised as 'bi-partisan immigration reform.'"

The Corker-Hoeven amendment, which if implemented is estimated to cost at least $30 billion, would add 20,000 new border agents, several hundred miles of fencing, drones, Blackhawk helicopters, and a Call of Duty gamer's fantasy ensemble of surveillance technology to several "strategic" locations along the U.S.-Mexico border, a "breathtaking show of force," according to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). 

Here's what Corker-Hoeven would install in Del Rio, Texas:

(I) 3 integrated fixed towers. (II) 74 fixed camera systems (with relocation capability), which include remote video surveillance systems. (III) 47 mobile surveillance systems, which include mobile video surveillance systems, agent-portable surveillance systems, and mobile surveillance capability systems. (IV) 868 unattended ground sensors, including seismic, imaging, and infrared. (V) 174 handheld equipment devices, including handheld thermal imaging systems and night vision goggles. (VI) 26 mobile/handheld inspection scopes and sensors for check points...

The Del Rio entrenchment would be replicated by several others in designated sectors along the border, according to the amendment. It doesn't exactly read as a "border security" amendment to an immigration reform plan, as David Bier of the Competitive Enterprise Institute points out:

This is not simple “border security”—personnel-wise, it’s a mobilization proportional to the one in Afghanistan (it’s already being called “the surge“). But unlike that adventure, it was not provoked by any foreign aggression. Instead, this offensive is a response to hundreds of thousands of peaceful people moving to the United States to work — such a reaction is without even the slightest rationale.

Not to be misunderstood, border “security” is a legitimate and necessary function of government—border “invasions” are not. Border security would require immigrants and travelers to enter within legal avenues through which they could be processed and checked. Security’s role is to protect and aid movement between countries, which allows free markets to extend beyond legal jurisdictions.

You can read the 1,200-page bill here, Ed Krayewski's case for amnesty here, and Shikha Dalmia's argument for open immigration here.

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  • Tonio||

    "On the fence"

    I see what you did there, Bruschini. Well played, sir.

  • A Serious Man||

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) promised would leave the U.S. with the "most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    The Corker-Hoeven amendment, which if implemented is estimated to cost at least $30 billion, would add 20,000 new border agents, several hundred miles of fencing, drones, Blackhawk helicopters, and a Call of Duty gamer's fantasy ensemble of surveillance technology to several "strategic" locations along the U.S.-Mexico border, a "breathtaking show of force," according to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

    I guess this is an excellent example of knowing something is bad if John McCain and Chuck Schumer are for it.

  • ||

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) should visit Korea.

  • Jeff||

    And stay there.

  • Zeb||

    That was my first thought as well. Has he not heard of the Korean DMZ?

  • Lolo Stahko||

    Apples and Oranges. The wall on the DMZ is meant to imprison people, the proposed American wall is to protect Americans. It is the difference between the fence around a prison and the one around your house. And if your going to go there, have you noticed that it works pretty well? Doesn't that violate some libertarian law of physics?

  • TMF||

    Until Americans start wanting out, right? A house fence the owners always has the key this fences key will be in Washington DC.

  • Lolo Stahko||

    Yeah, and if we give people the right to own guns, they could start a militia and start lynching black people.

    /what if?

  • Hyperion||

    You are extremely naïve. The wall is to keep us in.

  • Lolo Stahko||

    South Korea is in some ways a paradise. I've never been there myself, but I have heard from friends that it is a beautiful(albeit crowded) land full of respectful people. Very little crime there. Not really any underclass. Of course, I'd bet that would change if they imported a few million non-Korean immigrants.

  • ||

    Very little violent crime, there's quite a bit of breaking and entering, a lot of un-reported drunk brawls, oh and a ton of youth suicide, but on net it's a great country.

  • Lolo Stahko||

    I haven't heard anything about "breaking and entering." Drunken brawls are one thing, it's not like you fear that you will be walking down the street minding your own business and get into one. As for suicide, again you don't have to fear it.

  • ||

    I didn't hear anything about it until I moved there. My apartment had three locks on it and the keys were rather different from our 2D pin-and-tumbler locks. People go around and try doors to see if they're locked, or they scale the very narrow spaces between buildings and go through windows.

  • fried wylie||

    or they scale the very narrow spaces between buildings and go through windows.

    Fucking Ninjas, man.

  • Hyperion||

    I have a friend from South Korea. It's no paradise, or he would go back. He doesn't like it there, at all.

  • InlineSkate||

    Not really any underclass? South Korea is incredibly classist.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Gosh, I dunno, a wall reminiscent of one constructed by one of the worst regimes in human history?

  • wareagle||

    you say bug, Johnny says feature.

  • Hyperion||

    a wall reminiscent of one constructed by one of the worst regimes in human history?

    McCain is sure that we can outdo them. On the wall and the worst regime.

  • fried wylie||

    The. Right. People.

  • DJF||

    And all this ignores the fact that aprox 40% of the illegals in the USA came with a visa and stayed. And this is all a guess since the government does not even track if people leave when their visa’s run out.

    There have been several Congressional mandates to create a system to see if people leave when their visa’s run out but not much has been done even after 9/11 when several of the terrorists were overstaying their visa’s

  • Hyperion||

    the government does not even track if people leave when their visa’s run out

    As long as you don't leave again, you would probably be ok. Leave, and you won't be able to come back. Not for 10 years anyway, if ever.

  • Gordilocks||

    Yet the NSA is monitoring all of us. Huh.

  • Hyperion||

    They're monitoring anyone who is online, makes phone calls, uses a bank, which is pretty much everyone, regardless of resident status.

    All I am saying, is that in some states, or cities, at least, you can come here illegally and stay, pretty much forever. But if you leave, you aren't getting back in after overstaying a Visa. Or if you get into any trouble, that will probably get your deported also.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Maybe Washington should considering not doing comprehensive, sweeping legislation that no one understands or even reads before voting into law.

  • Lord Humungus||

    be careful what you wish for.

  • ||

    Holy fuck they're going to put an army of accountability-free cops on the border (beyond what they have now) along with military security, and for some reason people think these fucking pigs will only fuck with immigrants? Enjoy your fucking police state.

    And fuck John McCain and Chuck Schumer 50 ways to Sunday. Oh my god what a match made in hell.

  • John||

    Don't worry. It will never happen. They have written a bunch of shit that will never happen into the bill to try to fool the rubes.

    Just because a bill says "we shall do X" doesn't mean it will happen. All of those cops have to be funded and that comes from a totally different bill. Good luck with that.

  • Tim||

    The ones on the Canadian border have NOTHING to do but fuck with people.

  • John||

    Come on. There are counterfeiters and people who are dumb enough to try to use cash for something to fuck with.

  • Tim||

    The Canadian menace is well documented. The Canadian guys don't give you half the trouble the US guys do.

  • John||

    I have gone across the border in Vermont a ton of times. The Canadians just let me in. The fucking CPB treat me like a criminal most times.

  • Tim||

    Amen brother. Canadians welcome you. American entry has traffic jams thanks to all the cars they 'randomly' pull aside to search.
    Terrorists caught to date: 0.
    Beer, candy and stuffed toys seized: Billions.

  • Hyperion||

    Exactly this. When I leave the US and venture abroad, I am almost always received very cordially in other countries. But every time I come back here, they are the biggest fucking pricks I have ever seen. I always want to say 'What the fuck are you going to do, not let me back into my own fucking country?, assholes.

  • ||

    When I crossed into Quebec years ago from New Hampshire, the Canadians couldn't have been less interested. But here in Washington, they have given me shit every time, and it's the Americans when coming back who don't give a shit.

  • Hyperion||

    Try coming back into the US through Miami, and see what that is like. You'll have to really maintain your self control to not get taken into the little room and detained.

    The only reason I don't go fucking ballistic on them is that when I one day make my final escape I don't want them fucking with me too much on my way out.

  • DEG||

    I wonder what everyone else's secret is.

    When I go north, only once have I not been harassed by Canadian customs. Coming back into the US, no problems.

    I'm heading to Quebec City next week, so I'd like to put Reasonoids' advice to work.

  • Careless||

    The only time I've ever had a problem getting into Canada, my friend (the car's driver) was wearing a hat that said "Mafia" for some reason.

    Never had a problem with the crossing back

  • ||

    Oh yes, I know that very well.

  • Zeb||

    A lot of weed comes from Canada. But in my book, that is just fucking with people too.

  • John||

    It doesn't have them on the fence at all. They know the fence will never get built and none of the security measures will ever get implemented.

  • Enough About Palin||

  • John||

    If it wasn't so true, it would be funny.

  • Enough About Palin||

    It is pretty amazing.

  • Lord Humungus||

    doesn't the immigration bill have several 14th amendment issues?

    eg - one law for them, one law for "us" regarding misdemeanors, representation (free lawyer) for civic hearings.

  • John||

    Silly you thinking your rights are somehow determined by the Constitution. No, you have the government and the Supreme Court say you do. And since when do Americans who are not gay or minority or politically connected have any "rights"?

  • SugarFree||

    And, of course, remember that "border" somehow means "100 miles away from border" now.

  • John||

    Or any port of entry, which is nearly every commercial airport in America.

  • Tim||

    Yeah I forgot that. I live in a wild northern bordertown. What a rebel I am.

  • Tim||

    We gonna build us an ice wall 700 feet high to keep the others out.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    How does this work in cities like El Paso?

  • John||

    The CBP can pull over anyone they have a reasonable suspicion about their immigration status. In reality, the CBP doesn't have the assets to be out harassing people in El Paso. But theoretically they could.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Thanks, John. That's simply incredible -- we have at least one city where the Constitution simply doesn't apply.

  • John||

    The border authorities are outragous. They can seize your computer, keep it for a few days or weeks while they copy the hard drive and then go through everything at their leisure, for no reason at all other than they can.

    And the new menace is prepaid debit cards. So what CBP wants to do is install readers and make everyone scan their debit cards to ensure none of them have a value of over $10,000. Now of course you can't tell a prepaid debit card from a credit card. So they will just have everyone scanning all of their credit cards.

    Right now the banking industry is having a stroke and holding it up. But that is the plan. We have to stop bulk cash smuggling you know.

  • SugarFree||

    We have at least one whole state: Rhode Island.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Why RI? What border does RI share with a foreign country*?

    *Not sure if a joke, my sarc detector isn't equipped to detect certain levels of deadpan.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The border includes our border with international waters.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I see -- if that's the case, then I suppose our Eastern seaboard and Pacific coast are themselves bordering international waters, and thus around a third of our population lives in a theoretically Constitution-free zone.

    Wonderful.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Better yet, in STATES LIKE FLORIDA. The whole state falls under that, yet we don't border any country.

  • Zeb||

    Why do they have to keep doing stupid bullshit like this. The border will never be secure if people want to cross it. It's fucking huge and mostly unpopulated. We will never be able to get all, or even most of illegal immigrants out of the country without imposing a massive police state on everyone including mandatory ID and checkpoints. Just legalize the people who are here peacefully working and let anyone in who has work lined up. Any attempt at more restrictive immigration is going to end up either with the laws largely ignored as they are now, or a massive police state which will fuck with citizens just as much as anyone else.

  • John||

    But Zeb, if you want to just grant people VISAs to work here, you are nothing but a slaver. The only options apparently are citizenship or total illegality.

    This whole thing is a new low. Everyone involved is completely disingenuous. The supporters of this bill don't give a fuck about the people living here illegally. They just want Dem voters and the excuse to fund a larger police state.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    One does get the feeling from this bill that it is more about creating new voters than it is about enabling opportunities to work.

  • John||

    If they came out tomorrow and said "okay, everyone here illegally can have a green card but if you take the green card, you are not getting citizenship. You have to go home and apply for that, most of the opposition to it would go away.

    But that will never happen because they don't want workers, they want voters.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    What neither side of the debate wants to admit is that most of the people immigrating here have no desire to stay and become Americans -- and as far as I'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with a patriotic Mexican coming here to work and improve him or herself. If after some years that patriotic Mexican likes what he sees and decides he wants to become a patriotic American instead, that is also fine. But when it comes right down to it, patriotic Mexicans are what made Mexico what it is today, and I have no interest in creating another Mexico in the US.

  • John||

    That is good point. A lot of the Mexicans are young men and want to work here for a few years, save some money, and then go home and live on it for the rest of their lives. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    Some of them rally are criminals who come here to deal drugs or do whatever it is they do for their gangs. One of the more ironic things is that the reason why Central America has gangs is because their expats came to America, joined gangs and then went home and started their own local branches. Gangs are an infection we gave the Central Americans.

    If we just give them Green cards, it won't be as big of a deal if they turn out to be criminals. We can still deport them. But make them citizens and we are fucking stuck with them. We can never deport them no matter what they do.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Not only are we stuck with them -- we're stuck with whoever they vote for.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Good point about the gangs, btw. When I was growing up in PR, petty theft was a problem but mass lawlessness and gangs weren't problems. Puerto Ricans from NY started to come back, and suddenly San Juan has a problem with gangs.

  • Hyperion||

    And revenue.

  • wareagle||

    and what do we do with the folks who came in legally? Why do they get shoved aside in the name of pandering to hispanics?

  • Calidissident||

    What do you mean what do we do with them? Could you elaborate on what you meant by that?

  • Lolo Stahko||

    We could build a two-wall fence across the entire fucking border for less money than it costs for ONE MONTH of war in Afghanistan. Look at Israel, they have a smaller fence and it has worked very well at keeping illegals out. We already have "mandatory ID" in everything but name. Try applying for a job, they'll want your driver's license or social security number. Now if we actually prosecuted employers who hired under the table we could get most illegals to self-deport, but we don't. And if it's a police state you don't want, then you should oppose this bill. Hispanics commit crimes at three times the white rate, and so you will either have to choose much more crime or much more police, and most likely you will get both.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I don't know that I want a physical wall separating us from a country that we currently have good relations with (or that such a thing is necessary), but it's certainly preferable to an "e-fence", suspension of the Constitution (evidently for whole states per Sugarfree and Pro_L), and the new impositions of the current bill.

  • Hyperion||

    massive police state which will fuck with citizens just as much as anyone else

    This. It's very clear, this is exactly their intentions. Could it really be any more clear?

  • Hyperion||

    Why do they have to keep doing stupid bullshit like this

    Umm, it's what they do. If not for doing stupid shit, what do you think they would do? Real work towards making this a better country for everyone and to protect the rights of the citizens? Bwahahhahhaa!

  • Lolo Stahko||

    It's good these people showing their true colors. No one should believe any of this. The government is only as good as the people who run it, if the Democrats don't want to secure the border, they won't, they'll throw that money away. And this will probably mean the end of capitalism in America. 46 million new immigrants in 20 years, the vast majority of whom will be democrat voters. No, TEAM RED isn't perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than a third world socialist hellhole. Think I'm overreacting? Look at the left's reaction to Hugo Chavez.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Agreed. Libertarians don't like to hear it since it conflicts with their image of standing outside of conventional US politics, but in the context of American politics they have far more in common with conservatives than with liberals. The states considered conservative do far better on freedom measures than the states considered liberal, and as you say, the American left harbors a disturbing sense of camaraderie with some of the worst offenders in terms of liberty violations (albeit not as bad as Eurotrash leftists).

  • fried wylie||

    but in the context of American politics they have far more in common with conservatives than with liberals.

    I consider myself fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

    If your freedoms don't cost me anything, have at it.

    Doesn't really have anything in common with either party, since Conservatives tend towards social conservatism, while Liberals lean on fiscal liberalism to support their social liberalism.

  • Calidissident||

    "And this will probably mean the end of capitalism in America."

    Of all the things, this is the end of it? That's pretty arbitrary. Even if you consider Team Red better than Team Blue, and I'm not saying that isn't the case, I think it's pretty convenient to place the line dividing "capitalists" from "non-capitalists" in the 2.4 inches separating them. Were you not awake during the Bush Administration? Pretty hard to call that capitalism

  • Lolo Stahko||

    Bush's capitalism is a lot farther than two inches away from what most Democrats want. Again, look at Hugo Chavez. From the Nation:

    But I’ll be perverse and argue that the biggest problem Venezuela faced during his rule was not that Chávez was authoritarian but that he wasn’t authoritarian enough. It wasn’t too much control that was the problem but too little.

    Spend a little time on the Nation website. Seriously. They want to take ALL guns away, subject every company in the nation to racial quotas, and raise taxes to over 75%. You'll quickly find our arguments with the Stupid Party over Heroin and Homosexual marriage aren't that unimportant.

  • Calidissident||

    First off don't say "our." I know who you are, and you've made it clear you're not a libertarian.

    Bush massively increased spending and the deficit, with approval of the Republican Congress, created new entitlement programs, increased regulations, helped inflate the housing bubble, and passed TARP. Not that Democrats are better, but it goes to show that he, and the vast majority of Republican politicians, are far closer to Barack Obama than they are to Ron Paul on economic issues.

  • Rich||

    (I) 3 integrated fixed towers. (II) 74 fixed camera systems (with relocation capability), which include remote video surveillance systems. (III) 47 mobile surveillance systems, which include mobile video surveillance systems, agent-portable surveillance systems, and mobile surveillance capability systems. (IV) 868 unattended ground sensors, including seismic, imaging, and infrared. (V) 174 handheld equipment devices, including handheld thermal imaging systems and night vision goggles. (VI) 26 mobile/handheld inspection scopes and sensors for check points

    When does this go into action?

  • ChrisO||

    John McCain comparing our our southern border to the Berlin Wall. And meaning it in a positive way.

    Fucking derp.

  • Hyperion||

    I have this very strong feeling that about 99% of immigrants are going to hate this bill very much in a few years. Here's how I envision a typical scenario at McCains New Berlin Wall:

    A newly legal immigrant is going home to Mexico for a holiday.

    Border Patrol Agent: Papers!

    Immigrant: Yes sir, here you go.

    Border Patrol Agent: Mr. Rodriguez, please wait here.

    Immigrant: Ok

    Border Patrol Agent: (after brief hiatus) Where are you going and why?

    Immigrant: To see my family for the holiday.

    Border Patrol Agent: Hmm, I don't think so. Our systems say that you made 42,000 last year and you still owe 3000 in taxes. You'll need to pay now or come with me.

    Immigrant: But... I don't have 3000 dollars, I just wanted to go home to see my...

    Border Patrol Agent: Shutup! Don't move! Is that your dog?!

    Immigrant: Ye...

    Border Patrol Agent: *BANG!*, *BANG!*, *BANG!**BANG!**BANG!**BANG!**BANG!

  • Lolo Stahko||

    I doubt that very much. Firstoff, democrats will gut this. Not very many of these immigrants will owe that much in taxes considering their low incomes and fertility. And I'd think they would be used to such treatment, that is the reality in Mexico if you want to cross state lines.

  • Calidissident||

    Don't underestimate the Democrats desire to ramp up the police state

  • Hyperion||

    The security part of this will never be gutted. The fascists in both parties want this. Plus it's chock full of crony bucks for their friends.

  • Careless||

    The security part of these things is always gutted. Over and over. You can guess about the other parts, but this is the one sure thing.

  • Heddin_South||

    Not enough bangs, I'm sure their clips hold at least 9 rounds

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    The Berlin Wall was originally sold to those on the east side as a way to keep the Western riff-raff out. I never thought I would live long enough to see the US build its own version of that wall, much less fall for the same old song-and-dance as justification.

    I don't care and have never cared if foreigners come here to work, play, study, or even live for prolonged periods. I sure as hell don't want to have to carry a national ID card or internal passport, or have to go through checkpoints in my own country, in the name of catching "illegals."

    The one thing that should remain very hard -- acquiring US Citizenship -- is allegedly being made easier by this bill. The better path is to welcome all comers, with little or no paperwork, as long as they behave themselves and obey our laws. Be tough on the criminals, but end policies -- such as the Drug War -- which provide incentive to criminals to come here and operate in the first place. End policies, such as welfare programs, which allow foreigners to sponge off American society: Leave charity to the private sector. Let foreigners remain foreigners and require us ALL to pay our own way. Admit people to the club of US citizens only after they have demonstrated their understanding of a free society and a commitment to maintaining and improving the one we have here.

    That's all the immigration reform we need. Why does it take some 1200 pages to tell us we can't have it?

  • fried wylie||

    Why does it take some 1200 pages to tell us we can't have it?

    Legislators gotta legislate.

  • fried wylie||

    I knew we had an extra $30bil sitting around and that all this budget deficit nonsense was just that.

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