Here's Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff yapping away in favor of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Illegal migrants really degrade the environment. I've seen pictures of human waste, garbage, discarded bottles and other human artifact in pristine areas," Chertoff said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "And believe me, that is the worst thing you can do to the environment."
It's a funny thing: You stretch out the possible points of entry across a desert for desperate people who are traveling northward to work, you make sure there isn't any water or Johnny-on-the-Spots, and the next thing you know, those bastards are junking up the joint!
Oh, and how's that wall coming anyway?:
The head of the agency that oversees the Border Patrol said Wednesday he cannot promise to meet President Bush's goal of completing a Southwest border fence when he leaves office in January.
The plan calls for finishing building 670 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border by year's end; so far, 344 miles are complete. But Ralph Basham, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told lawmakers he only could assure that the remaining portions of fence would be under contract or under construction when the Bush administration is over.
He also said the agency needs an additional $400 million to complete the project. Basham cited higher costs for fuel, steel and labor.
"We face many challenges in achieving our goal," Basham told the House Homeland Security Committee….
Since 2006, Congress has set aside $2.7 billion for the fence. But there's no estimate how much the entire system—the physical fence and technology—will cost to build, let alone maintain.
The technology portion has run into problems. It once was billed as a relatively easy plan to use off-the-shelf technology to help federal agents spot illegal crossers. When a GAO investigator toured a stretch of the "virtual fence" three months ago, it took 45 minutes to get the surveillance system up and running. The system includes towers with radar, cameras and communications equipment.
I'm just skylarking here, but I'm curious as to whether building a fence in the middle of nowhere disturbs those pristine areas Chertoff seems so worried about? More here.
reason writes a lot about immigration. Especially how it's a good thing and why there should be more of it. Read our archive here.
Earlier this year, Drew Carey and reason.tv tallied up the "the costs of securing our Southern border" by building that there border wall that is taking so long to build and doesn't seem to work even where it is up and running.
The short answer is: The costs are high, the benefits low, and the implications are absolutely antithetical to just about everything that America stands for. Watch the slightly longer answer in video form by clicking below.