Thursday, October 05, 2006

Border Fence Not the Way to go According to Richardson

Yesterday, President Bush signed a homeland security bill which included $1.2 billion for a fence along the border with Mexico, which Republicans think will slow illegal immigration and improve border security. From the ABQ Journal, here's what Governor Richardson thinks about the project:
Gov. Bill Richardson says a plan to build 700 miles of fencing along the nation's southwest border is impractical, too expensive and sends the "wrong message" to Mexico.

"We need a comprehensive solution on the border. One that includes real border security provided by more Border Patrol agents as well as a sensible guest worker program for those already here," Richardson said in a written response to a Journal question this week.

[...]

"It's too expensive and I don't believe it is going to work," Richardson said. "It will be difficult if not impractical to build because this is very mountainous, rough terrain in many areas. And once built, it will simply funnel illegal immigrants into other areas. It also sends the wrong message to our neighbor and strong trading partner to the South."
Didn't George W. Bush see what happened with the Berlin Wall at the end of the 1980's? You can't hold people back who want freedom and a better life for their families. Governor Richardson hits the mark with his assessment of the border fence. It's a 2,000 mile border and a 700 mile fence will force the immigration problem into the areas where the fence isn't. On top of that, I doubt every mile of fence is going to be patrolled, so there will be places where the fence is defaced and damaged and allow Mexicans into our country. Ultimately, the fence is a waste of money and a poor foreign relations move.

Governor Richardson has consistently believed in a humane and reasonable guest worker program. I, too, believe this is the only way to go. If you treat people reasonably and with respect, they'll do the same for you. Governor Richardson has a proven track record of working with some of the world's worst despots to achieve results that all could live with, so he knows a little something about the issue. But if you treat people like criminals, then criminals is what you'll get. The United States of America has never been a prison, and if we start building fences to keep people out and let xenophobia take over, then the shining city on the hill is little bit dimmer. And it's been dim enough these past 6 years.

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