On The Border Fence

I wanted to take a moment to talk about the fence, because I think a lot of people misunderstand how it works and what it’s supposed to do.

First off, the fence, in and of itself, is not designed to stop illegal immigrants. If you just set up a fence, people will find a way to get under, over or through it.

So, what’s the point, then? Well, these double fences have sensors on them and are designed to slow people down. Basically, it works like this: the illegal comes up to the gate, cuts the fence, climbs over, etc., and a sensor warning goes off that alerts the border patrol.

Then, even if the illegal manages to make it through the first layer of fencing, there is a second layer of fencing to make it over — and meanwhile, the border patrol is showing up to detain him. So, as you can see, it’s not a matter of having a 11 foot ladder for a 10 foot fence.

Put another way, the fence is a force multiplier. It doesn’t stop the illegals cold, but it delays them enough to make sure the border patrol can stop them or forces them to go way out of their way, to difficult places to cross.

Now, what about a virtual fence? Well, in some places, a virtual fence may make a lot more sense than a real fence. For example, let’s say you have a farmer who gets water for his crops and cattle from a river on the border: do you build a real fence that blocks that farmer off from his water or a virtual fence? You build a virtual fence.

The problem with the virtual fence is that people have such minimal faith in the government on this issue that they believe that the government would deliberately build a virtual fence in areas where it can’t be effective, like in urban areas near the border, where illegals could quickly get across the border and blend into the population.

Unfortunately, that’s just a trust issue — a well founded one — and there’s nothing that can be done about that until someone gets into the White House whom we can rely on when it comes to enforcing immigration law.

But wait, why aren’t they fencing off every square inch of the border? Well, you really don’t have to do that. You see, there are large parts of the border area with Mexico that are “no man’s land,” where it’s very difficult to cross already and it’s not near any cities or towns. Do you still patrol it? Yes, but do you need to build a wall? Probably not.

In summary, the fence, in of itself, won’t secure the border. However, if the fence is built out, it will make the job of the border patrol much easier.

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