border fence: Page 1
Sam Stein of HuffPost, lacking information, lets speculation run wild (Rand Paul, border fence) - 06/25/10
Sam Stein of Huffington Post offers "Rand Paul's Underground Electric Border Fence Baffles Cornyn, Libertarians" (huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/24/rand-pauls-underground-el_n_624535.html). It's one small step up from something you'd see on "Rock Bottom" (peekURL.com/vt2fh5z).
On his site, Rand Paul says:
A multibillion-dollar "virtual fence" along the southwestern border promised for completion in 2009 to protect the U.S. from terrorists, violent drug smugglers and a flood of illegal immigrants is a long way from becoming a reality, with government officials unable to say when, how or whether it will ever be completed.
More than three years after launching a major border security initiative and forking over more than $1 billion to the Boeing Co., the project's major contractor, Homeland Security Department officials are re-evaluating the high-tech component of the plan in the wake of a series of critical Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports warning lawmakers that the expensive undertaking is deeply flawed...
Appropriators dropped a requirement in the 2010 Homeland Security spending bill to rush the construction of a fence at the Mexican border, disappointing conservatives who pushed the project as a way to slow illegal immigration.
The conference report for the $42.8 billion appropriations bill left out language in the Senate's version that required the installation of 700 miles of the border fence by the end of next year. The fence requirement was inserted in July as an amendment sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). It was adopted with the support of most GOP senators and 21 Democrats.
But the conference report went with the House's position, which didn't include any requirements on the fence's construction.
To be frank, a fence would not be necessary if politicians realized that supporting illegal immigration would harm their careers. The way to help that come about is by asking them tough questions about illegal immigration on video; see the two-and-a-half year old plan in question authority, and ask your leaders why they haven't been promoting that plan but instead have been at the most encouraging you to engage in ineffective activities such as acting out at townhalls.
Senate makes e-Verify permanent for federal contractors (House might disagree; border fence) - 07/08/09
The Senate voted Wednesday to require federal contractors to use an electronic employee eligibility verification system and to set construction standards for the fence now going up along the border with Mexico... [the first] was adopted by voice vote after a motion to kill it failed, 44-53. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., offered the amendment, reflecting GOP frustration over the Obama administration’s delayed implementation of an executive order by President George W. Bush setting out the same requirement. The Obama administration has pushed back the Jan. 15 deadline for that order several times, most recently to September... Sessions’ amendment goes beyond the current rule to require federal contractors to check all employees using E-Verify, not just new hires...
The House might change it however.
The border-related amendment tries to prevent the Obama administration from cooking the books on what qualifies as a border fence;
Janet Napolitano falsely says "crossing the border is not a crime" (+border fence, Arpaio) - 04/20/09
And yes, when we find illegal workers, yes, appropriate action, some of which is criminal, most of that is civil, because crossing the border is not a crime per se. It is civil. But anyway, going after those as well.
The U.S. Code says she's wrong (link, excerpt at ): sneaking across the border can result in up to six months in jail for the first offense and up to two years for subsequent offenses. It most definitely is a crime; see also this, , and .
In addition to not calling her on that, King asked about the recent report discussing rightwing extremism but without pushing her on how vague it was or how closely it tracks reports from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Regarding the border fence:
And so we will complete the amount of fencing that the Congress has appropriated money for. We're only a few miles short right now. And all of the contracts have been let, the construction basically either has been begun or is just about to begin. It's just a couple of miles left.
Those following that saga will probably correctly point out how she's not telling the truth about that.
She also said the Obama administration is "actively considering" sending the National Guard to the border, and took a swipe at sheriff Joe Arpaio over his suggestion that the federal government enforces our immigration laws across the board.
Bennie Thompson, Dingell, Conyers, Reyes, Ortiz, other Democrats support Sierra Club lawsuit over border fence (DHS, environmental waiver) - 04/08/08
A cast of Congressional characters (all Democrats; listed below) intends to file an Amicus Curiae brief in the case where the Sierra Club and the Defenders of Wildlife are suing the Department of Homeland Security to prevent them from using apparently congressionally-mandated waivers that would let the DHS bypass environmental and related rules in order to build sections of the border fence.
Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee attempts to portray this as a Constitutional matter:
this waiver by the Secretary of Homeland Security is a direct challenge to Congress’s Constitutional role. The American people entrust Congress to ensure that the laws of this land are faithfully executed not excused by the Executive Branch
However, the plaintiffs and a quote from John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, makes the intent clear:
our responsibility to be stewards of the earth cannot be thrown aside for the sake of an ill-conceived border fence
The others involved are: John Dingell, James Oberstar, George Miller, Louise Slaughter, Bob Filner, Silvestre Reyes, Solomon Ortiz, Zoe Lofgren, Sheila Jackson Lee, Susan Davis, Raul Grijalva, and Yvette Clarke.
..."I don't think [immigration "reform"] is that difficult of an issue if Congress would have the maturity to sit down and really discuss it and cut out all of the mean rhetoric and really talk about what is a solution to this issue," Perry told a news conference.
Would a 42 foot ladder industry be such a bad thing? (border fence, Napolitano, Richardson, Perry) - 08/28/07
One of the more idiotic, childlike things you'll hear supporters of massive immigration say goes like the following recent quote from Texas governor Rick Perry:
"But the idea that you're going to build a 1,200-mile wall ... is idiocy. It absolutely would not work. If you build a 40-foot wall, then the 42-foot ladder industry takes off."
President Bush's new budget would pay for only about half of the 700 miles of U.S.-Mexico border fence he and Congress four months ago promised to build.
I've been told that one of the big blogging stories of 2006 was all the hacks, er, bloggers who were hired by campaigns. Well, guess what! This blog has just been hired by a politician you've probably heard of, and you'd never guess I'd be working for her, but I am.
Finally today I can announce: I've been hired to give the plain English, BS-free version of Gabrielle Giffords' speeches. The plucky Arizona legislator beat Randy Graf in November, sparking the massive Graf/Hayworth canard, and one of her top goals is finally "solving" the immigration crisis.
Here's my maiden attempt for "Gabby" (from the apparent transcript here):
Mr. Speaker, we have made some major accomplishments this week, but one area that particularly pertains to my district and to the State of Arizona has not been addressed and that's the crisis in illegal immigration. For too long Congress and Washington have failed to act and we must secure the border now.
(Gabby is saying all this to show that she's tough. Heck, some people might buy it so it's worth it.)
We must move this year with a sense of urgency to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package that's tough, effective, and practical.
(Here, Gabby is expecting the word "tough" to shine like a diamond in a lump of something or other. Of course, those "in the know" know that "comprehensive immigration reform" means a massive amnesty, but many of her constituents will only hear "tough". And, those "in the know" also realize the "sense of urgency" is needed because the natives are getting very, very restless.)
We need to increase border security using modern-era technology radar, drones, electronic surveillance. There must be more border patrol agents and more support for those border patrol agents.
(More "boob bait for Bubba", this of the "virtual", Bennie Thompson kind. Those "in the know" already ignored that paragraph or laughed how her omission of the real fence probably passed over the heads of the lumpen proles.)
We also need tough employer sanctions for those employers who are knowingly hiring people illegally and a guest worker program so that people can come in and work legally, safely, and return back to their home country.
(Of course, those "in the know" know that those sanctions would be as vigorously enforced as the current ones are: only when politically necessary and reluctantly at that. And, of course, Gabby lied: everyone knows most of our "guests" will never go home.)
Working to pass such measures will be my priority in this 110th Congress, and I look forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle on this important issue.
(Of course, the only ones excluded from that list of collaborators are a small number of Dems and a larger number of GOP House members who support what's in the U.S.'s best interests.)
And, they're tipping their hand even before beginning to push for the amnesty. From "Democrats to 'revisit' law creating border fence":
Democrats will look again at the legislation mandating 698 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border and might seek to scrap the plan altogether when they take control of Congress next year.Thompson's immigration-related votes get an F-, and some of his votes are listed here.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, told reporters this week that he expected to "revisit" the issue when he becomes chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee in the 110th Congress.
Mr. Thompson said the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) new border enforcement program, known as the Secure Border Initiative or SBI Net -- which includes monitors, cameras and other integrated surveillance systems -- is a viable alternative to fencing.
"We might do away with it, or look at [integrating it into] SBI Net," he said. "A virtual fence rather than a real one."
President Bush and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff have voiced similar concerns about building the fence...
However, from a May 4 article:
"Most blacks don't think migrant workers hurt their chances to get work, with the exception of a few industries -- most notably construction -- and they want to show solidarity with the immigrants," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat.
But, he said, people are put off by the rhetoric used to support a guest-worker program for illegal aliens already in the U.S.
"The most insulting thing you hear is that [immigrants] are doing jobs that we won't do ... as if the idea is that if we won't do a back-breaking job for $5.15 an hour without protections -- health care, workers' compensation -- [it] means we are shiftless and lazy. That is simply an insult," Mr. Thompson said...
Yesterday former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda spoke as part of the Los Angeles Public Library-associated Zocalo program. I attended (after first going to the library where I thought it would be and then rushing over to the Music Center where it actually was) and was able to ask him whether Mexico had a "Fifth Column" inside the U.S. His answer was somewhat in line with what you'd expect; feel free to skip ahead to read it.
JC discussed the political situation in Latin America and, among many other points, said he thinks there are two forms of leftism there: that represented by Castro, Hugo Chavez, and others, versus the other form represented by Lula, Bachelet, and others. He's not in favor of the former group, but he thinks LA needs more of the latter. (Later on he said, in effect, that it's good that there's a needler like Chavez around, but that no one had really appointed him to the role he fills.)
Then, he moved to the topic of immigration:
* Thinks that Fox's making of immigration "accord" one of his key issues was necessary, not just to get the accord but to prevent a "wall" from being built when Fox first started pushing it. He thinks a "wall" would have been built without Fox taking such a pose.
* Thinks Fox was right about going for an all-inclusive approach (what JC called "the whole enchilada" and what "our" politicians call "comprehensive").
* Thinks it's hypocritical for the U.S. to have its only migration treaty (emphasis on the bilateral nature of treaties) with their "top" enemy Cuba, but not to have one with their "best" friend to the south.
* Thinks the Senate massive amnesty scheme is "good".
* Is "relatively confident" that the "wall"/"fence" (he switched back and forth between those terms, as others do) won't be built.
* Thinks 9/11 gave the Bush administration a pretext to pull back from previous joint statements they'd made with Mexico vis-a-vis immigration.
I asked him about this blurb from 2002:
[Mexico's foreign minister Jorge] Castaneda said Mexican officials will begin rallying unions, churches, universities and Mexican communities... "What's important is that American society sees a possible migratory agreement in a positive light," Castaneda said. "We are already giving instructions to our consulates that they begin propagating militant activities -- if you will -- in their communities."
I mentioned that some of the organizers of the recent immigration marches have links to the Mexican government, and specifically refered to a non-organizer, the ACLU, being part of a group with other groups that have such links. (Later, from the floor, I mentioned that one of his former consuls also organized a march.)
AFAIK, the only paper that published the blurb above was the Houston Chronicle, and it was on the same page as two other blurbs. (The page where it was returns a 404, but you can find it by signing in and searching their archives for parts of the text). However, he refered to something appearing in the New York Times and said that Bush and Powell had been upset about what he said, and Powell had spoken to him about it. Since this was four years ago, he may have been confused over which quote this was.
In any case, he went on to defend the quote, saying that he doesn't think there's a Fifth Column in the U.S. and that he's not aware of any links between the Mexican government and the immigration march organizers. (I made it clear later from the floor that I wasn't saying those organizers were directed by Mexico, only that there were links). He supported Mexico's right to defend their people. He also supports the country of Mexico working with groups in the U.S., and he said that when Powell complained about his statement he told him that "I'm working for you on this matter": by getting such groups involved he could help acheive the "accord" that both Mexico and the U.S. government (just not most of the governed) want.
He thinks attempts to look for a Fifth Column are "barking up the wrong tree". He thinks it's OK for Mexico to be involved with U.S. groups provided it's done in an aboveboard, open, legal fashion. (The only problem is that, because of the corrupt press, such links aren't being publicized.)
Then, he engaged in a tu quoque argument, refering to U.S. meddling in Latin America.
In retrospect, there wasn't really much use in asking this question, aside from the fact that it probably made Andres Martinez a little uncomfortable to have someone mention facts that his newspaper, given its druthers, would rather not mention. As foreign minister, Castaneda was just doing his job. The question above, and many others, need to be asked of our elected officials and find out why they aren't doing their jobs.
In the hawk category, he supports the idea of a fence, an idea that does have its downside. Perhaps big fences in some areas and DMZ zones in others would be the better approach.