Saturday, June 2, 2007

Mexican American Wall

The US Senate has overwhelmingly endorsed the building of a fence along part of the border with Mexico, in an effort to curb illegal immigration.

The bill was approved by a vote of 80-19 - with leading Democrats such as Hillary Clinton joining the Republican majority that had proposed the measure.” (

There are a lot of topics that I am not clear on a side. Not because I do not have a firm grip on what they are but rather because of all of the possibilities and contingencies that they drag with them. The issue of elongating the fence between Mexico and US is one of those issues. In a lot of ways I see the proposition as a good thing, a tool to deter possible terrorists a method of deterring individuals to cross into a place from which they may never return; on the same token I wish there was another way, I wish the Berlin Wall of the Americas was not real, but it is.

First of all I am going to state my point in regards to why the elongation of a fence is a good measure. There is political pressure to create the illusion of safety for Americans. We as Americans do not want our children living in fear of a possible attack. The US/Mexico boarder has historically been a hot zone for human trafficking and well as drug trafficking. As many of you know recently the Mexican government caught one of the most notorious drug dealers in the world Javier Arellano Felix ( ) of the coats of Baja California; one of the heads of the Arellano Felix Organization which is considered by many to be the top importer of cocaine and marijuana into the US. Threats such as drug trafficking added to the terrorism threat arising from Al Qaeda sleeper cells and well as the common knowledge that hundreds of illegal immigrants any of which could be associated with these larger more deadly organizations slip into the US unnoticed is cause for alarm.

A second reason in favor of a wall is the safety of the individuals crossing. The boarder between US and Mexico is one of the most heavily guarded in the world. And there are threats on either side, both the Agents out in the field as well as to the individuals and families seeking a better future in the land of opportunity. Now you may ask how is a wall keeping them safe? It is keeping them safe in the sense that they are no longer going to attempt to cross in that area and hence by limiting the area that they can cross the Immigration Patrols can more safely apprehend them in areas where there is no wall present. This however is a double edge sword. Now on this same topic…where are they building the wall? I know it’s not in the wilderness of the near Chihuahuan Desert nor the Sonoran Desert. So where are immigrants going to go? If you guessed through the desert you are right.

A few years ago I was in “La Casa del Imigrante” in Tijuana, MX with a group from school and we asked the director if people crossed through to the US via Tijuana. He said that not as much anymore because of the wall that was built in the mid nineties. He said that the majority of people he took in where people who had been deported out of the US. So all of the people have been moving east, away from the California – Mexico boarder and crossing often times unprepared through some of the roughest terrain in North America. Now if we take a moment to put ourselves in the shoes of the immigrants the wall is bad. The wall is going to cause two main things; creativity and death.

People seeking to cross to the US are now forced to be more creative in there attempts; often times traveling in trunks of cars, in spare wheel compartments. A random story; I frequently visit Tijuana and one day after waiting in line for a few hours to cross over the boarder an agent asked me to open the hood of the truck I was driving. Are you kidding me? He had heard of cases of people switching v8 engines out of large trucks to smaller v6 or v4 engines in order to fit people under the hood, making horsepower a thing of the past. But seriously as humans we always attempt to break the rules, skew the system, and get an advantage. But is it worth a life?

Why consciously build a wall that will force people into situations that will cost their lives? Why not build a wall across the desert deter people towards more populated areas where at least they will be spotted if they get into trouble. I am an American and I like my safety but at what price? Is the point just so some representatives and senators can rest on their laurels and weather through the next elections? This wall idea is a patch that will not only cost tax dollars and ironically may even employ illegal immigrants to build it. Yes I want a “wall” no I do not want a wall. I want that protection of my family and my way of life but never at the cost of the other. That “other” whom I will never meet and never know is still my brother, my sister, my fellow human. A wall would help but a structure is nothing without the law and the options to assist it.

If we build a wall and not create some sort of temp-guest worker program or some laws that can assist individuals seeking a better future what kind of pathetic government do we have? Let’s patch the hole in the boat but not fix the engine. I support a “wall” with everything that includes both physical and legal. I want people to share in the opportunities we have in America through a legal means but also I want those who cannot go through a legal process because of other situations whether it be economic or personal to be able to have assistance and get help in doing things the “right” way. Will a wall help? Yes it will help voters decide who to pick; will it help you or me? No, you will be willfully taking the easy way out. You will be the pathetic one. Demand the government provide solutions, not patches, not excuses. We are all human and have human dignity…do not build a wall that can rob people of that, do not be ignorant because you know what is going to happen. Man has reached space do you honestly think just another wall will do the trick?

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