Diary

NO! to Comprehensive Immigration Reform [UPDATE]...

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin.

Some folks can’t seem to understand why others of us won’t stand for a bill on immigration reform that address both “immigration status” and border security at the same time. The answer comes from Tucson, AZ.

But first, a little background.

Remember the battle over immigration reform when our nominee, and our President, both told us (along with all the Democrats) that we would get secure borders because that issue was addressed in the CIR bill?

Remember how some of us said the fence would never get built – see 1988 immigration reform – and folks chided us that we didn’t trust the government to follow the law?

Remember how, after CIR died, Congress passed a bill with only border security provisions like building a “virtual fence” along the Arizona border? Some of us questioned that one too.

Well, check out yesterday’s Arizona Daily Star – Tucson’s daily Highlights are mine.

Work on “virtual fences” planned for Arizona’s stretch of the U.S.-Mexican border has been brought to a halt.

The Interior Department has not granted the Homeland Security Department permission to use the land for constructing the surveillance towers that form the backbone of the virtual fences, said Barry Morrissey, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Washington, D.C.Without authorization to use the land, no work could begin, which prompted agency officials to instruct the lead contractor on the project, Boeing Co., to suspend activities until further notice, Morrissey said.

No date has been set to resume work.

WELL! Color me shocked! Shocked, I say.

So, President Bush reluctantly supported construction of the fence and signed the bill into law. And HIS Interior Department is refusing to authorize use of the land so the fence can be built.

I hope we remember this EVERY time a politician says, “Trust me…”


UPDATE 8/20/08 – 8:34pm MST

Google is your friend. I was killing some time so I googled “virtual fence”. Well, guess what! from the Washington Post

Washington Post Staff WriterThursday, February 28, 2008; Page A01

The Bush administration has scaled back plans to quickly build a “virtual fence” along the U.S.-Mexico border, delaying completion of the first phase of the project by at least three years and shifting away from a network of tower-mounted sensors and surveillance gear, federal officials said yesterday.

Technical problems discovered in a 28-mile pilot project south of Tucson prompted the change in plans, Department of Homeland Security officials and congressional auditors told a House subcommittee.

Though the department took over that initial stretch Friday from Boeing, authorities confirmed that Project 28, the initial deployment of the Secure Border Initiative network, did not work as planned or meet the needs of the U.S. Border Patrol.

[snip]

…officials said yesterday that they now expect to complete the first phase of the virtual fence’s deployment — roughly 100 miles near Tucson and Yuma, Ariz., and El Paso, Tex. — by the end of 2011, instead of by the end of 2008.

Tell ya what guys. Scrap the “virtual fence”. Build a “real fence”. If virtual fences were a good idea we’d have ’em around prisons. Do we? Ahhh, nope. Prisons have real fences. Hey, so do military installations. So does anything else that folks want to secure.

Let’s go low tech here. Let’s use concrete and wire and steel and razor wire. What the heck, lets use claymore mines. Take out the military charge and load ’em with phosphorescent paint balls. Put a transmitter on the mine so when it goes off it sends out a pulse (decidedly low tech) and send out a helicopter to look for glowing guys with brown stains in their pants.