There are some incidences where my government acts on a minority's agenda and it all just leaves me shaking my head in astonishment. Building a wall between Mexico and the U.S.? Have we really thought this through, guys? People immediately point to "national security," as if that ends any and all questioning. How is that national security more important than, say, the hundreds of miles of unguarded coastline in the Pacific Northwest? Or the thousands of borders we share with the Canadians? Sure, they have a guard stop you along the way and ask how long you'll be gone. You may even have to flash a passport. Guess what, people? Terrorists have passports, too. And a 12-foot fence isn't going to stop one, either. We have to look beyond the superficial reasoning of "national security" and delve deeper. What is this really about? The economy.
But even if we understand the reasoning behind such a fence--which most of us don't--we aren't taking a hard enough look at the consequences. What happens when a town straddles both countries? How would you feel if suddenly a fence was erected across the middle of your town? Or even next to your neighboring town? You couldn't exactly go around it, at least not for a hundred-plus miles. What else could we be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on? Does a fence make a good neighbor? Does it build communities? Why shouldn't we, as a nation, be building communities with our neighbors? Isn't that the best deterrent from crime? A neighborhood watch, so to speak?
In terms of infrastructure, immigrants are still getting through, only now we have to repair the walls they cut and plow through. As President Obama's new secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano put it during her time as Arizona governor, "building a 50-foot fence will simply spur the invention of a 51-foot ladder."
What about the animals that trek through the land? We are creating superficial isolation, cutting across gene pools and selection through artificial walls. How will this affect the hundreds of birds, reptiles, and mammals--including the rare ocelot--that roam that border? Did you know that the EPA wasn't even allowed to look into and approve this first, because it came to fruition under the Homeland Security Act?
Not to even mention the symbolism of such a wall. Is it any wonder that Mexicans are angry? Hundreds die each year trying to get in, and this fence just increases the number that will die. It does not deter those attempting to cross the border. Like most American solutions, it is the pill after the disease. It might make your runny nose dry up for a few hours, but it's not going to stop the flu from happening again and again. You have to treat the cause! Why can't we get this through our heads? Is this the gift our generation will give to the next?
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