I posted an article from the New York Post on my Facebook page that talked about the Border Fence in El Paso. One of the commenters, an El Pasoan, over 20 years ago, who now lives the DFW area, is opposed to the wall. While writing my response, a response to someone out-of-touch with the whole border dilemma, I decided to pen this blog instead.
I would say that this is written as more of an informative piece aimed at educating rather than a vent or a retort written in frustration. I have an enormous interest in our border security. I spend just about all of my free time hunting, scouting, driving, or walking on the border between Fort Hancock, Texas and Columbus, NM.
What the Media Doesn’t Tell You!
You should really spend some time on the border where there is no fence. The media doesn’t cover a tenth of what reality is down where there is no fence. And even though a person may live here, or any other border city with an established fence (that is not a sanctuary city), most do not know the reality of what actually happens along the border. El Paso is not where the problem is.
I wonder why the caravans didn’t come here? Probably something to do with, Texas, a giant Fence, Texas, not being sanctuary anything, Texas, not liberal, and Texas.
The areas that are not covered by a Fence are the places where bad and evil and vile things happen. Those are also the places that agents keep finding the dead from malnourishment and dehydration, not to mention other malicious activities. Those people then have to be transported to medical facilities that are so far away that now your taxes are paying for a helicopter MedEvac. How much does that cost? A lot!
Here is some perspective…the ambulance from my house to the hospital for my wife after a ruptured cerebral aneurysm was over $1000. A 15 minute travel. Supplies used that were consumed: 1 c-collar; 1 IV kit; 5ish gallons of diesel. And I got no tax break for that one!
The illegals that are caught near El Paso, Santa Teresa, Socorro, Tornillo…those are mostly poor people that can’t afford a passport or visa and are trying to get over here and work. The illegal contraband intercepted near here are usually at the Ports of Entry (POEs), the legal border crossing points. This is because the risk of getting caught crossing the fence is actually higher than just crossing at the POE, even with drug dogs.
The ones crossing illegally that are caught East and West of the Fence are not all bad either. I do know that these are the areas where the majority of people on the terrorist watchlists and the ones coming here to do harm are caught.
Spending Time on the Border
As an avid hunter, I spend most of my time outdoors. Not having land of my own, I depend solely on public land hunting. The International Boundary Water Commission allows bird hunting along the Rio Grande in a lot of areas. Areas that are void of population and are in the middle of nowhere. In New Mexico, the Bureau of Land Management provides me access to thousands of acres of desert to hunt. Almost 60 miles of that is US-Mexico border.
I spend thousands of hours a year standing next to the fence or walking along the border both in Texas and New Mexico. I spend countless hours driving out in areas that have no fence along the border. I constantly find people just walking across the border because they just wait for the agents to drive by and then cross. I have even caught some hiding in the tumble weeds in Mexico waiting to cross. I’ve also been asked to sponsor people after I catch them hiding. It’s always humorous to see their reaction when I tell them to meet me at the POE. For some reason that’s when I usually get called names by them, to include racist.
I have spent so much time with the agents and Sheriffs departments that I have been able to learn what reality is, where the crossing points of different types of people are, and techniques they are using. I have them on speed dial to assist with detection and/or apprehension of any crossings I may witness.
The Fence (the physical barrier) is most definitely an asset and should be built from the Gulf to the Pacific. Some of the effects a Fence will have are: Forcing people to use a POE; Making the “coyotes” work harder at having to conduct human trafficking; Limiting the amount of time drug runners have to get the drugs across; Increasing the response time of agents to make an apprehension; and Reducing the amount of potential risk to Border Patrol Agents by putting them into desolate and treacherous places where they have no support.
The word “Wall” is misunderstood as well. The “Wall”, in respect to the southern border, is a collection of physical barriers AND Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance (ISR) systems (which I will not go into what they are in this article). These systems and barriers work in concert together to form a WALL of security along an unprotected border.
There is a great number of ways that the “Wall” can be effective. The Fence is just one piece of the Wall and is most definitely needed. And when the ISR assets are added to the equation, the amount of money spent to protect the border decreases.
Taxes, Laws, & DACA
I hate to watch my tax money go to things that should already exist or go to studying things like “The Dating Behavior of the Elderly” ($374k in 2018) or spending 1.2 million studying the “Social Behavior Habits of the Rhesus Monkeys from Asia”. However, watching the government pay upwards of 10 billion dollars of taxpayer’s money annually on illegal immigrants is even more angering. Yes, I concede that no one can provide an accurate dollar amount because there is no way to know how many illegal immigrants are in the US. And THAT is a problem.
Even though, at my best guess, there is probably 60% of the illegals in the US that are paying taxes, again however, they are still here ILLEGALLY. Apply for a Visa. Get your citizenship. Do something to take care of your family, but DO IT LEGALLY. This is the whole DACA BS. There is a path to doing it legally, but it doesn’t work unless they get up and report themselves here and apply to be here legally.
And so here we are. Since nobody enforced the immigration policy that President Clinton signed into law and now we have an “immigration crisis”, I have a recommended solution. Anyone that has been paying their taxes, has a SSN, is not a criminal, and is a productive member of society, then ta-da!, you get a Visa!!! This includes students as well. There are many types of Visas and the decision for which Visa one chooses needs to be made based upon the circumstances the person is in. But the Visa has an expiration date and by the time it expires, one of two things happen; citizenship application submitted or deportation.
If they have been in trouble with the law, unemployed, a burden on society, or collecting US taxpayer money through some handout program meant for citizens, then they need to be deported and try again…legally.
Back to the Fence
The construction of a Fence is a one time cost. It’s not an annual cost. The hiring of trained personnel to use the ISR equipment would, however, be an annual cost. But, that cost can be decreased by training current personnel and reducing the number of patrolling agents. This will in turn reduce costs in many other areas…maintenance, fuel, etc.
To pay out more money each year than it would cost to build the “wall” is ridiculous. Would it be more than 5 billion? Yes. But again, that is a one time cost over a few years of construction.
If the amount of the cost of this whole project is an issue, which it is for me, how about somebody make public what the actual cost of everything is. Line by line. Why is it 5 billion? There are figures out there that I’ve read trying to do this. “The money will only get a 215 mile wall.” Or, “it’s only going to pay for 110 miles and more Agents.” We have all heard these in the news.
Ya know, I bet that some great American out there will do it for less money if the taxpaying citizens of the United States of America could see the details of costs. Labor, materials, land purchase, etc. Is there someone in the government benefitting from an overpriced Fence? I don’t know, but I would absolutely put money on it in Vegas. And we better not import a thing for it either!
(…breathing…and I digress)
Asylum and Bad Policy
For people to cross illegally and use the guise of seeking asylum is atrocious. There is a process to asylum. There is no reason to just cross and say you are seeking asylum…oh, wait. Yes there is. The US won’t send them back. They will give them three hots and a cot for free, medical attention for free (by free I mean we, the taxpayer, paid for it), and then let them into the country with a hope that they will stay in contact with the government so they can be notified of their court date. Or, that their case has been disapproved and they must go.
The people coming into our country are not all bad. But unless we can control OUR own border, a border to a country that I live in and fought for, bad human beings from other countries that don’t give any care about our values and only want to do evil, have an easy way to come across the border.
These are just a some of the reasons that I, and many, many others believe we need a physical Fence to work in conjunction with other assets to form a Wall that will protect our Great Nation.
The American Dream
I do not feel nor do I believe that we should limit nor should we deny the ability of people seeking the prosperity we enjoy here. The freedoms we share as Americans are awesome. They protect me so I can write this. They protect me to be able to hunt, grow, and gather my food just as our ancestors did. They protect me in just about all things I do.
I believe that everyone deserves a chance at the freedoms my Brothers and Sisters in uniform have given so much to protect. I want to share the American lifestyle and dream with people of other countries that do not have them. However, just as Americans here have a set of values and follow the rule of law, so must immigrants wishing a better life for themselves and their families.
I welcome all people of all lands to come to America. I do it with open arms. As long as they come here with good intentions, legally, and do not try to change my country and lifestyle to the one you just ran from.
God Bless our Border Patrol Agents out patrolling the northern and southern borders day in and day out. God Bless our Coast Guard out on the seas protecting the coasts all day, every day. God Bless the Law Enforcement Officers protecting our way of life everyday. God Bless the US Military who are doing their best to keep evil overseas and out of our house. All of them, volunteering to be part of something bigger than themselves and then put themselves in harm’s way to protect this Nation That WE Love.
And GOD BLESS AMERICA! Land of the Free, because of the Brave!