Schneier on Security
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June 13, 2006
U.S./Mexican Security Barrier
Great article comparing the barrier Israel is erecting to protect itself from the West Bank with the hypothetical barrier the U.S. would build to protect itself from Mexico:
The Israeli West Bank barrier, when finished, will run for more than 400 miles and will consist of trenches, security roads, electronic fences, and concrete walls. Its main goal is to stop terrorists from detonating themselves in restaurants and cafes and buses in the cities and towns of central Israel. So, planners set the bar very high: It is intended to prevent every single attempt to cross it. The rules of engagement were written accordingly. If someone trying to cross the fence in the middle of the night is presumed to be a terrorist, there's no need to hesitate before shooting. To kill.
As such, the Israeli fence is very efficient. The number of fatalities from terror attacks within Israel dropped from more than 130 in 2003 to fewer than 25 in 2005. The number of bombings fell from dozens to fewer than 10. The cost for Israel is in money and personnel; the cost for Palestinians is in unemployment, health, frustration, and blood. The demographic benefit -- keeping out the Palestinians -- is just another positive side effect for the Israelis.
No wonder the fence is considered a good deal by those living on its western side. But applying this model to the U.S.-Mexico border will not be easy. U.S. citizens will find it hard to justify such tough measures when their only goal is to stop people coming in for work -- rather than preventing them from trying to commit murder. And the cost will be more important. It's much easier to open your wallet when someone is threatening to blow up your local cafe.
Posted on June 13, 2006 at 6:50 AM
• 83 Comments
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I am not sure that the fall in Anti-Israeli attacks is specifficly just to the wall.
I suspect the recent election and the run up to it had a considerable infulence on the number of attacks.
Likewise the fact that Israel had for a time backed off from destroying Palestinian property, and random cross boarder sniping might well have had an effect.
The thing to remember is that East Germany built a wall through Berlin, although it was considered almost impregnable, people still got across the boarder in one way or another. The economic cost of this wall supposedly contributed to the downfall of it's Government.
Likewise the French built a large frotified wall along the Franco-German boarder to keep the Germans out after the first World War. It failed as well (the Germans went through Belgeium instead).
The problem with static instalations is that those who wish to circumvent them can take dynamic activities that the original Wall designers did not take into account.
Do I think it will be effective at any level, in the short term maybee in the long term not a chance.
Given the anti-Semitic slant to the article ("The demographic benefit -- keeping out the Palestinians -- is just another positive side effect for the Israelis.") I am astonished you quote it.
Yeah, what exactly is a "demographic benefit"?
I don't think the article has any type of anti-Semitic slant whatsoever. I don't think that by saying that the Israelis want to keep the Palestinians out he meant to imply that Israelis have a secret agenda. If you find something nefarious about that goal, that's something else -- some people do, and it's a matter for legitimate argument -- but I don't think anyone in Israel would exactly deny that the wall being built to prevent Palestinian infiltration is being built, well, to prevent Palestinian infiltration.
As someone who has long been intensely conflicted about the wall, I thought the article was an excellent treatment of a subtle issue.
I'm apologize for taking the bait and letting a non-crypto-related argument break out here, I just wanted to make it clear that Moshe was not speaking for all supporters of Israel (which I assume he is).
You point to the real weakness of ANY border security we are going to attempt. Even putting troops down there. WHAT are they going to do?
I cannot imagine the press furor if we start blasting holes in illigal immigrants at the border. On the flip side, if the worst that is going to happen is i get escorted back across for another try...well....that's not much different than what we have now. It is a no-win situation from a security standpoint.
The consequences for crossing the border illegally have to be higher than the perceived opportunity to make money in the USA in a way that apparently isn't currently possible in Mexico. There are 3 ways to do this:
1) Shoot to kill
2) Remove the opportunity in the USA
3) Create opportunity in Mexico
Neither a fence nor some magic ID card will directly address any of the 3. If Mexico's government were stabilized and moved beyond the bribery based system currently in place, there would be a lot more investment in Mexico, which would increase the capability of Mexicans to work and get a fair wage there. Unfortunately, I don't see it happening without the USA annexing Mexico as an American territory.
@clive: You suppose that's the only reason the wall is built. But maybe there are others, psychological ones. A big, fancy and visible wall might just give a protected feeling to people being attacked by casual rockets. You get the feeling that the government actually does something.
Then theres the "demographic" issue: Given the current population grow rate the Palestinians would outnumber the Israelis in a not too distant future or at least threaten their stance in a democratic system. That won't happen with a wall keeping them out.
And i guess the military just feels better that way, patrolling a solid line: On the other side the "enemy".
In fullfilling these objectives the wall might turn out to be very effective indeed.
These aren't all facts but might provoce some thought on what else the wall might have been built for.
"I don't see it happening without the USA annexing Mexico as an American territory"
There is a theory that after the US intervention in Mexico (when the US army marched in Mexico City main square) there were secret talks between the higher echelons of Mexican politics and a USA diplomatic comission where the whole annexation of Mexico was offered (as opposed to around 50% of the territory). Allegedly, the US government refused, arguing that the higher density of indigenous population in the southern states of Mexico would be very problematic for the industrialization of the newly acquired territories.
So, if history teaches anything at all, the US government is definetly NOT interested in the physical annexation of the mexican territory.
I don't know that one can correctly categorise the Israeli fence as a "border" fence as it does not follow any internationally recognized borders.
"the US government is definetly NOT interested in the physical annexation of the mexican territory."
Or wasn't at that time. A lot of things have changed since.
"A lot of things have changed since."
Very true. However, I think that US hegemony has worked quite well in Mexico as it is. Culturally, the mexicans have believed the American dream discourse - that is part of the reason why they flock to the border.
I think that as long as economic and cultural pressure are sufficient to ensure that Mexico cooperates with US interests, there is no need for actual territorial control.
@clive: The Berlin Wall was dynamic - as escapes occurred, they plugged the leaks. By 1980 there were VERY few successful "crossings" - even given the notoriously bad aim of the border guards. Most after that point were more along the lines of social engineering - hiding people in suitcases and in dead space where the gas tank in a car had been - fooling the guards.
And this had the untintended effect of a filter - the only immigrants to the west were very bright people; or at least wealthy enough to afford Fluchthilfe (flight helpers) - either way desirables.
Also, the rate of eastern flight westward through Berlin prior to the wall would have drained Palestine completely in a couple of years so complete shutdown was not necessary to be considered a success.
How large and what type of a security problem is the US-Mexican border really? How significant an economic impact on the US do illegal workers really have? Might it not be better for us (and more humane for them) if we focused on catching those with criminal background and letting the poor do what they came for, namely work (low-wage jobs)? Who actually profits from border security? At what point does the increased attention to security at the US-Mexican border become a matter of diminishing returns for us, especially considering that we're not trying to save ourselves from suicide bombers?
[If someone trying to cross the fence in the middle of the night is presumed to be a terrorist, there's no need to hesitate before shooting. To kill.]
Okay, if we do not have this policy then we cannot enforce the fence in the same manner as the Israeli's. Luckily nobody has started talking in this manner. I would definately stand up against this policy as I would hope the rest of the United States would as well.
Why do we want to build a system that can be circumvented so easily and therefore does not provide any real protection. How about focusing in a different area like education and resource management. There is plenty of land on the other side of the fence. How about taking these millions of dollars and working with the Mexican government to build irragation systems or some other sort of endevor that will produce economic returns for both sides. Alas, it is just too much to ask.
"Given the anti-Semitic slant to the article"
oh please... every time someone says "Jew" they are accused of anti-semitism. Give it a rest already.
> U.S. citizens will find it hard to justify such tough measures...the cost will be more important
Well, if the wall gets started, I suspect it will not be finished in any state but Texas. California, Arizona and New Mexico will have a tougher time in Congress. The wall is mostly pork and those states wont be able to bring in the money. California because its too liberal, Arizona and New Mexico because they don't have the votes.
The fence against Mexico will never be completed.
The fence is security theater, even more so than airport screening. It is a political measure, not a security measure.
Its purpose is to distract attention from the economic issues such as desparate Mexican immigrants helping to depress US wages, devastating results on Mexico of US-imposed trade policies, etc.
To achieve that purpose requires only a few hundred miles of fence in areas with high voter visibility. The government will be able to say they are doing something.
The fence need never be completed because it is not really intended to keep Mexicans out
'So, if history teaches anything at all, the US government is definetly NOT interested in the physical annexation of the mexican territory.'
The US Goverment WAS NOT INTERESTED (in 1848)
that doesn't say anything about the situation today
Prior to and during the Second World War a number of European countries set up "enclaves" where ethnic minorities where forced to exist, these later became known as Ghetos. And for their sins the English started concentration camps in South Africa half a centry prior to that.
One view point might be that the Israeli Government (not the Israeli people) is trying to build a gheto out of Palestin. They certainly have tried just about every way possible to destroy the Palastinie economy.
Avoiding the issue of who's land it is any way (for which the British and Americans have a lot to answer for after WWII) it is fairly clear that the Israeli government has tried to increase their land borders significantly ever since (see the number of UN mandates against Israel).
Even the recent destruction of a few (probably undefendable) Israeli Government set up setalments has not removed the fact that the Israeli Government has illegaly occupied vast tracts of land and has no intention of returning the land or compensating those who have lost it. Oh and please don't say that the Israeli's have been repeatedly agressed against it just does not stand up as an argument.
The point I was making is that all walls tend to fail in their "stated" objectives, because people find ways around / over / under / through be it by direct assult or social engineering. Likewise the French built one of the most heavily defended boarders ever seen but forgot that people could simply go around it or over it. In both cases the economic cost to the country building and maning the walls was excessive by any standards, and in the end the failed (so ROI was at best very low).
It is a problem that always comes up, most people who cast an adverse word about the Israeli Government and their actions automatically gets branded as "anti-Semitic", even when they are people of the Jewish faith....
It makes you wonder at the level of intelegence shown by these people, and perhaps it is not worth trying to hold a discussion with them as their minds are closed and of limited capacity ;)
In an earlier post I (half) jokingly sugested that the US should replace the Pannama cannal with an enlargend US/Mexican border. If you think about it it makes a lot of sense as the money spent can be shown to not only be defending the U.S. boarders, it will also increase the U.S. economic security (due to the vageries of the Panama Government ;) oh and of course the amount of money spent will boast the U.S. economy no end. Oh and last but not least it will create employment on both sides of the border, so a win all round ;)
You are correct the fence will never be compleat. What the U.S. Government wants is a vote winner, What U.S. Corperates want is a cheep source of labour. And between these to objectives the U.S. economy may well find it's self in a very very hard place on one side and a rock that looks like an infinatly high cliff on the other, oh and the U.S. Dollar will do a good impersonation of a ship without bouancy...
If they annexe not only Mexico but also Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, they can get the price down much lower!
You will find a post (around 2 or 3 below my first) where I give my opinion on that respect.
I've often thought the secret to success might be along the lines of indentured servitude - allowing immigrants to sign contracts to work for 10 years, paying the majority of their income back to the government in taxes, in exchange for receiving full US citizenship at the end of 10 years. Put the program in place, allow 1 year for all current illegals to sign such a contract. After one year, do a major sweep to arrest and deport any remaining illegals (giving them one final option to sign a contract, of course). Fine any companies that employ immigrants *not* on such a contract.
by the same theory source you quote
there have been many other secret attempts of annexation post-1848
As long as it keeps the Mongols out...
Seriously, does anyone else think that a wall is the most backwards idea that group-think has come up with in ages?
We are talking about immigrants not invaders.
@ derf "I don't see it happening without the USA annexing Mexico as an American territory."
I thought that was what NAFTA was supposed to do. :)
@derf at al.
Annexing Mexico won't solve the problem. It would just change the location of the indefensible border a few hundred miles south. Then we'd be whining about all the Guatamalans, Salvadorans, etc. crossing the border into the new economic boom-state of Mexico.
As to border-area economic development, you should look at all the maquiladoras (sp?) or factories that now sit just on the Mexico side of the border. They draw people from farther south in Mexico.
It's like a giant electrophoresis gel. You can't stop the migration unless you turn off the power.
"As such, the Israeli fence is very efficient(...)"
I think there is a more efficient way of stopping this eye for an eye madness just to acknowlegde those poor people their land instead of building a wall. The more secure a system becomes, the bigger the challenge, and the greater the prestige becomes.
In germany they'ed breaked that evil wall down, and in israel they build a new one.
"Seriously, does anyone else think that a wall is the most backwards idea that group-think has come up with in ages?
We are talking about immigrants not invaders."
This is true, which is why the wall doesn't need to be truly impregnable. The idea is to force those who want to cross to either take extreme measures to do so -- which are possibly more likely to fail and sometimes just too hard -- or to funnel them to locations that are easier to patrol. When work started to complete part of the border fence in California and close a gap of ~12 miles, migration simply shifted east. As long as the migration patterns shift in response to additional barriers, it allows the Border Patrol the opportunity to focus its resources.
For those inside, I see no reason that they shouldn't be allowed to leave on their own. A massive crackdown on employers and a few hundred prison sentences (I'd also be happy with several tens of thousands) will cause the employers to be far more wary.
There is some part-anecdotal, part-factual evidence that the presence of the few National Guard troops stationed at the border to assist the Border Patrol has had a deterrent effect. Many coyotes have doubled their fees to as much as $3000 per person, and the Border Patrol has reported decreases by about a quarter in the number of arrests in Arizona and New Mexico since 01 June (arrests have gone up by 7% in California).
I have no ill will towards illegal immigrants. I just want to make it more difficult to cross than it's worth to attempt to do so. Maybe then they can address their energies inward to deal with the corruption that is endemic to their government.
Last I checked Mexico was "Democracy" so then if they want opportunity and a change in their government then let them do it themselves (Remember the French Revolution).
As far as this lie that mexican illegal aliens come here for work; up to a third of the bed space in our prisons are full of them:
@live from AZ:
Annexing Mexico actually hurts. Then Mexico would be full of US citizens that are much poorer than the average current US citizen; they'd qualify for all sorts of federal benefits without contributing much in tax revenue.
Essentially, everything we want to use immigration controls to avoid would happen if we annexed Mexico. The only benefit is that we'd have a relatively narrow isthmus to defend from immigrants rather than a sprawling 2000-mile border.
As for encouraging Mexican industries...well, the US succeeded in industrialization due to its resource wealth. Does Mexico have that sort of wealth? Or would it have to import the raw materials?
immigration from mexico is not a serious problem. it's been happening all my life, but it has never weighed on my serenity or happiness. every so often, demagogues go yada yada yada about it to distract us from more serious issues that they lack the courage to address on account of the displeasure from their contributors/patrons this would engender.
Before WWII, the French did indeed build a very strong wall, but as a part of an integrated defense plan. The Maginot Line was supposed to restrict the width of the German advance, so that the smaller French army could match it more evenly.
The real French mistake was in thinking the Ardennes forest was impassible, and the Germans coming through the Ardennes cut off the powerful French forces in the north, meanwhile outflanking the Maginot Line.
The moral here is not to distrust walls, but to check all of the security plan. One hole can kill you.
yes ... thanks for approving with me. Or did you try to say something new / debate something i said?
And btw, they *have* been aggressed against. Maybe it doesn't justify a thing, but it sure explains some things.
One often overlooked parts of the Maginot Line history was the fact that it actually did hold, even surrounded, until well after France was conquered. The Germans had quite a difficult time in defeating the entrenched soldiers, especially in key garrisons.
Fences do not stop intruders. Never have, never will.
Fences channel intruders, changing the nature of the game and pushing them past guards and cameras and through gates and holes.
The Great Wall did not stop Mongols.
The Great Wall either stopped Mongol horses, thus limiting their ability to raid, or forced them to put in a full-court attack, to which location rapid-reaction forces could be brought up.
The US-Mexico border fences in populated areas frees up Border Patrol and other assets to focus on remote areas. It also channels migrants into desert areas which they are ill-equipped to cross, forcing some to turn back or surrender and killing others from lack of water.
Good fences do not make good neighbors. Good neighbors share the cost of minimally necessary fences.
You have no ill will to immigrant, but you want to make it difficult for them to come across the border? Brother that is ill will. You have ill will toward immigrants.
Building a wall/fence is a STUPID idea based in fear and ignorance of who is crossing the border and why.
Terrorist are not crossing the southern border nor have they ever.
The REAL moral is defensive warfare is not possible in the modern world.
There is ALWAYS a hole.
US-Mexican border - ~3100km
US-Canada border - ~6400km (8900km if you include the Pacific/Arctic border).
The Mexican border is thought to be one of the most commonly crossed country borders on the planet, but given theres somewhere between 7-10 times the number of personnel actively policing the Mexican border compared to the almost imaginary policing of the Canadian border, the border crossing activity is impossible to compare.
Of course it's about risk, not race - at least so they tell you ...
And the issues everybody overlooks are the burdens that the non-tax paying immigrants put on the tax system, medical system, social system, etc. and the businesses and corporations that pay these folks under the table. Who's laws are they following anyhow? Try not paying your taxes and see what happens to your house, car, etc. as well as the quality of your emergency and educational services, whom many of you don't support anyhow
And the issues everybody overlooks are the burdens that the non-tax paying immigrants put on the tax system, medical system, social system, etc. and the businesses and corporations that pay these folks under the table. Who's laws are they following anyhow? Try not paying your taxes and see what happens to your house, car, etc. as well as the quality of your emergency and educational services, whom many of you don't support anyhow
I laugh at your stupid and divisive polemics.
>> And the issues everybody overlooks are the burdens that the non-tax paying immigrants put on the tax system, medical system, social system, etc. and the businesses and corporations that pay these folks under the table.
Illegal immigrants, thanks for playing, pay sales taxes and their employers pay social security taxes that are never claimed. I agree that the current system is fraught with security issues, not because the majority of 'illegal' immigrants are either a security risk or a threat to the American way of life -- but because real criminals and terrorists can now hide in a sea of 'illegals' who are essential to our economy.
>> Who's laws are they following anyhow? Try not paying your taxes and see what happens to your house, car, etc. as well as the quality of your emergency and educational services, whom many of you don't support anyhow
You must be an arrogant, stupid Republican. Please leave the security discussion to the security specialists, and go back to torturing prisoners at Gitmo. Or whatever.
My first thought that comes into my skull about "defense security measures" is that this should not be a measure at all if you we're not doing something wrong.
Just like the "war on terrorism" it is just futile and will make this world (U.S. Utopia: because they think that is the only place humans beings are living i guess) very, very, very hostile. Give away billions on security, it will never, ever, ad infinitum stop people from breaching it.
It is so ignorant to think you can "secure" a land, or country or state. The more fences and security the more you will be attacked. Because: why did you throw up those fences anyway? You know you are doing (or did) something wrong to others, and try to protect yourself.
Those who betrayed us, lied to us, are the same people that are saying to us: Let's build those fences, and spend quadrillion dollars to attack the "so called" bad guys. With the same money all poverty could be erased from the whole planet.
Now who is ignorant OR arrogant here.
OK blood stopped boiling by now, but it pissed me off.
What of income tax? And as for social security, it's difficult to legally hire an illegal immigrant, so you're going to be paying them under the table half the time; that's social security income lost. Considering that an illegal immigrant who's been in the country for a large span of time is more likely to be naturalized than one who just entered, these people pay less for social security benefits than USA citizens.
This is clearly not a security issue; it's an economic issue. The question is whether the benefits these immigrants grant our corporations is worth the added expense for citizens.
I find the whole security equation very hard to justify.
Firstly - The gain is deeply suspect/flawed.
He states the intention was to stop all attacks, but this has not happened. Then he claims the wall is very effective. Further, there is no evidence given that the quoted (or any) reduction was caused by the wall.
Secondly - There is no analysis of what other means of reduction could have been pursued with this money and therefore no visibility of the opportunity loss. By any measure the requested expenditure is huge.
I would not approve my limited security budget on such a flimsy proposal.
A fence would make crossing harder. This, together with more efficient enforcement (which would be helped by a fence) and tougher sentecing on Coyotes (whomever helps the illegals across - I'd like to see prison sentences measured in decades) as well as prison sentences on employers (6 months would be enough - employers of illegals are not career criminals) would -
1. Reduce the number of illegals passing independently
2. Reduce the number of Coyotes
3. Increase the Coyote fees from $3k to $10k or more
therefore (supply and demand) I predict the result would be a drastic (50%) reduction in the number of illegals crossing. Sounds good to me.
There are basically two ways to employ an illegal: one is to paper them as if they were an employee (using the "I didn't know!" defense), the other is to pay them cash under the table (i.e. to subcontract, and subcontract again, and again, until finally cash hits palm.) In the first case, the Social Security taxes are paid in full but rarely claimed (as the entire employee transaction is fake). In the second case, Social Security is not paid and neither are income taxes, etc.
>> This is clearly not a security issue; it's an economic issue. The question is whether the benefits these immigrants grant our corporations is worth the added expense for citizens.
Agreed, with minor quibbles. It is unwise security policy to criminalize an entire class of people based solely on the desire to make a buck off their backs. But the driver is clearly economics, and whether or not to build a border fence may only be a way of artificially manipulating illegal labor costs -- which are of great interest to agricultural and tourist businesses.
If we want to end illegal immigration, the answer is brutally simple. Put employers in prison for hiring illegal aliens. The rest is politics.
And you had better have a system in place so that employers can easily find out if someone is an illegal alien. I wouldn't want people thrown in jail because they really didn't know. I'm not sure if such is system is possable or even desireable.
I'm also guessing it will be as accurate as the TSA is.
"Given the anti-Semitic slant to the article ("The demographic benefit -- keeping out the Palestinians -- is just another positive side effect for the Israelis.") I am astonished you quote it."
Why? The point that the Israeli wall prevents people from committing terrorist attacks, and the U.S. wall will prevent people from going to work -- is a very good one.
There are a lot of presumably security-smart people talking about what allegedly won't work - walls, etc. And lots of deliberate (or ignorant, I don't know) mis-characterization of the issues (dumb Republicans, etc.). The issues walls were intended to address (Palestinian homicide bombers, illegal immigrants to the U.S., etc.) are real (we have between 11 and 16 million illegals in the USA). The solution may be imperfect, or even lame, but a wall is a more humane solution than violence against the would-be intruders. Israel's existence is challenged both by suicide bombers and rocket attacks from Islamists, but also by the demographic timebomb of Palestinian immigrants out-breeding Jewish Israelis, and eventually out-populating Jews the only Jewish state in the world (there are plenty of Islamic states). A "one land, two peoples" approach to Israel would accomplish by demographic changes what Arab military forces were unable to do in several wars of aggression since 1948. Sadly, the Islamists do not seem to want peace with Israel - going along with that is just a tactic for them. They want the elimination of Israel. Until then, walls may be the most humane situation.
When people talk about securing the border between US and Mexico they seem to forget the scale of the problem. Especially the idea that physical wall would help is ridiculous. East Germany managed to build an effective wall to block illegal immigration, in their case it was to stop people going out not coming in but the principle was the same. It took them 14 years to finalize the concept and finally it consisted:
Twin mesh wire fences and a concrete wall separated by about 300 feet “death strip��? which consisted anti-vehicle obstacles and an occasional anti personnel mine, the guards would shoot anyone entering the strip hence the name. There was a guard tower every 500 yards or so and the wall was guarded by total of 10 000 troops.
Berlin wall surrounded the entire West-Berlin and was about 96 miles long. In order to be an effective barrier the US Mexico wall should be the same; otherwise people will simply go over, under or through it.
Border between US and Mexico is 1951 miles, over 20 times more than Berlin wall was, in addition there is coastline for California and Gulf of Mexico, but lets concentrate on the land. Border wall would need 200 000 troops.
Of course US could try to copy a page from the French playbook instead. In Algerian war the French tried and succeeded in sealing the Tunisian border with Morice line. 200 miles 5000 volt electric fence with minefields in both sides and a barbed wire fence in the Tunisian border. Penetration of the fence would automatically bring fire from artillery and reaction from French forces totaling 80 000. The problem is that Morice line was meant to stop large units from penetrating Algeria, individual people could always get through.
Then there was the McNamara line in Vietnam, which consisted electronic surveillance equipment to detect infiltration. That one didn’t really work, actually it sucked.
I don’t really think that a wall woul be a solution to the border issues in the US or even a serious step toward it, it sounds like a Feelgood-measure on an election year.
“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.��?
- Gen George Patton
I really wonder what kind of soldier can shoot to kill someone who has no weapon.
Of course fleeing can be a reason to shoot .. in the legs or whatever.
I think many Germans escaped because the soldiers were not "able" to shoot. A reason more to have automatic guns at the fence, which was triggered by wires along it.
The German wall was totally different. Since people wanted to "emigrate", once they passed the border, there was nothing you can do. For Isrealis and Americans, once the opponent has crossed the border, you still have opportunities to arrest him and send him back. So the wall is less useful for the American case, than it was for the East Germans, since they got plenty of other possibilities to stop immigration.
Nice one, generals often have some intresting quotes, just like Douglas mcArthur, those with true experiance on the field,
the fools who became wise by persisting in their folly.
so an eye for an eye is justified?
Ever thought why those people are hating Israel? and attacking them with stoneage rockets?
Imagine you lived in palistina, and tanks are roaming the street, apache helicopters are bombing your family and friends, while you have only stones in your pocket. Imagine the frustration of those people.
IMHO: U.S. & Israel have made this planet into a warzone. And are now trying to hide behind shields of glass.
Terrorism is the power of the weak and those deprived of justice.
Build that wall, and they will come.
"by the same theory source you quote
there have been many other secret attempts of annexation post-1848"
And none have come to fruition. It makes much more sense for the US to maintain things as they are now, with the social-economic problems of Mexico firmly below the border as "somebody else's problem", the economic benefits flowing swiftly (NAFTA, transnational corporations, etc), and the political leverage of immigration reforms firmly in the hands of the US government.
That, along with an appropriate security theatre, is why a fence is being proposed at all: It makes more sense for the US government to decrease its coupling with Mexico than to increase it (through annexation).
A wall would most certainly make life much harder for illegal immigrants. However, whether that is good or bad for the economy or the security of the US seems to be less important than the very real political benefits that can be extracted out of it.
"You have no ill will to immigrant, but you want to make it difficult for them to come across the border? Brother that is ill will. You have ill will toward immigrants."
If I had ill will towards them, I would desire them harm. I don't. I just want them to go through legal channels. I don't understand why people think this is such a bad thing.
Here's a reason from history to stop immigration in the numbers it's currently occuring at....
Mexico once had a northern territory that was sparsly populated, so sparsly populated that they encourage American settlement there - as long as you swore alleigance to Mexico. Sooner rather than later the Americans outnumbered the Mexicans in the territory. Shortly after that they decided they didn't want to be part of Mexico anymore and engaged in a successful revolution against the government. The former Mexican territory became Texas, and eventually a US State.
Has anyone been to Texas lately? There are some sections where you can go all day and never hear English, not a problem per se, just an indication that the area is being more heavily settled by (presumably) non-American citizens.
So perhaps Mexico is finally taking back Texas? I wonder if similiar immigration discussions occured in Mexico before the Texas revolt.....
One huge difference between the walls that the article doesn't mention is that the US-Mexico wall would have to follow the border closely (to site it inside the US would be obviously silly and it clearly can't go on the Mexican side) whereas the Israelis' ghetto wall can be routed wherever the hell they like for maximum effectiveness, and never mind that it cuts Palestinian farmers off from their land, children from their schools, patients from hopsitals, family from family, and villages from their churches and mosques.
That type of thinking is Ill Will.
You want them to have to go thru legal channels? Do you expect the same of yourself? Your family?
You have choice. There is no door closed to an American. As a 2nd or 3rd world citizen the "legal channels" you want are not lines they stand in they are road blocks you are not allowed to cross or walls you are not allowed to climb.
Ill Will = Harm
That is fine, but harm does not have to be physical pain. Harm can be Money, Time, Effort, etc. spent to get thru the legal measures you are describing.
I don't understand. You're saying that by wanting someone to follow the laws (immigration in this case) then Jarrod is wishing "Ill Will" towards illegal immigrants.
I guess that extends to wanting murders not to kill me? Or should I just not want them to go to prison for it?
Really, if you don't like the law try and get it changed. Don't try and drum up sympathy for people breaking it.
Because the law is always right?... all those Jews should wear their patches and get in the Ghettos just like the law says. After all it is the law and if they don't follow it they are criminals.
I hate to bring up such an absurd(but historically accurate) example, but you want to state extremes like comparing Immigrants and Migrant Workers to Murderers.
Immigrants are not like Murderers.
@AG: I find your claims to be fascinating. You're arguing that having to spend money, time or effort to achieve something is _harm_?
By that measure, am I harmed by the 40 hours a week I need to work to get paid? Am I harmed by having to wait for the check out person at the grocery store to go through my groceries instead of just handing them the money and letting them trust me that it's right?
What I believe you _should_ be arguing, AG, is _why_ you think that people should be able to emigrate with minimal effort and minimal paperwork. I think everybody agrees that making people do work just to be "difficult" is bad.
> You have choice. There is no
> door closed to an American
What are you saying? That I can work anywhere I want without hassle? I can assure you, from my experience, that there can be extreme difficulty in trying to live in foreign countries. My family had immense difficulty in trying to live - not even work, just live - in the United Kingdom.
I'm sure that I have an easier time getting work internationally than a Mexican national, for example, but you're mistaken if you believe that I can work anywhere, or if you think that it doesn't involve months of bureaucracy to achieve.
Work is a choice...Your personal time, energy, risk, education, luck, etc is your potential... Forcing you to spend any of those without your consent is causing you real harm.
You agree to work - and you are paid.
You agree to wait in line - you can go to the store late at night and avoid a line.
Unneeded paperwork, Bureaucracy, etc waste your potential and causes everyone real harm.
Someone forcing you to spend it against your will causes you harm.
Wanting a person or group of people to spend their time jumping thru unnecessary legal hoops is in effect wanting to cause them harm.
Actively advocating a position that will cause a group of people to waste their time is having Ill Will to them. You are saying, "I don't want you here, so I am going to make it as difficult as possible so you change your mind."
On being an American going to another country to work "extreme difficulty"; Americans are not shot at, imprisoned, etc while attempting to look for work abroad.
I think that AG is just underlining the fact that, for the same general amount of money, time or effort, the average mexican can expect to achieve less than the average american.
Thus, the issue is not that you are harmed by working 40 hours a week, but that an average mexican working 80 hours a week or more does not expect to earn more than 10% of what you earn - even though the per-capita income of the US is only 400% that of Mexico, the income distribution is horridly skewed (I am not focusing on Mexicans below the poverty line, either. This is just normal, urban folks earning above the minimum wage level of around 5 dollars per day).
No, the law isn't always right. But just because you don't agree with it doesn't give you the right to break it. As an American you have the right to try and effect change from within - legally through the democratic process. That's what I meant. If Mexican citizens have it so bad in there country (which I'll admit they do) then they should effect change in their country, not flee it to come here. Nobody is shooting at Mexicans coming into the US. Immigrants all face the same hurdles coming into the US, be they Mexican, Jamaican, Indian or Iraqi. You've got to have a skill or some other benefit to society to gain access. No different here than any other country. What makes Mexicans deserving of preferential treatment?
If things are so bad consider there are what - about 7 million illegal immigrants in this country from Mexico? Then why don't they organize and go home and change things in Mexico? Sounds like they've got enough people. Electricians can run power anywhere, engineers can build plants anywhere, doctors can help people anywhere. We in the US don't have a monopoly on being a developed country.
Yes, I am along those lines, but with a more selfish angle.
American business and interest should be to develop Mexico so we can take more advantage of them as an equal partner.
I see a strong, intelligent, and rich Mexico as only making America stronger, richer, and more intelligent.
I see a wall and the forced stopage of the huge migration of people and money as only hurting Mexico and with that hurting America. A true wall will isolate Mexico from the US. Goods will not flow as easily.
That is where I am coming from with my arguements.. my motivation is selfish profit.
The people who want a wall... What do they want? Security? Fewer Mexicans in the US? Less mixing of the Cultures? Both at the expense of profit.
"If things are so bad..."
'Good' or 'Bad' tend to have personal connotations and do not mean the same to everybody. I do not argue that the situation in Mexico is 'good' or 'bad'. It is the way it is, for a plethora of historic reasons.
"Then why don't they organize and go home and change things in Mexico?"
I do not know how this could be achieved, as I am not an expert in politics. The devil is in the details.
"We in the US don't have a monopoly on being a developed country."
Mexico does not have the monopoly on being an 'emerging economy' either. When compared to other places in Africa, Mexico has a higher standard of living.
The issue is that the ROI difference between Mexico and the US is so high, the geographic distance so small and the border so porous that the immigration gradient becomes immense. Building a wall would have an effect on this, of course, but for the tidal wave to truly abate deep changes are needed.
October 4: A Border Patrol agent in the Tucson sector shot a Mexican man in the head as agents tried to stop his vehicle near Sierra Vista.
October 20: A Border Patrol agent in the El Paso sector shot and killed a Mexican citizen near Portal, on the New Mexico border.
February 4: The Unites States paid $125,000 to a Mexican citizen shot by a Border Patrol agent as he clung to the border fence near Agua Prieta, Sonora. That shooting took place in January 2002.
I'm sure there are many more examples.
As far as changing the law from within goes I am actively working on it.
The US (or some of its citizens) have coveted Mexico (but not Mexicans) for a long time
Aaron Burr - 1800s
John Wayne, Laurence Harvey (sorry) Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie - 1836
To the whites of the 1800 -1860 period, native ameticans (and hispanics) were too lazy; and so they were not wanted. The settlers brought in (black) slaves (converting Taxes from an independent state that had no slavery to a southern US slave state.
Now ever african americans expect decent wages. Just can't get decent labour these days, can you.
"You want them to have to go thru legal channels? Do you expect the same of yourself? Your family?"
Yes, I do expect that. I expect that the law will treat me as it treats everyone else. If I want to move to another country, I will contact the closest embassy or consulate to find out how to do so. I will provide the proper documentation and paperwork, and stand in line. I might have to wait a while -- maybe years -- or even be rejected outright, but that happens sometimes.
"You have choice. There is no door closed to an American. As a 2nd or 3rd world citizen the "legal channels" you want are not lines they stand in they are road blocks you are not allowed to cross or walls you are not allowed to climb."
I respectfully ask that you not tell me what I want, because it is clear that you do not know what that is.
There are consulates or embassies in Mexico, in China, in Columbia, in Poland... Even in Iran, the Swiss embassy has a US interests section. Almost every country in the world has a way to get in contact with US officials to start the immigration process. If someone wants to come to the US, and they have a clean background with no felonies, then I will welcome them as long as they follow the rules.
As for me having a choice, yes, I have choices as an American that are unavailable at the moment to people living in other countries. At the same time, people in other countries have opportunities unavailable to me. I can't just go to Europe and demand a job. I can't just go to Mexico and demand health care. Those opportunities are rightly reserved to the legal residents of those countries. If I were to want to take advantage of them, I would get in line like I'm supposed to.
>If we want to end illegal immigration, the answer is brutally simple. Put employers in prison for hiring illegal aliens. The rest is politics.
If the consequence for employers is prison, it would more likely just turn into a Trial-Lawyers Full Employment Act, with endless appeals and nothing really changing.
Instead, focus directly on the REASON that employers hire illegal immigrants: money. Instead of prison, fine employers for each illegal immigrant hired, in an amount that makes it uneconomical to risk hiring them in the first place. Make the fines swift and certain, with criminal consequences for failure to pay (like with income taxes), and suddenly the incentives are driving the security measures, instead of the other way 'round.
So now they have that wall in Israel, they launch missles from gaza, over the wall and still landing in your favorite pizza restaurant.
"If someone wants to come to the US, and they have a clean background with no felonies, then I will welcome them as long as they follow the rules."
I agree, but the system and laws in place right now DO NOT even remotely follow these guidelines.
"I respectfully ask that you not tell me what I want"
I have no clue what you want...please enlighten me. You seem to have a real grudge against immigrants is that not correct?
Are you anger that they do not want to work as hard at going thru the legal channels as you have?
I personally think it is wrong you have had to spend so much time and energy attempting to world overseas, but that doesn't mean everyone has to walk as difficult a path as you have.
>>I laugh at your stupid and divisive polemics.
Who's the stupid one here. It's primarily about economics. Where did I mention security? And no I'm not a Republican, or a Democrat either. Both parties go where the money is and it's not in my pocket. There is little economic incentive for the corporations to not hire undocumented immigrants
I got this in the e-mail the other day:
From the L.A. Times
1. 40% of all workers in L.A. County (L.A. County has 10 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. This was because they are predominantly illegal immigrants, working without a green card.
2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.
4. Over 2/3's of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
5. Nearly 25% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.
7. The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.
8. Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
9. 21 radio stations in L.A. are Spanish speaking.
10. In L.A. County 5.1 million people speak English. 3.9 million speak Spanish (10.2 million people in L.A. County).
(All of the above 10 statements are from the Los Angeles Times)
Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops but 29% are on welfare.
Over 70% of the United States annual population growth (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York) results from immigration.
The cost of immigration to the American taxpayer in 1997 was a NET (after subtracting taxes immigrants pay) $70 BILLION a year, [Professor Donald Huddle, Rice University].
The lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) for the average adult Mexican immigrant is a NEGATIVE.
29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.
If they can come to this country to raise Hell and march by the thousands, Why can't they do something about the corruption in their own country?
Granted, illegals aren't exactly blowing themselves up at bus stops (yet) but they aren't exactly the suffering saints the media consistently makes them out to be.
My point is this: Even though the problems are a bit different, if a security wall is good enough to protect Jews in Israel, then a security wall ought to be built to protect Americans from those peoples in this would that wish to commit criminal acts by coming to or in the US.
Interesting statistics, although some of them seem FUD-y. For instance, i don't see how statistics about languages spoken or population growth are relevant to the criminal tendencies of immigrants, which seems to be the main point of that email. The bigger problem is that none of those statistics have any bearing on the effectiveness of a US/Mexican wall. The wall should be built only if there are good reasons for it AND it's an effective solution to the problem. The reasons don't matter one bit if the wall's just going to be money thrown away for an empty political gesture.
I was not able to find those statistics in the LA Times site. Let's not forget that sometimes emails can carry not only statistics of varying levels of accuracy, but agendas.
The "stats" you quote were addressed by Snopes.
I have to ask if you're a native English speaker, because if so, you're completely misreading my posts.
"I agree, but the system and laws in place right now DO NOT even remotely follow these guidelines."
When enforced, they do. Before you can emigrate to the US, you have to pass a background check and, IIRC, a medical check to ensure that you're not harboring a dangerous and infectious disease. Those sneaking across the border do not go through these checks.
"I have no clue what you want...please enlighten me. You seem to have a real grudge against immigrants is that not correct?"
No, that is completely and utterly wrong. I have no problem whatsoever with people who follow the legal immigration policies of the United States. Most of those who come here just want to make some money for their families. I understand and acknowledge that. This does not change that they have crossed into the country in violation of the laws governing the borders.
"Are you anger that they do not want to work as hard at going thru the legal channels as you have?"
I haven't had to go through immigration issues such as those. I'm a native-born citizen. I do, however, have naturalized citizens as friends -- close friends -- and they went through the proper channels. Aside from time, it wasn't terribly difficult to either get in or attain citizenship.
"I personally think it is wrong you have had to spend so much time and energy attempting to world overseas, but that doesn't mean everyone has to walk as difficult a path as you have."
Again, I have not attempted to gain employment overseas. I made my statement as an example. I would follow the rules for other nations, and I expect them to follow the rules for this nation.
The statistics from the L.A. times are based on the current situation where there is no option for legal immigration for most Mexicans who want to work. If immigration were legalized for the class of people who come illegally but have no criminal background (i.e. the vast majority), the rate of compliance with tax laws would clearly be much higher.
It doesn't take much of an intellectual leap to realize that compliance with other laws would be vastly increased as well. First, immigrants who were able to come in legally would be able to access more employment opportunities (illegal workers are much more common on construction sites than in Banks for example due to employee screening that does catch illegal workers). Second, legal immigrants would have a much greater sense of belonging and would have a legal right to participate in the democratic process. Clearly, greater opportunitiy for engagement in the community would lead to reduced alienation. Less alienation would lead to fewer gang member and reduce other anti-social behaviors.
Another economic benefit to more job opportunities through legalized immigration for classes of immigrants that do not qualify would be reductions in welfare benefits (since more employed people directly leads to fewer people on welfare). Changes in birth rates mean that the U.S. will need immigration to support a rapidly greying population.
U.S. immigration laws restrict immigration to people who have skills, education, or money. Governments restricting where people can go hardly seems consistent with justice. The system of visas and heavy migration restrictions is a relatively new system and will hopefully be a temporary state of affairs until humanity decides that individuals should be allowed to move freely around the globe. Internally, within the EU and US, citizens can already move freely between states (don't forget, the U.S. was originally a collection of independent states that decided to federate -- after the civil war, it became clear that the U.S. "states" were really just provinces of the America).
The U.S. has a proud history of accepting hard working people from around the world and has built a strong country on this principle. Returing to these principles will help solve the issue of illegal immigration benefiting Americans and Mexicans.
Today i saw on local tv, that hamas is launching about 130 rockets over the wall and into israel.
Great idea that wall...
just like i said what would happen:
build it and they will come.
this all bull shit and a complete waist of money leave the mexicans alone they just want to have a better life like we did, all of you so called americans came from europe you guys are more illegal then us we just crossed the river, canyon, the border to get here.
yes, the inmigration will continue to grow as long as the united states has immigrants they will be coming more and more immigrants, this is a country of immigrants and it will be as long as you americans think that you guys are americans we are americans you guys are from europe dum fucks if you guys knew what the fuck you will understand, mexico is in NORTH AMERICA, europe in europe.
I completely agree with economan's comment about changing the inmigration law be part of the solution to illegal inmigation, but as a Mexican national, I believe that most of the responsability relies in the mexican government outstanding capability to human capital exports which is not only a result of low wages and corrupted institutions, but it is also the result of a lack of a strong state intern policy that worked many times in similar circumstances towards mexican people. Yes, it is true that people look up north for better quality of ife, but it is also true that once inside the "dreamland" most of them convert into some sort of "working zombie" who's only living inspiration is going back to their homeland(realizing they shouldn't had left) with their (few) savings to start a small family business and help their community. Being these people so terribly dangerous, there's no wonder why the U.S. government's answer to stoping illegal inmigration is by building a block wall across the border, whicih making reference to one of the comments above, is more a sycological than physical barrier.
HOW TO CORRECT OUR BORDER PROBLEM WITH MEXICO
1. Immediately close off our border with Mexico by constructing a double fence, 12 feet high, at the front and the back of a mile wide ENTERPRISE ZONE, for the establishment of new business manufacturing facilities. The Zone would run the entire length of our border with Mexico. This would accomplish an immediate shut off of any illegal traffic and establish thousands of jobs for those people who truly want to work legally in the USA.
2. Allow present companies in the USA to establish an additional manufacturing branch only, as we would not want companies to move their main facilities from any other area of the USA, thus closing down jobs in that area. Remember, this is to be a tax incentive ENTERPRISE ZONE, established solely for the purpose of creating a multitude of starting salary jobs, so that the Hispanic people of Mexico can get the chance to earn a decent wage and learn a skill.
3. Start-up companies will be encouraged to establish within the ZONE.
4. All GUEST workers must speak ENGLISH. NO EXCEPTIONS!
5. If a guest worker wishes to work in our fields picking crops, then he/she must have a farmer sponsor vouch that he has work for them and will be responsible for their well being & conduct while in the farmer’s employ.
6. The U.S. will maintain security at all of the present Border Roads that run thru the ZONE, allowing only those people with either the proper papers of VISA and/or GUEST WORKER PERMITS to enter and exit on a daily basis.
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