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Border wall is destructive

Published: Mon, July 22, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Krista Schlyer


Hold the applause for the Senate’s immigration bill.

It would spend $50 billion on border enforcement measures that are not only ineffective but also destructive. The bill provides $7.5 billion for 700 miles of border wall to be built — a wall that people can scale in less than 30 seconds.

Border walls and other barriers already span 650 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. They have not stopped human traffic, but they have blocked migrations of endangered jaguars, ocelots, jaguarundi and hundreds of other imperiled wild species. Construction of this wall has also destroyed rare habitat throughout South Texas, with less than 5 percent of native habitat remaining in the region.

Building of the wall has also meant forcibly taking land from people in the Rio Grande Valley, people who were deeded their land not by the U.S. government, but by the king of Spain 250 years ago. And building the wall has contributed the death of 6,000 migrants as they try to navigate through our militarized border.

If the Senate bill becomes law, it is likely that three of North America’s six cat species — the ocelot, jaguar and jaguarundi — will go extinct within the borders of the United States. It is certain that thousands more acres of wilderness, national parks, national wildlife refuges and personal property will be destroyed by the U.S. government. And many more migrants will die trying to come to the United States.

Promise of citizenship

For all this destruction, the Senate is offering a tentative 13-year promise of citizenship to some of the 11 million people in this country without legal documentation. The fact that these people are here and living scared in the shadows of American life is an injustice and it must be dealt with. But the Senate has failed both in its endeavor to find an assured, reasonable path to citizenship, and also in coming up with a bill that is fair to all people.

The danger of doing nothing for so long is that doing anything seems like a victory. But make no mistake: Trading one injustice for another is not justice.

Krista Schlyer is the author of “Continental Divide: Wildlife, People and the Border Wall.” She wrote this for Progressive Media Project, a source of liberal commentary on domestic and international issues; it is affiliated with The Progressive magazine. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune.


1kurtw(1822 comments)posted 3 years ago

The writer makes an interesting point: If border security is strengthened "many more migrants will die trying to come to the United States".

It's a clever argument, trouble is if we applied it universally it would lead to complete chaos- a "state of anarchy". Our country- as a Republic under the rule of Law- would cease to exist.

I mean, Mexican Illegals- let's call them by what they actually are- not "migrants"- are breaking the law, right, so isn't it our right to prevent that from happening?

If you accepted the writers argument, then "all" laws trying to stop criminal behavior would be "unfair".

For instance, if someone tries to rob a bank and is shot by a guard, then, accepting her premise, lets just put he money on the front steps- so no one gets hurt.

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2kurtw(1822 comments)posted 3 years ago

Also, I looked up the writer of this article- Krista Schlyer. Her qualifications to address this issue are negligible- she's listed first as a "photographer" and then a writer for conservation magazines. Her emphasis is on wildlife conservation and she's written for magazines such as National Geographic and "Ranger Rick". She has a degree in photo-journalism and she lives in Wahington, D.C.

But, the Progressive Media Project thinks she's qualified to address the most difficult and contentious issue we face today- Border Security with the Country that once controlled the entire South West and California- the Sovereign State of Mexico- which protects "ITS" borders very well, Thank you.

P.S. Why don't we just "open the border up" say "come on in- take whatever you want" and, in the meantime, but all our money on the Bank Steps, so, God Forbid, no Bank Robber get's shot trying to take it. That would please the Progressive Media Project, I'm Sure.

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3kurtw(1822 comments)posted 3 years ago

I know the writer lives in Washington D.C., but is she a Spanish National? She wrote in her Column that strengthening our national border would take land from people in the Rio Grande Valley that was "deeded not by the Constitution" but by the "King of Spain 250 years ago".

What the Hell is she talking about? Who heads our country- the Spanish Monarchy- the President of Mexico? Following her argument, all of American History would be a big mistake- after all, we came over from Europe and took it away from the Indians (excuse me, "Native Americans").

Compared to the history of most countries, our History is a pretty good one and something to be proud of- Unfortunately, the people inf The Progressive Media Project don't share that view.

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