November 28, 2006


Fence plan alarms landowners (Kevin Johnson, 11/28/06, USA TODAY)

From his perch on the front lines of the battle against illegal immigration, Moody would seem to be the type of person who would embrace the federal government's most provocative effort to stop illegals from entering this country: a plan to build 700 miles of fence along the 2,100-mile Southwest border, including Moody's land. Instead, Moody is a powerful voice in a growing alliance of border landowners and local law enforcement officials who oppose a fence.

"They're not gonna build it," Moody says flatly. "We darn sure don't need a wall. Everybody knows the Great Wall of China wasn't worth a damn."

Most everyone here agrees that more border security is needed to curb illegal immigration. Ranchers such as Moody and Dob Cunningham, who has a 700-acre spread north of here with 2 miles of river frontage, say they often give Border Patrol agents access to their land to help the agents track down illegals.

However, the fence plan — the centerpiece of an immigration bill President Bush signed last month — has come to reflect the disconnect between many landowners here and officials in Washington who see the project as a key part of the nation's strategy to slow illegal immigration. Here, where the impact of illegal immigration is greatest, the fence is widely viewed as an economic and environmental threat. In Eagle Pass, a city of 25,000 that is 95% Hispanic, it's also seen as a rejection of the region's tradition of shared cultures and open ranges.

It'll be especially fun to watch Montana's new senator, John Tester, who ran on being a rancher and "securing the borders" try to square the circle (k).

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 28, 2006 7:40 AM

The fence is absurd. Where there's a will. there's a way. Illegal immigration can be curtailed by attacking the will, i.e., altering the demand for illegal labor by greatly increasing its cost. This could be accomplished by biometric identification combined with draconic enforcement derected against those who employ illegals. It would involve economic capital punishment: forfeiture of property.

We are not considering that option because we have no intention of disturbing the status quo. We have made our economy dependent on immigrant labor, largely through the abortion holocaust. The "fence" talk is just one more cynical sham. Nothing is going to happen.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 28, 2006 10:41 AM

The "Great Wall of China" actually worked quite well. The usual way for the barbarians to get through it was to buy off the guards at a remote location to either actually open the gates, or just look the other way at the right time.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 28, 2006 11:06 AM