One question that swirls around the recent immigration debate is whether or not a 700-mile wall should be built along the 1,952-mile border w/ Mexico. The House approved $2.2 billion for the wall back in December 2005 to "build a double set of steel walls with floodlights, surveillance cameras and motion detectors along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border." 1 The Senate approved the bill shortly afterwards.
On Thursday, October 26, 2006, President Bush signed this bill into law. "Unfortunately the United States has not been in complete control of its borders for decades and therefore illegal immigration has been on the rise," Bush said at a signing ceremony. He called the fence bill "an important step in our nation's efforts to secure our borders." 3 (What's interesting to note about the Yahoo article that I found back in 2006 is that it can't even figure out how long the southern border of the U.S. is. One part of the article says it's a "nearly 2,000-mile border" while another part of the article refers to the "fence project covering one-third of the 2,100-mile border." Last time I checked, we haven't changed our southern border with Mexico since the Gadsden Purchase in 1853.)
Since the signing of that bill, the Senate killed President Bush's amnesty bill for illegal aliens in June 2007 which would have gotten an estimated 12 million illegal aliens into the tax system. Apparently, the "American people won today. They care enough to get mad and fight enough for it," said Republican Senator Jim DeMint, though I'm not exactly sure why he'd be mad that MORE people are paying taxes 4. In retrospect, two years later, the country could definitely use that tax money as our federal deficits continue to soar. And I'd ask the senator what the country actually won.
So, what do you think? Does America need this wall? Why or why not? Read the articles on illegal immigration and decide before answering. Check on the links below to read some opinions.
Your answer should be 150 words or more.
1. Article from the San Fransico Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/02/26/BORDERFENCE.TMP
3. Yahoo article http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061026/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_immigration_8
4. BBC News "Vote Dashes Bush Immigration Plan" http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6250756.stm