The Great Wall of America

I rarely comment about political issues in this journal, but I have to note my revulsion to the new “fence” on the US-Mexico border. Bush recently signed a bill for the US to start building a 700-mile “fence” along the border with an estimated cost of $2.2 billion. Descriptions of it sound vaguely like the Berlin Wall except for gun turrents and mine fields. To me, this goes completely against the ideals of freedom that America represents. I guess this is the end of the “good neighbor” policy the US had adopted in the 20th century. Maybe this “fence” will be a propaganda disaster like the Berlin Wall was for the Communists, or just maybe it will be as effective as Stalag 13.

I recently read somewhere that many Americans, a little over 50%, would be willing to trade (sacrifice) some of their liberties (freedoms) for more security (control). Many Americans forget that a fence or wall works both ways. If Americans “trade” too many of their liberties for security, I wonder if this “fence” will some day be used to keep Americans in?

Oddly enough, I can’t seem to get this one stanza from the song “Signs” by the Five Man Electric Band out of my head.

And the sign said anybody caught trespassin’
    would be shot on sight.
So I jumped on the fence and yelled at the house,
“Hey! What gives you the right?”
    To put up a fence to keep me out
    Or to keep mother nature in.
If God was here he’d tell you to your face,
Man, you’re some kinda sinner.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

Unfortunately, I suspect that this “fence” business will further distract the politicians and the American public from the more serious problems with the immigration laws, i.e.why does it take 8-15 years(!!!) for legal immigrants to have their paperwork finalized.

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