[Tweeters] Re: Border Wall

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Sun Nov 11 13:15:12 PST 2007

Hi, Jeff.

I have seen all the same things (not the AK-47s), as I've spent time
in southern Arizona every summer for the past 5 years and also a lot
of time along the Lower Rio Grande. In both states, I'm spending time
with people who live just a few miles from the border, and they don't
like the what the influx of immigrants is doing to the landscape at
all, but they hate the idea of the wall that is planned even more.
I've been kept out of Quitobaquito Springs in Organ Pipe Cactus
National Monument, a really interesting place, because it's too
dangerous to go there. I've seen the incredible amount of litter on
the bank of the Rio Grande in Santa Ana NWR, where people have left
their inner tubes and water bottles and garbage. I've seen people
walking across the desert on the south slope of the Huachucas. The
magnitude of the northbound migration is very disturbing. And I've
seen people climbing the fence between Douglas and Naco. Fences and
walls are made for climbing, and the estimate by the Border Patrol is
that this wall will slow people down for five minutes.

But the wall only means we've given up on more intelligent ways to
handle border problems, and we're isolating ourselves from our
nearest neighbor and sending a terrible signal to the rest of the
world about our attitude toward it. For us to put a wall around our
country, or on one side of it, seems the height of bad-neighbor
policy, and I know we can do better than that, but people in power
got the brilliant idea of an industrial-scale fence and then just ran
with it, with no objections from all the people who would be affected
by it just because they didn't give us a chance. And at present,
there is real acceptance that national security, real or bogus,
trumps all. The No Border Wall website explains it fairly well.

Those billions in fence money could go a long way toward alternative
solutions. Surveillance cameras and motion detectors have caught a
lot of people, and we could do a better job with them than we're
doing, with minimal disturbance of the environment. Or why not give
some of the fence dollars to communities on both sides of the border?
Use some of it for big rewards for the drug smugglers and really
crack down on that aspect of the border crossing. No normal citizen
on either side of the border wants that going on. There are also
fencing solutions that cause much less disturbance to the environment
and don't prevent the movement of wildlife, but erecting them seems
even sillier, as they are admittedly no barrier to illegal
immigrants. And we should acknowledge the Rio Grande is impossible to
fence in any way.

But above all, we should work out a smart immigration policy that
would benefit both North Americans and Mexicans/Central Americans,
and get them to work with us rather than fencing them out. Make sure
the people south of the border are satisfied enough with their lives
that they don't want terrorists and drug smugglers passing through
their towns. We can do this kind of stuff, but our "leaders" can't
get their act together. It's our job to convince them not to build
this wall.

Sorry for the editorializing, and I won't do it again. I'm really
concerned about this wall, as a birder and naturalist if not as a
human being.


On Nov 11, 2007, at 11:48 AM, Jeff Gilligan wrote:


> My comments are not in regard to a possible wall in Texas. I bird

> in Arizona with some regularity. Many birding areas there are now

> trashed by illegal immigrants. Many parts of Buenos Aires NWR are

> now rubbish heaps. Safety for those birding in even non-remote

> areas is an increasing problem because of the narco –traffickers.

> An arroyo near Green Valley that I have birded for years is not

> littered with empty back packs that were used by drug smugglers.

> The remote trails in the Huachucas and Santa Rita Mountains are

> regularly used by smugglers who want to avoid detection on the

> highways. I know people Green Valley who say they have seen drug

> transfers being overseen by persons brandishing AK-47s – just off

> the frontage road to the freeway.


> Jeff Gilligan

> Portland/Nachotta, WA/Green Valley, AZ

Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
dennispaulson at comcast.net

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