The Brownsville (TX) Herald published a very solid, comprehensive piece on the border fence proposals today, one that gives fair weight to all sides of this issue and contains a number of data points regarding the potential costs of a border fence. And it looks at the impact that a fence could have on a city like Brownsville:
Brownsvilleâ€™s fence would be vastly different from San Diegoâ€™s, said professor Anthony Zavaleta of the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. It would not separate countries but communities, loved ones, businesses, neighbors.
As the most powerful nation on Earth, the United States should be dealing with immigration in a constructive way, Zavaleta said. Ideally, we should be taking the lead in what will become one of the biggest issues of the 21st century, he said. Instead, he said, â€œIâ€™m afraid that weâ€™re not setting a very good example.â€
A 176-mile line of fencing between Brownsville and Laredo would cut through back yards, farmland, parks and downtown. Brownsvilleâ€™s border, unlike San Diegoâ€™s, is integrated into city life. People live right on the border, go to parks on the border or work farmland there.
Hope Park, near downtownâ€™s Gateway International Bridge, is about 50 yards from the river. The proposed fence would stand inside it.
Building a border fence will be a complex, difficult process, and there needs to be sensitivity to local concerns as these initiatives move forward. But I’m still convinced that it is a necessity for large stretches of the border, for reasons primarily related to the entry of terrorists, and because it would be more cost effective than alternative approaches.
Overall, a good story, and worth reading in full.