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Chan Lowe: The failed "invisible" border fence


If the idea of a high-tech “invisible” border fence was to keep furriners off the property on the cheap and to do so without prompting embarrassing comparisons to the Berlin Wall, it appears to have failed on both counts.

The fifty-three-mile-long boondoggle did, however, manage to funnel practically a billion dollars into the hands of contractors like the Boeing Corporation, so not everybody went away unhappy.

It seems the electronic surveillance equipment is unable to differentiate between trespassing aliens and ordinary ground clutter.

It makes one pine for an old-fashioned, inexpensive, low-tech solution—like the heart-stirring vision of Black Jack Pershing and George Patton galloping across the border at the head of a column of YOO-nited States Cavalry. You can bet your government-issue horse blanket they were able to differentiate between Pancho Villa’s band of desperadoes and ordinary ground clutter.

The romance of the American West aside, many of us would prefer a “real” fence along the entire border. The problem is that, while providing the visceral satisfaction of catching would-be border-violators in the act of scaling it like cockroaches trying to get out of a bathtub, it’s a budget-buster and doesn’t work all that much better than the “virtual” one, anyway.

Maybe the better solution would be to put into effect an incorruptible guest-worker ID program, and to place heavy penalties on businesses that employ illegals under the table.

In other words, eliminate the incentive.

Nah… “Fix the danged fence!” makes for a much better sound bite in campaign ads… right, Sen. McCain?

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wait a minute chan. Forget the fence and your idea on fines for hiring illegals. The teaparty will be getting rid of the minimum wage. Now the american worker is in business. If pedro is plucking a chicken for 10 cents, you can pluck the chicken for 9.

Soldiers along the borders with the rules of engagement that they fire on anyone who does not stop.Patrol the drug lanes and have more firepower than the Cartels, of course this is not Politically correct but it will work ,along with going after people who provide jobs ,id's , other people's social security numbers etc. to the illegals. If they have no jobs , they will go home,it will free up jobs for our legal unemployed and keep the money they send home in the USA.

Any American using illegal drugs is complicit in the death or injury of any member of law enforcement. Until America gives up it's drug habit there will be drug dealers with more guns and money than any other terrorist organization camped on our borders with the open for business sign blazing.

Until we crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers, they will keep coming. For all of Arizona's brash posturing, it has never arrested an employer under the law it has on the books making it a felony to employ an illegal worker. It's just easier to create sound bites and go after individuals who can't fight back as opposed to businesses that write campaign checks.

Until the demand for drugs is eliminated and employers stop hiring illegal workers this problem will never end, no matter how many trite sound bites we hear.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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