Along Mexico Border, Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A US Border Patrol vehicle drives along the fence separating the US from Mexico, near the town of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, on July 31, 2010. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty)

"Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out"

Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall" might serve as a good start to the conversation over whether the huge fence the U.S.government is building to prevent illegal immigrants, terrorists and drug traffickers from entering the U.S. from Mexico is worth the effort and money.

Documentary film maker Rory Kennedy asks those questions in her new HBO documenatary 'The Fence.' Kennedy interviewed Arizona resident Bill Odle about what he sees down on the US-Mexico border. He says the fence simply doesn't work.

Comments [5]


Where there is a will there is a way. As long as people are starving on the other side, this game of setting mouse traps will continue. just imagine if the tables where turned, we could be doing the same... So blessed to be born on this side of the boarder!

Sep. 21 2010 06:09 AM
Mark Rossow

Um, the usual ID we carry is a driver's license, which says I passed a driving test and a vision test and that I claim to have a local address. A driver's licence has no connection to my status as citizen / H1B holder / green card holder / H1A farm laborer or any thing else. Only an "Enhanced Driver's Licence (availble along the Canada border) or an actual passport does more than that.

Sep. 17 2010 12:26 AM
Margaret from New York

During the interview with Rory Kennedy & Bill Odle the point was made repeatedly that the fence was bottom line: Ineffective. Then Ms. Kennedy went on to mention that deaths among those who are trying to go the long way around the wall are increasing. Isn't that contradictory? Those who perish in the attempt to illegally enter the United States obviously aren't able to penetrate the border, and wouldn't news of the danger not be a deterrent to others who would try? I find it insulting to my intelligence when one ignores the facts that don't support their point of view, I find it ore so when they have to nerve to mention them assuming we won't pick up on the inconsistencies.

Sep. 16 2010 02:12 PM

It is always heart-warming, when a millionairess Kennedy heir from New York City, with an Ivy League education and a pedigree in "social activism" weighs in on the affairs of the Southwestern United States.

Not that this interview was a complete waste. I especially liked the part where Bill Odle started to say that he liked the new demands placed on immigrant identification as enacted by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. I thought that John Hockenberry was going to need a defibrilator when Mr. Odle went so far off-message. Next time, The Takeaway's producers might want to send all guests the memo that any thoughtful support for Arizona's efforts to enforce border security law and present immigration law is not a welcome topic on The Takeaway.

Sep. 16 2010 10:51 AM
malcolm kyle from new york, new york

Mexico's civil war is a product of our failed policy of drug prohibition.

Please consider the following very carefully: It wasn't alcohol that caused the surge in crime and homicide during alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, it was the prohibition of alcohol itself. That's why many of us find it hard to believe that the same thing is not happening now. We clearly have a prohibition fueled violent crime problem. A huge number of these violent crimes are perpetrated by criminal syndicates and gangs who use the proceeds form the sales of illegal substances to further even more of their criminal activities.

Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare. We have to regulate and we have to do it now!

Advocating a continued increased in mayhem & tyranny in support of financial gain is despicable. Whether it’s the prison guards’ union, the DEA, or the alcohol industry; it’s unconscionable.

The second biggest business during prohibition in Detroit was liquor at $215 million a year and employing about 50,000 people. Authorities were not only helpless to stop it, many were part of the problem. During one raid the state police arrested Detroit Mayor John Smith, Michigan Congressman Robert Clancy and Sheriff Edward Stein.

The Mexican cartels are ready to show, that when it comes to business, they also like to be nonpartisan. They will buy-out or threaten politicians of any party, make deals with whoever can benefit them, and kill those who are brave or foolish enough to get in their way.

If you support prohibition you've helped create the prison-for-profit synergy with drug lords.

If you support prohibition you've helped remove many important civil liberties from those citizens you falsely claim to represent.

If you support prohibition you've helped put previously unknown and contaminated drugs on the streets.

If you support prohibition you've helped to escalate Murder, Theft, Muggings and Burglaries.

If you support prohibition you've helped evolve local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, controlling vast swaths of territory with significant social and military resources at their disposal.

Sep. 16 2010 06:58 AM

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