Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"Good Fences Make Good Neighbors"

The above quote is from... an MK in Israel?

Heeding conservative demands to shore up the southern U.S. border to prevent illegal immigrants from freely crossing into the country, the Senate voted Wednesday to build 370 miles of triple-layered fence.

Senators voted 83-16 to add fencing and 500 miles of vehicle barriers along the southern border.

Construction of the barrier would send "a signal that open-border days are over. ... Good fences make good neighbors, fences don't make bad neighbors," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. He said border areas where barriers already exist have experienced economic improvement and reduced crime.
Personally, I applaud this decision, though I am skeptical whether it will accomplish anything on a 2,000-mile border. What it is most likely to accomplish is to make it easier for the 18,000 US Border Patrol and (now) National Guardsmen to actually accomplish anything. I haven't read anything about the costs, but I would guess they are somewhat offset by the increased capacity of those guarding the border.

It is nice to see that the US is working to secure the border in order to ensure that whatever solution they do come up with does not last for just a short period of time. Many of the proposals are good ones, provided that they never need to be done again. Perhaps the government will even choose a proposal similar to the one Nephtuli proposed a few weeks ago.

Back to the title, however... It is very interesting to see the United States building a fence, just a short time after complaining about the fence that Israel was building. Granted, the automatic response will be "There are different issues in Israel", but many claimed that a fence would do nothing in regards to stopping terrorists from getting into Israel. Perhaps they've finally realized that - while not foolproof - a fence dramatically cuts down on the entry points available to those you want to keep out.