Proposal would let state build border fence with donations

Discussion in 'Immigration/Illegal Immigration' started by Angelhair, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. Angelhair
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    Angelhair Senior Member

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    PHOENIX - Saying the state can't depend on the federal government, a Senate panel on Thursday voted to let the governor start taking donations to build a border fence.

    The proposal by Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, allows for construction of a new barrier on private property, with the consent of the landowners. Estimates are that would cover about a third of the approximately 370-mile border, with the balance on either the Tohono O'odham Reservation or federal land.

    Jaime Ferrant of the Border Action Network called the plan in SB 1406 "fiscally irresponsible." He said it is costing the federal government about $4 million a mile to construct the kind of fence designed to keep people and vehicles out.

    Smith said he has no firm idea of what it might cost to build a suitable fence. But he said the cost to the state could be minimal if the state can raise private donations.

    Sen. Al Melvin, R-Tucson, said labor costs could be next to nothing if the state uses inmate labor. And Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, said that if the money comes from outside sources, the price tag is irrelevant.

    What's behind the plan is the argument that whatever the federal government has built is insufficient, leaving large portions of the state vulnerable.

    "We have a crisis in our state and it is caused because our borders are not secure," said Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake. She said there is more to the lax security than just incompetence.

    "I feel, unfortunately, if the little secret were known, for some reason, somebody's protecting the cartel," Allen said. "They don't want to shut the border and the flow of drugs that are coming in here because of how powerful and how wealthy these cartels are.''

    Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, said an effort to build a new fence is misplaced. He said the key is fixing the immigration system, a system he said that makes it virtually impossible for people to come to this nation legally.

    But Gallardo agreed that securing the border does need to be a part of any solution.

    Proposal would let state build border fence with donations
     
  2. FifthColumn
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    FifthColumn BANNED

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    Mexico should pay for all of it!
     

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