Immigration Reform: Mexico Border Fence Is America’s Latest Overreaction

The only way millions of undocumented immigrants will get a chance at citizenship is if we appease the paranoid, delusional and conspiracy consumed minds of many conservatives. The last thing many of these conservatives want to do is grant amnesty to the “illegals.” Of course these are human beings looking for a better life, but they crossed the border illegally, which according to conservatives, is the most heinous crime a person can commit other than being gay.

So what’s the price for amnesty? Right now it’s $38 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

CBO — Appropriate $46.3 billion for expenses related to the security of the southern U.S. border and initial administrative costs. That appropriation would be $38.0 billion greater than the funding included in the committee-approved version of S. 744. CBO estimates that of the additional $38.0 billion, about $36.6 billion would be spent over the 2014-2023 period;

What will that $38 billion be spent on? Building a massive border security apparatus separating two friendly nations, the United States and Mexico. We are not at war with Mexico, but soon it will be excusable to think we are.

As Salon’s Alex Pareene explains, we intend to “surge the border.” The U.S. will give it’s border with Mexico the Iraq treatment. Because there’s such a huge illegal immigration problem right now, with net zero illegal immigration, we must militarize the border and instruct the thousands of new border agents to shoot first and ask questions later. Land of the free, home of the brave, and all that shit.

Salon — Basically the “border surge” is a very expensive new expansion of a massive government program, only it’s the sort that conservatives like because it involves detaining people instead of giving them healthcare or something. The “surge” is a massive military buildup along the border, involving 700 miles of fencing, 20,000 new border agents, and more drones, perhaps even ones fitted with “nonlethal weapons,” for the Border Protection Agency to loan out to various other law-enforcement agencies. It will install, at various points along the border, an exciting array of new infrastructure and equipment of the sort usually not seen outside of actual war zones. Many lucky communities will soon have multiple new “fixed towers,” dozens of “fixed camera systems (with relocation capability), which include remote video surveillance systems” and “mobile surveillance systems, which include mobile video surveillance systems, agent-portable surveillance systems, and mobile surveillance capability systems,” and hundreds of new “unattended ground sensors, including seismic, imaging, and infrared.”

See the only way we get immigration reform is to attach American militarized “strength” to the process. No beefed up border security, no immigration reform. As Pereene puts it, conservatives “wish to see immigrants punished for their border crossing.” They aren’t satisfied unless they are talking tough and acting tough. And right now the target of their derision are people looking for a better life for their families.

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