Tuesday, May 16, 2006
U.S. border town fears influx of troops
When news emerged of President Bush's plan to use thousands of National Guard troops to secure the U.S. border with Mexico, my thoughts turned to Redford, Texas, a tiny town of about 100 residents along the Rio Grande. Nine years ago, this far-flung border town changed the way the United States protects its borders.

On May 20, 1997, Esequiel Hernandez Jr., 18, was herding his goats just a few hundred yards from his Redford home. He was carrying an antique rifle, a little firepower to protect his goats from coyotes.

What happened that day has been disputed by Hernandez's family, the U.S. Marines and the Border Patrol, but what is known is that four Marines were helping local authorities track drug runners.

The Marines were hiding in the low-lying brush in camouflage. They say Hernandez fired at them first, so they started tracking him through the rugged terrain, thinking he was a drug smuggler. Everyone agrees they were nearly 200 yards away. At that distance, says Margarito Hernandez, Esequiel's brother, he could not have known what he was shooting at, if he did shoot first.

A short time later, Hernandez was shot and killed by one of the Marines. The shooting sparked such intense controversy that the special task force of U.S. troops helping fight drug smugglers was pulled out of the border region. The Marines were cleared of wrongdoing, but the federal government paid the family almost $2 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.

Today, a humble white cross sits on the hilltop marking the spot where Hernandez was shot and killed. His family still lives in Redford. The idea of bringing the military back to the border has them nervous.

"Somebody else is going to get hurt. Some other parents are going to suffer the loss of a loved one," said Margarito Hernandez, as he walked me along the final path his brother took the day he was killed. "It's important for them to remember what happened to my brother."

Many residents of this border town repeated a common theme to us -- basically, "border culture" and "military culture" just don't mix. They say National Guard troops won't be trained well enough to understand the idiosyncrasies of border life. What do they mean by idiosyncrasies?

For the people who live here, there really isn't much of a border. Many families have loved ones on both sides of the border; the people look the same on both sides; they speak the same way; and they share the same culture. Residents here worry soldiers won't be able to tell the difference between who's breaking the law, and who's not.
Posted By Ed Lavandera, CNN Correspondent: 2:42 PM ET
No one, not mexican polititians, mexican illigals, or even our own citizens should question the right of a nation to secure it's borders.

While Mexico and the U.S. share a common history and considerble common culture, Mexico needs to recognize our right to prevent un-official entry into this country. If Mexico insists on the right of it's citizens to seek a better life in this country then they should recipocate and allow U.S. citizens the right to invest and start business in Mexico without interference from corrupt local officials. Mexico has vast natural resources and development potential. Give U.S. business the right to tap into that potential and we will create jobs in Mexico.

I don't want to see illigal Mexican workers sent back home, especially if they have family here. I do want a guest worker program that is simple and convenient to adminster. Make it possible for every non-criminal Mexican who wants to work here to be able to get guest worker identification. With such a program in place there is no more incentive to cross illegelly unless they have a criminal record. If they have a criminal record we don't want them here anyway and should make every effort to track them down and jail them.

I am against making amnesty or or an accelerated path to citizenship a part of any border security or guest worker program. Any one who wants citizenship should go about it the same way as all the others who legally got citizenship or are in the process of obtaining citizenship.

With a guest worker program in place I don't think there will be that many Mexicans trying to obtain citizenship. The guest worker program will allow them to live and work here legally without citizenship.
Posted By Anonymous Dan Decker, San Jose, CA : 3:18 PM ET
Im afraid I dont get it. Did the President or did he not say that the troops will only be used in a support role and will not be patrolling or arresting illegals? This sounds like a little sensationalism to me! Personally I think they should allow the troops to patrol the border...we have anywhere from 11 to 20 million illegals here which should be proof enough of how serious the problem is. And this isnt a racist comment this is just a little common sense which alot of bleeding hearts dont seem to have a big supply of. They dont care whats happening to this country! Well, they can look back in 20 to 30 years and see whats happened.....we can see what they have to say when the super power of the world has become a 3rd world country!
Posted By Anonymous Lisa JAX FL : 3:50 PM ET
The hardest part is going to be establishing rules of engagement or ROE. Essentially, this is a legal document that tells the soldier when it is authorized to use deadly force. Without strict enforcement of the ROE the border could easily flare up into localized conflict and seriously degrade US-MEXICO relations. Not to mention the fact that innocent bystanders could be caught in the crossfire.
Posted By Anonymous Kyle, Odenton MD : 3:58 PM ET
This is a tragic accident. Maybe it is this "Border Culture" that needs to be changed by the military. The illegal flow of people, drugs and guns is out of control on the borders. The government needs to step in and bring a culture of law and order to these areas.
Posted By Anonymous John, Chicago, IL : 4:11 PM ET
I sense an ominous foreboding regarding militarizing the border. Those who live in middle America are quick to overly simplify the problem by sorting those who live on the border into "us" and "them." While, technically, there is a map representing a border between Mexico and the US, culturally there is not. We'll never find a solution until we accept that millions of Americans are inextricably entwined with Mexico.
Posted By Anonymous Kelly (formally of El Paso, TX) : 4:17 PM ET
I believe the comment that the "Military" and "Border" cultures don't mix. The solution is simple. Protect our borders as is Constitutionally required, and there will be NO border culture...just a secure border. The present alien invasion is unacceptable at any level.
Posted By Anonymous J Carlson, Waseca MN : 4:24 PM ET
Although I feel very sorry for the Hernandez family, I feel the story does not illustrate the benefits of the presence of the National Guard at the border. I feel this story could be manipulated by those who disagree with the presence of the National Guard at the border to further position their rationale. No policy is perfect, but President Bush's immigration proposal should be welcomed as the beginning of a long journey towards the right action.
Posted By Anonymous Gianluca P-- Portland, Oregon : 4:26 PM ET
I'm sure the events described in this young man's death have been taken into account. This mission for the National Guard looks very different from the one they were carrying out in the 1990's.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Youngstown, OH : 4:39 PM ET
When I heard of more troops at the border it reminds me of the Korean border that we help put in place. The DMZ! Is this what we want our country to embrace. Our we could use the berlin wall example. Or the great wall of china. History has proven that these are not effective. We have a northern border, but we do not treat them with equal attention. Is it because Canadians speak english? Our because their population is more difficult to seperate from out own? Troops are not the answer, just a quick shuffle of blame. Real immigration reform will be in when we stop thinking internally and start putting more diplomatic pressure and foreign investment into Mexico and other Latin American countries. There is a reason people come into the US in great numbers. Its a great place to work and live. Mexico is a great place to live, but not work. We can change that. That would curb the tide. Not a moat, river, fence, barrier, or battalion. We know what has been effective. We know what is humane. We just love double standards.
Posted By Anonymous Ryan, Dallas TX : 5:01 PM ET
I find it very interesting that the majority of support of a military presence is coming from geographical areas that are the least impacted by the border.
Posted By Anonymous Jaime, San Diego CA : 5:02 PM ET
The death of Esequiel Hernandez Jr. is simply another gun tragedy. Had the Clinton Administration taken the steps to ban firearms in the 1990's maybe Esequiel would not have been tending his goats with a rifle and maybe he would still be alive today. As for militarization of the border with Mexico I fail to see what it will accomplish that true immigration reform can't. Americans have a strange relationship with Mexicans. We want their cheap labor, as long as we don't have to see them, or deal with them. Well guess what; if you want them you have to deal with their needs. That means you pay for their medical needs, including birthing their American born babies, and you educate their children. And when they do wrong you house them in your jail. Period... If you don't like the costs associated with them, then stop hiring them!
Posted By Anonymous Sebastian Cabbage, Santa Barbara, Ca. : 5:11 PM ET
I too sympathize with the Hernandez family. However, our national security is best served by a strong military presence down there. Isn't the Mexican military in charge of their southern border with Guatemala?
Posted By Anonymous Tina - Chicago IL : 5:18 PM ET
i think that sending the national guard to the borders is the best idea yet!! hello NATIONAL GUARD thats what they signed up for o guard our nation be it borders or whatever. But what i don't get is the americans were crying about "secure the borders", now that they have a plan to do that they will have nothing to whine about so what do they do "no don't send the national guard " ..... ok then what do the american people want ?? i dont think how they secure it as long as it gets done , i rather have 6,000 armed men there as to have a FENCE.. or is that what the americans want ? just build a fence and forget it ? ohh no they want landmines on both sides of the fence , what kind of sick people are you? would you blow a person up for stealing food ? of course not but if we put landmines on the border its the same thing the illegals only want to work and feed their families . so i believe the troops would be the right thing to do in securing our borders !!
Posted By Anonymous wendy rosas , dalton , ga : 5:20 PM ET
Corrected version...sorry. -Rod-

There's absolutely no reason for anyone to be hurt or die along the border. On one side is the United States. On the other is Mexico. Those that have no right to be on the US side should stay on the other side of the border. That's what the law says, it's what the People want. It will not be the fault of the Border Patrol, the National Guard, The Minutemen nor any landowner if someone gets hurt. The responsibility lies wholly with those that choose to ignore US law and cross the border anyway. That defines a criminal and their fate is their own hands.
Posted By Anonymous Rod C. Venger Colorado Springs, Colorado : 5:23 PM ET
It seems our troops are always put into this policeing position lately. The United States has trained security people that know well how to handle north and south america citizens. Tommorrow is always another day and none of us americans or mexicans are going that far.
Posted By Anonymous Dave Winfield Quincy, Il : 5:33 PM ET
Esequiel Hernandez, Jr, was shot because he looked Hispanic and the Marines assumed, like a lot of other ignorant Americans, that he must therefore be an illegal immigrant and a drug-running criminal. He was minding his own business, and though the article isn't clear about whether he was on his actual property or not, if he was, he had every right to fire a shot at the Marines, who would have been trespassing on his family's private property.

If the United States turns into a third world country in the next thirty years, it will not be because of illegal immigrants. It will be because entire generations of children have received substandard educations so we can fight a useless war in Iraq. It will be because Americans have turned a blind eye to the abject poverty in which millions of our citizens live while butting into the business of other countries. It will be because, 130 years after the Civil War, we still cannot be honest about racism in this country. It will be because the rich keep getting richer and the poor can barely get by. It will be because people like me go into thousands of dollars of debt to afford an education that is becoming obsolete. It will be because of our fearless president, who has systematically chipped away at our individual, civil liberties, turning our country into a police state.

In other words, if this country goes down the drain, it will be our own damn fault.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Baltimore, MD : 5:37 PM ET
So more troops are taken away from their jobs, families and other responsibilities....when will they be allowed to take care of their own lives? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to talk to Mexico and try to get them to clean up their act? NAFTA has been in effect for over a decade and still Mexico is no better off. Corruption, Corruption, Corruption plage government, policing, judicial avenues......etc. When is the rest of North America going to force the Mexican Government to clean up their system or risk loosing NAFTA? More of the same just does work.
Posted By Anonymous Stephanie Kubinski, London, Ontario Canada : 5:38 PM ET
Let's discuss the "idiosyncracies." Like, the blurring of the lines when it comes to law, crime and rule of law. Mexico is a corrupt nationa and culture. Why do you think the "Frito Bandito" was so controversial and was banned to be PC with Mexicanos/Latinos?? It played on the "negative Mexican lawlessness stereotype." "Idiosyncracy" means "Mexican Blood is Thicker Than Law", I believe. You turn the other way and allow the law to be broken. We don't need any more of that here in the USA. We have enough greed and corruption here already, without "importing" MORE!!
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Sacramento, CA : 5:39 PM ET
I am SOOOOO glad Georgie-Boy is FINALLY LISTENING AND DOING SOMETHIGN ABOUT A TERRIBLE, TRAGIC NATIONAL PROBLEM!! Woo-hooo!! Goooo George W!! I guess there's a glimmer of hope after all, eh?!? We may never stop the "Mexicanization of America," but at least we can stop the flood of illegal immigrants at our southern border. Do whatever it takes! "Use' Condones!!!" Now, if we can get the ignorant, middle/dark ages Catholic church leadership to start SUPPORTING AND PREACHING BIRTH CONTROL, maybe, just maybe that will stem the out of control birth rates as well! "Let us all pray."
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Sacramento, CA : 5:42 PM ET
Nothing good can result from militarizing our border with Mexico.

Instead of spending billions of dollars on a disastrous war in the Middle East, why doesn't the United States spend some money helping Mexico to build an economic infrastructure which will provide good jobs for Mexican citizens?

Why must we always jump to a forced military solution which always seems to end in death?

A strong Mexican economy would not only be good for the people of Mexico, it would also be good for the people of the United States. The flood of illegal immmigrants would stop and the United States would have a strong trading partner right on our southern border.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 5:54 PM ET
Please send help. If the border patrol can't stop the influx then they should get help. Illegal is illegal no matter how you dress it up or try to change the word.
Posted By Anonymous Niki, San Diego, CA : 5:56 PM ET
You have to wonder about how many of those who want to have our borders secured by the military have ever served in the military. Probably the same ones who never served a day and said "let's go fight a war in Iraq".
Posted By Anonymous W. Thomas, Phoenix : 6:51 PM ET
thats a very interesting point about border culture it can be very dangerous to people who live there
Posted By Anonymous bob long allentown pa. : 6:57 PM ET
What can you know of border culture if you are not a part of it? What can you know of Mexicans if all you know is about those who live in abject poverty and flee to find a better life? Protect our borders and stop illegals from coming into th US? Absolutely! With land mines? We should all be ashamed of ourselves that such words would be uttered or printed in America. Mexicans are people: some so poor you can't begin to imagine, some so wealthy that you would be in awe, others (granted not many) are the average Joe. I am an American of Mexican descent. I receive no help or aid of any type. So I should be encouraged to step on a land mine or shot at in my own ranch? Well you wouldn't dare, because one look at me and you'd know I was the ranch owner (which, by the way, I am). Let's quit being the ugly American. Go to Spain or Italy and pick out the Mexicans. Hispanic is not a race. It is an ethnicity made up of various races. Poverty is a condition of circumstances that can happen to anyone. I had no idea that the ethics and mores that symbolize this great country stopped at a border. But then again I don't cross the border in the train of death; I cross in an '06 Jaguar and shop at Neiman's. And every day I thank the Lord for the luck of the draw. Anyone of us could have been born and raised so poor and ignorant that we'd never seen a telephone. And we'd be too busy trying to get through the day to have ever heard of a blog!
Posted By Anonymous Alicia H. Brownsville, TX : 7:21 PM ET
"To the man who has only a hammer, every problem is a nail."

Military force is George Bush's answer to every question that otherwise befuddles him.

Our border SHOULD be secured -- by a trained border patrol. Our National Guard should be in the United States, ready to serve the states as needs arise. The sinkhole that is Iraq is not only diverting our military assets, it's diverting billions of dollars that could be spent strenghtening the economies of the countries in the Western Hemisphere so that illegal immigration wasn't the only option for poor workers.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Pasadena, CA : 7:26 PM ET
I noticed that you made a point to describe the rifle that Hernandez carried as an "antique". Does anyone want to volunteer to be shot with an antique rifle to see if it hurts as much as a new one? The Marines were taking fire from a person armed with a rifle. They returned fire in self defense.
Posted By Anonymous Jim DeMatteo, Plantation, FL : 7:27 PM ET
I think using the National Guard at the borders is a wonderful idea for the short term. Eventually our President will have to implement an actual immigration reform plan. It's kinda hard for him to do that though, with most of America's liberals and immigrants fighting the system that lets them be who they are. The reason the Canadian border is not being addressed is simple. There aren't millions of Canadians coming into our country illegally. Reverse the facts for a minute and look at it another way. If millions of Americans were pouring into Mexico and clogging their streets with protests and asking for rights that are not granted to them just because "they've been there awhile", do you think the Mexican government wouldn't do something about it? You have to be realistic with your arguements and you have to be logical with your decisions. This is a huge problem and I trust that OUR President will handle it well.
Posted By Anonymous Chance Evans, Norfolk VA : 7:34 PM ET
When a nation fails to secure its borders it ceases to be a sovereign nation. I think our government officials are reluctant to enforce border security because they all know that in the next 10 years the United States, Canada and Mexico are going to adopt a European Union style of government to try and keep our hemisphere economically competitive with Europe and China. The sad thing is that our officials don't want to tell us what they have planned.
Posted By Anonymous Jorge Montenegro, San Francisco, Ca : 7:43 PM ET
Although I totally agree with securing the US-Mexican borders, why not send troops also to the US-Canadian border. If this Administration in the White House is concerned about protecting our borders, why try to secure the side where people are flooding in from impoverished areas in hopes of having a better life while allowing the side where drug smugglers and terrorists enter into the United States from Canada to remain unprotected? Sending the military to the Mexican border-what a concept! Unfortunately, it's a day late and a dollar short.
Posted By Anonymous Angie, St. Louis, MO : 7:58 PM ET
Hey Dan. Where do our borders end? We have troups in 152 nations. I guess that our borders are wherever we decide..huh. Our corporations are in more. How many foreign troops are here?
Yes, Americans and anyone effected by America's actions has a right to discuss what it views as security. If Canada put thousands of troops on it's border with Alaska, I'd start wondering what Canada was up to. America has seized land from Mexico before.
Oh, can we question where the national guard was for the first week of Katrina yet? Is that allowed, sir?
Posted By Anonymous Jay R, Sheboygan, Wisconsin : 8:42 PM ET
When did it become a right vs. wrong arguement on securing our borders. The issue is "when"! I could care less about the Mexican government filing a lawsuit. We should sure them for not guarding their side. If illegal immigration is pushed into the Arizona desert and they still come anyway, how else do we get our point across? Document and naturalize everyone allready here, bar the door, then send in the Marines.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Cincinnati OH : 9:20 PM ET
I am a Veteran. Our job as a soldier it to support and defend the Constitution and the Laws of the United States against all enimies both forign and domestic. That means the securing of the boarders when other means fail. We take our oath seriously. Without any purpose of evasion or any reservation. This means to defend the country from invasion even if it is not of an armed conflict. The military is not a relief organization or a rescue organization. The oath does not say you serve only for war or hurricanes. It means that we must defend the country and the laws from assult from within or without. It begins with a secure boarder. Like it or not that is the defining of a country, the Laws and the boarder that the laws apply.
Posted By Anonymous Rogers MIlls League City TX : 9:47 PM ET
I feel deeply for these people, but there has to be some way to stop them from crossing our borders. They are destroying the standard of living that our middle class has enjoyed for years. Jobs in their own countries with decent pay would stop them from trying so hard to come here. I just dont have an answer, its a huge problem, but a few troops at the border is not the answer. Thats just Bush trying to shore up his rating. He is afarid the Democrats will take over the House and Senate. And I thank they will, but they dont have an answer for this problem either.
Posted By Anonymous Tim Baker , Cincinnati, Ohio : 10:02 PM ET
We might as well send 6000 Wal-Mart greeters to secure our border with Mexico, since Pres. Bush seems determined to give amnesty to those illegals that are already in the U.S..
Posted By Anonymous john s., huntington beach, ca : 10:18 PM ET
I have to ask all the people who write negative comments about illegal immigrants--do you know how hard it is to come to the US legally if you are from mexico and are poor and struggling to get by?? Don't you realize that it's easier for them to risk dying crossing the desert than to come legally--to me thats sad. Most of the illegals are just people trying to make a better life for themselves or there families...and I don't see anything wrong with that. People need to stop looking at the numbers and the money involved with illegal immigration and start seeing the people.
Posted By Anonymous Amy, Canton, GA : 10:22 PM ET
Sarah from Baltimore is one smart lady; too bad there aren't more Americans like her
Posted By Anonymous Nic Hautamaki, Vancouver, BC : 11:49 PM ET
The Hernandez story is unfortunate. And maybe our government could do a better job. But, compared to the Mexican governments track record I think its small potatoes. If you want to place the blaim anywere point the finger at Mexico's government. Security of the border is long overdue. Every time I see a displaced American living on a street corner or under a bridge; I think of the the greedy bastereds who hire illegal aliens. Don't give me that crap about lazy Americans not wanting a job. Nobody wants to stand out in 100 plus degrees begging on a street corner!
Posted By Anonymous Paul Houston Texas : 1:45 AM ET
The controversy created by The Davinci Code had been highlighted in prior dust books. Old books, that I wish not to mention, made hints to the Sang Real, Royal Blood. It is by the words of jesus no object, nor son of his, but a person of the same descent, that will carry on his message and finish it after him. The only possible way to know the Sang Real is: The birth mark on the back of this person should be the same as Jesus's. To find the Sang Real, it takes simply a little search, it's out there for everyone to know. They can't see it though. This bit of informations is totally against what some beliefs are. I am not intending to offend anyone in their faiths. thank you for reading my comment, and thank you Mr. cooper for the good issues you bring to the table.
Posted By Anonymous AB, Boston MA : 3:03 AM ET
I've seen plenty of "border culture" in my lifetime. The people who are living on the border are crying out for help from the Federal gov't but it hasn't shown up yet.

Mexico is a poor and very screwed up country and that is why their citizens flee northward.

Mexico has not been a "friendly" neighbor. To the contrary - their poor have flooded our schools, hospitals and social services and we Americans, being compassionate fools, have given them what they do not deserve.

Seal the border, arrest business owners who hire illegals, stop the anchor baby fiasco and cut off any social services to non-citizens.
Posted By Anonymous Mark Jumper, Houston, Texas : 9:35 AM ET
"the anchor Baby" fiasco as you call it is part of the US Constitution, the 14th Ammendment to be exact.
Posted By Anonymous Pam Princeton, NJ : 3:02 PM ET
Amendments can obviously be changed. The 14th amendment hasn't been needed for a long time - not too many ex-slaves need that protection any more.

Fences, plenty of border patrol and guards, and plenty of tent cities are what is needed.
Posted By Anonymous Paul, Vernal, UT : 5:04 PM ET
All I have read about is complaints from Mexico about what we are doing on the US side of the border. I would really like to see Mexico start doing their part to solve this problem and do something positive.
Posted By Anonymous Don Fox - Gainesville, GA : 11:24 AM ET
Any body can protect the Border, and the people, or our people, but the WALL will be an ugly sight to the visitor, do not forget if you treat others poorly you will be treated the same way, as ilegal my parents were and as usa citizen I am, and a psychiatrist, I can care less of the origen of the problem or the race or if they can pay, I help them, it is not humane to give not school to the children that can use, we have americans that just do not go to school, and is sad, yes your are Rich enjoy your money, I hope it last.We need to enjoy what we have and share with others, what we do not need, land and work I can not finish by the end of the day, one day will be for you too, when too old or to sick that you will see that the Border, still be there.And we will be gone!! NOT just hasta la vista babe.
Posted By Anonymous Alejandro Munozlopez, Iowa Park, Texas. : 11:26 AM ET
The comment that people from geographical locations not along the border are the ones wanting the military is nonsense. Many of the Senators and legislators along with local officals have been begging for help for years. We should have more troops down there and if some incident happens like yesterday in San Diego then great. I only emphasizes the destructive nature of Mexico's exporting of crime, drugs, and illegals.
Posted By Anonymous Clark Woodburn, OR : 11:37 AM ET
All the more reason for a fence. No one can say, "I didn't realize I was climbing an eight foot barbed wire fence"
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Orlando FL : 11:41 AM ET
Whether you like it or not all of these illegal immigrants broke the laws of the United States and should be considered criminals and should be sent back to Mexico. If they would like to reapply and get back into the United States legally then do so. Yes it may take a few years to do so but do so legally. If you really get down to it they broke the law and should not get amnesty for breaking the law by entering the US legally. These undocumented workers has cost the American tax payers millions and billions of dollars to pay for their medical bills. Why shouldnt the US send Mexico the bill to pay for their medicines and education of their citizens. I am sure if Mexico had to pay their bills for their citizens then Mexico would be more then willing to help secure the borders.
Posted By Anonymous michael, salt lake ut : 11:44 AM ET
Like many others, I am opposed to the so called "militarization" of our southern border. But, what I read and see in the news is that the Guard will be used in an "eyes and ears" capacity only, with no enforcement authority, and under the command of the Border Patrol. The reason for using the Guard (as I understand it) is because they are a large work force that is immediately available.
Posted By Anonymous Dale - Bethel, Ohio : 11:57 AM ET
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

Robert Frost
Posted By Anonymous Chris Mangum, Englewood, NJ : 2:02 PM ET
You can not stop the people from coming, the way Americans feel is the way the true natives felt when they seen the boats arriving from Europe, most who were banished or in fact criminals from Europe. I say let them in and let us make money off them. Stop the HATE. If you want something to complain about and change, look at yourself and change something, Remember what was said, "Love your Enemy," it is easy to Love your Neighbor.
Posted By Anonymous Nick, Quincy, WA : 2:16 PM ET
Why are we closing our borders so tightly? Which one of us isn't from a family that originally immigrated? You're being hypocritical, you ARE an immigrant, but a few generations removed.
Posted By Anonymous Shawn, Denver CO : 2:35 PM ET
First, pass a law that will make it illegal to hire aliens without employment authorization. To protect the employer and employee the law should address their basic rights.
This law will serve as our "wall."
Second, patrol the businesses; penalizing businesses, whatever their size, if an alien is found employed there that does not have the proper employment authorization.
To help prevent/deter the production of counterfeit employment authorization documents, employers should be given a 1-800 number to an immigration office that is staffed with personnel that can make quick verifications in their systems. The system should be one that can track an alien's authorization to work and/or movement.
Posted By Anonymous Lee, McAllen, TX : 2:49 PM ET
Shawn in Denver... Yes we are all immigrants a few generations removed. However the one IMPORTANT detail that you are forgetting is that we are now all LEGAL citizens of the United States of America. I think that a majority of the people that have issues with illegal aliens have issues with them because they are simply that... ILLEGAL
Posted By Anonymous John, Kansas City, MO : 3:43 PM ET
I've seen many people comment on "why not do the same to canada?!". Well, we dont have 11-20 million Canadian's sneaking across to live here. If we did, I'm sure people would want to secure that border too.

I also saw that we should help Mexico's economy. Is that our job? Mexico is their own country. It is their own responsability to take care of their own country. If the Mexican people can not find decent jobs, due to corrpution, then they should do something about it. The US can not take care of the entire world. We cant feed everyone who wants food. We have millions of people who are unemployed, homeless, etc, who are here legally.. or were born here. We need to spend our resources on those that are not criminals.

If you owned a hotel... and had 1000 rooms.. and 300 guests who registered.. would you let another 50-100 people to sneak into to the empty rooms, order room service, make long distance calls, get the pay per view movies, for free? I know I wouldnt.. but thats what the US is allowing by not properly securing the country.

As for the "They're doing jobs that nobody else will do". Thats a two way street. Yes, they'll do a dirty job for $4/hr under the table, that a citizen or legal person would not do.. because it's for $4/hr. If there were NO illegals here, then the companies who needed those jobs filled would pay more. Where I am, IT jobs (what few there are), are under 20k/yr, because there are 50 CIS majors for every job, and as college kids, they're willing to work for peanuts. If a person is willing to work for low pay, then the companies will offer low pay. If the companies couldnt pay under the table, then...they would have to pay minimum wage or more to get people to do those jobs.

What we should do is allow the illegals to apply for temporary work visas.. the same as any other foreign national, and if they want to stay, apply for perminant resident alien status, and citizenship.. and pay whatever fees are associated with it. I also think those who are using government services (section 8 housing, state and federally funded healthcare, wellfare, etc), should be forced to pay some of it back, since they were not contributing to those services while working. Using the above hotel reference, what is happening is the daily fee is being increased to pay for the services used by the people who snuck into the hotel, and thats just wrong.
Posted By Anonymous Doug, Athens, GA : 3:44 PM ET
It saddens me that our Government allows the Mexican Govt to slam us about pretecting our borders and the way USA determines the means to protect her borders. If the Mexican Govt cared about this issue, then they would get involved and prevent the majority of this happening on there end. For example, the Navy Base in Guantanamo Bay Cuba has been protecting the base perimeters for over 30 years. What has made the immigration issue with Cubans entering to a bare minimum, is the fact that Cuba has a prevention factor in place also. Basically, the US Base has a fence line that is patrolled by Marines, and the Cubans has a fence line patrolled by the Cuban guardians. With the support of the two Govts, the amount of immigrants entering the US Base for asylum is to a miniunum, only a hand full every now and then. Of course if Castro wants to slam us, then he opens up his border and allows his people to flood us. Which has been done in the past.
In a nut shell, Mexico does nothing to prevent this terrible problem the US has, and to me, its a slap in the face by the Mexican Govt. It seems as if their Govt intentionally allows their people to try and enter the US illegally to create hate and discontent to our Country.
In my opinion, it does not take rocket science to finger this out, its just a matter of being Americans, and standing our ground to protect what is ours, our rights and our traditions. Put all the resources to the border and secure them, take the negative politics out of the picture.
Get it done now. Thats my view.
Posted By Anonymous Matt Richmond Virginia : 3:45 PM ET
Yes most of us are descendants of immigrants, I'm proud to be a third-generation American. But all of us descended from those who came through Ellis Island and other LEGAL avenues sacrificed mightily, struggled and worked hard for generations to build this country with respect for our laws. My great-grandfather came with nothing, and pushed a rag cart around for years to build a life here. And he was HAPPY to be here, eager to learn English and assimilate, embrace and live the American dream. Illegals deliberately break our laws and have zero respect for them. They demand free healthcare and education while we pay the bill. There are about 100 million Mexicans - already millions have snuck in - think about what happens to our standard of living if most of them invade us in coming decades. We're talking about the majority not having more than a third grade education, totally unskilled, and with one of the world's highest birthrates. And that doesn't include the drug and sex trafficking problems that overwhelmingly come from Mexico. Think about the frightening place we will leave our children and grandchildren if this continues unabated.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, San Jose, CA : 4:05 PM ET
Something needs to be done regarding the borders - terrorists can enter the US that way just as easy as anywhere else. We dont need anymore terrorism, we have too much already
Posted By Anonymous Michelle, Atlanta, GA : 4:22 PM ET
There are almost certainly issues relationg to the shooting that the media and public are unaware of. The question isn't, and never has been about, what the American people want. The only rationale(s) in consideration is whether or not the powers that be feel:
a) The cause has enough clout to affect their future in office
b) Is the situation overall going to create detriment visible enough for the general public to assess blame.

Terrorists have little reason to exploit holes in border security. Those who would harm us have no desire to draw more attention to themselves than necessary. An illegal crossing would draw attention that legal entry would not.

The question the administration has to ask itself is this:

What actions can be taken to pacify public opinion without harming NAFTA?

Let's face it, the expulsion of illegal immigrants from the US would create a dramatic rise in basic goods. This would arise not only out of lack of cheap labor domestically, cost and tarrif issues arriving out of goods arriving from Mexico in retaliation to our policies. Most poeple, if asked, would say that they would gladly pay an extra $1.00 for a head of lettuce than let the current issue persist. However, considering the current sources and sourcing of manufacturing, it goes far beyond agriculture.

Now don't get me wrong... I do not advocate illegal behavior. However, illegal immigration has reached a point much like social security. The problem is so big, that it will not be solved within our lifetimes.

The real question is, do you want to make a stand, make a sacrifice, and be part of the solution? Or do you want to subscribe to the classic ignorant American ideology of "let someone else take care of it"?
Posted By Anonymous Splitrail, Denver, CO, USA : 4:23 PM ET
If the problem is "Illegal Immigration" why is all the focus on one country, one ethnicity? Who's going to do something about the illegal Swedes?

Also, if you believe your quality of life has been negatively impacted by illegal immigration you need to rexamine how it has been impacted by tax reform for the rich, central Asian nation building, faulty or non-existant disaster recovery plans, catastrophic health care expenses, rising postage costs, and the looting of the country's resources by Exxon/Haliburton.
Posted By Anonymous Kenny, SLC, UT : 4:27 PM ET
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