I think it's really a matter of the lesser of two evils. A physical fence is about the worst idea you could come up with, as it has a huge footprint (particularly for maintenance), will severely restrict wildlife movement and further lop the Sonoran Desert into two distinct gene pools, and--as with the virtual fence--it won't work anyway. It also looks like hell.We couldn't agree more. However, does anyone think that we are going to get JUST the virtual fence? We'll eventually get the fence too. Especially if enviros keep rolling over and negotiating with the Department of Homeland Security and saying virtual is better than actual. Sure it is. BUT IT STILL SUCKS! (And when did we all become willing to negotiate for the lesser of two evils? When did the movement become so disempowered that we are allowing for the incidental "take" of thousands of acres of wild places, public places, and irreplaceable habitats?)
We too often accept that stalling is winning: slow down some of the chainsaws and the bulldozers, write a press release, and look the other way when the buzz and roar comes around again. You've won some time and maybe public favor and maybe saved a nest or two by negotiating the line somewhere else.
In the case of the virtual wall, we can use this same argument: take it now and hopefully by the time its effectiveness is thoroughly disproven, we'll have another Administration with some more reasonable ideas about immigration:
In two days of barnstorming across Iowa last week, Giuliani bragged of ridding New York's streets of those dreaded "squeegie operators." He talked of slashing the size of city government and reducing the welfare rolls. And he tried to equate his efforts to clear Times Square of prostitutes and drug dealers to his promise to seal the U.S.-Mexico border.Uh-huh.
Ending illegal immigration, he said, is "no more impossible than bringing down crime in New York."
Well, OK then: If the next President isn't smarter about border policy, at least maybe s/he will pay attention to the Endangered Species Act, and by then, maybe the jaguar will have a recovery plan. Maybe the recovery plan will limit infrastructure in its habitat and the Real ID Act will be repealed and we'll all live happily ever after.
Let's hope so. But we cannot stop there: We have to do more than hope. We have to find new and creative ways to say no to the militarization and environmental destruction of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Now.