Aug 9, 2011

The Border: New Berlin Wall won't solve border problems

An OpEd by U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, who represents Maricopa County in Arizona's District 7 in the U.S. Congress.

Grijalva: New Berlin Wall won't solve border problems | "Building a new Berlin Wall across our entire border is not a rational or cost-effective response to anything. The debate on border security and immigration is necessary; however, in Arizona it has muted many of the state’s pressing needs. Today, one in five Arizonans live in poverty. Arizona is the second poorest state in the nation, ahead of only Mississippi.

How does the state respond? By asking for donations to build a border fence on state land. The money received will not educate Arizona children or make them healthier. It will go to whatever contractor we can find willing to build an inefficient border wall on the small amount of state land that actually touches the border and isn’t already covered with hills.

The politicking in Phoenix has obscured the realities in the border region. Today, more than 80 percent of Arizona’s shared border with Mexico has some type of fencing. The remaining unfenced areas include land such as the Tumacacori Highlands, where the rugged terrain along the border is itself a nearly impassable natural barrier. "

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