Perhaps the only unintended benefit of that initiative (unintended benefits being the only variety conferred by most government action) is the fact that it illustrates to any reasonable observer that we have far more to fear from the government ruling us than we do from the foreign nationals flooding across our southern border without official permission.
For many years, many Americans living along the border with Mexico have found their properties wrecked and polluted by caravans of desperate people who are shepherded northward by cynical flesh-peddlers called Coyotes. Some communities in the southwestern US have found their hospitals and school systems overburdened, largely because of federal policies requiring that such institutions accommodate people who crossed the border illegally, irrespective of their immigration status (or, where hospitals are concerned, their ability to pay).
There is a perception (one I've done more than a little to help create) that the current influx of immigrants from Mexico has created a huge population of welfare parasites and violent criminals. That perception is a reasonable one, even though it hasn't been clearly validated by statistical studies. And as troublesome as it is to manage the current influx, it is not an unusually large one in historic terms. Nor are the cultural differences separating the mainstream US population from Mexican and other Latino immigrants as vast as we're sometimes told.
To me it seems clear that the key distinction between today's immigration challenge, and that of roughly a century ago, is the existence of the welfare state and the influence of a large and well-funded counter-assimilationist lobby.
We should also bear in mind the economic role played by the Federal Reserve, which didn't exist during most of the great immigration wave of the late 19th-early 20th centuries. Much of the illegal immigrant laborer population attracted to the United States during the past several years found work in housing-related fields that flourished as a result of the Fed-engineered housing bubble; the bursting of that bubble has already had a measurable impact on the rate of illegal immigration – probably a much larger impact than any enforcement action taken by the Feds.
The incentive structure built by our rulers has created an economic gradient favoring unchecked immigration from Mexico. This is why enforcement measures simply don't work: It's a bit like standing at the threshold of a large waterfall and trying to beat back the currents with a toothbrush. If we had a system akin to the one that existed a century ago – a hard money economy without a government welfare safety net -- it's likely we wouldn't attract as many illegal immigrants, and those who came here wouldn't be an economic burden of any kind.
But in time-honored fashion we've seen the immigration issue transmuted into yet another justification for expansion and enrichment of government power. And thanks to the asinine Border Fence campaign, American citizens who were not threatened in any tangible way by illegal immigration now confront the prospect of losing their homes, property, and businesses through eminent domain seizures.
One thing must be addressed up front: The Border Fence is not going to be completed. Sections of it will be constructed, and huge profits will be made by the corporations who have received contracts to develop and deploy sensing technologies for the “virtual fence.” But there's no way Washington is going to erect a seamless barricade running the length of the border with Mexico. Yes, there might be some kind of Potemkin fence that starts in San Diego and ends in Brownsville Texas, albeit with gaps at least as large as the ones in the continent-spanning “human chain” created during the 1986 “Hands Across America” fiasco.
“Hands Across America” was pointless and stupid, but it didn't cost anything (apart from the $10 a head paid by those gullible enough to participate). The Border Fence is pointless, stupid, and immensely expensive. It was inspired by coarse political opportunism, and whatever portion of it is eventually built will be a tangible testament to the vanity of our political class.
Not since the ancient Egyptian ruler Cheops wasted the lives of 100,000 slaves a year to build his mausoleum (Herodotus says that the king actually forced his daughter to turn tricks in order to raise funds once the treasury was depleted) has the world witnessed such a concentrated outburst of servile enthusiasm for a project that would serve no purpose beyond gratifying the whims of a ruling elite. At least the Pyramid is as architectural marvel that has endured for millennia. Within fifty years, whatever is built of the Border Fence is likely to be nothing more than rotting, rusting debris.
For those who live along the southern border, construction of the Border Fence may mean the loss of everything they hold dear. They are doing what they can to obstruct the federal officials who have descended on their communities without invitation and are making plans to seize whatever acreage is necessary to construct the Fence.
Noel and Cecilia Benavides, who live in Roma, Texas, are in some ways representative of those who stand to lose their property to the Border Fence scam. The land on which they live has been owned by Cecelia's family since 1767. In recent years, Noel and Cecelia have grudgingly given the Feds more or less permanent access to their property in order to conduct counter-narcotics and border enforcement operations. But they have dug in their heels after the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to run its Border Fence right through their land.
“They're going to destroy an ecosystem that took centuries [to nurture] and that's never going to come back,” complained Noel, a village alderman, to the Washington Post. “But it's the law, we're told, and it's homeland security.”
Last Friday, residents of South Texas who had refused to permit federal surveyors on their land received an ultimatum from Michael Chertoff, the Commissar for Homeland Security. With the magnanimity that comes from the discretionary power to impoverish and kill those who don't cooperate, Chertoff expressed an interest in negotiating with the refractory property owners but said that if a deal isn't reached, the Regime will go to court and “seek title and possession [of the lands], and the court will determine fair market value.”
This refers, of course, to what I regard as the second most troubling provision of the US Constitution, the power of “eminent domain.” (The most troubling, I think, is the line permitting Congress to suspend the habeas corpus guarantee under certain conditions; if I had my way, both of those provisions would go the way of the Fugitive Slave Clause.)
Name the drone in this photo: George W. Bush poses next to a Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed for battlefield use and now deployed along the southern border. At least one Border Patrol Predator has crashed (below).
Just a few years ago, most of the conservative movement was in high dudgeon over the Supreme Court's Kelo decision, which upheld the seizure of private property through eminent domain for the purpose of enriching politically connected private developers. Well, exactly the same thing is now facing scores, or hundreds, of property owners along the southern border – and where is the conservative movement's property rights auxiliary?
Oh, that's right: They're at a Minuteman rally somewhere, being marinated in a rich broth of nativist rhetoric about the Brown Peril before adjourning to the local Mexican restaurant for chalupas and margaritas.
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking, and the engine of official expropriation is being revved up.
“The door is still open to talk, but it's not open for endless talk,” insists Chertoff, adding: “We won't pay more than market price for the land.”
Oh, how cute: After pissing away countless billions in unaccountable “cost-plus” deals for “reconstruction” projects in both the Persian Gulf and the US Gulf Coast, the Regime has suddenly discovered the merits of austerity when it comes to paying Americans whose homes and lands they plan to seize.
The same corporatist junta that was sending pallets of freshly minted $100 bills to Baghdad, whence they were tossed from the back of flatbed trucks in football-sized bundles, now considers itself honor-bound to low-ball the price it will pay to property owners along the border.
Did I mention that at least some of the corporate interests connected to the Border Wall project likewise profited from the Iraq War and reconstruction racket, as well?
These are some of the reasons why there is a literal rebellion brewing along the border.
“I tell you, on this one issue, the Farm Bureau, the United Farm Workers, Democrats and Republicans, white, black, brown, everybody is against the border fence,” insists Hidalgo County Judge Juan D. Salinas.
For a long time, the immigration wave across the southern border has been referred to as an “invasion,” which is both usefully inflammatory and factually imprecise usage of the expression. Whatever can be said about the problems generated by unchecked immigration, or the grandiose ambitions of the Reconquista movement, the word “invasion” applies much better to the actions of the federal government, which is prepared to seize the property of innocent, law-abiding citizens by whatever means may be necessary.
Please be sure to visit The Right Source.
Dum spiro, pugno!