Napolitano: "You show me a 50-foot wall and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder at the border."

by: Matt Stoller

Wed Nov 26, 2008 at 22:36

Pretty good stuff.

Gov. Janet Napolitano, D-Ariz., is smashing the idea of a border wall, stating it would be too expensive, take too long to construct, and be ineffective once completed.

"You show me a 50-foot wall and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder at the border. That's the way the border works," Napolitano told the Associated Press.

Instead of a wall, she said funds would be better utilized on beefing up Border Patrol manpower, technology sensors and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Security theater, or the security countermeasures designed to make people feel more secure without increasing actual security, is expensive, stupid, and intrusive on our rights as human beings.  It looks like Napolitano is going to stand up to the worst of this nonsense.  Good for her.

Matt Stoller :: Napolitano: "You show me a 50-foot wall and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder at the border."

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come on janet (0.00 / 0)
don't throw a monkey wrench into the cons scare tactic of using the age old argument that the unwashed are about to take over our nation from within, and if you want to find those same horrible people most are in the kitchens and bedrooms of wealthy america doing menial duties, of course some pick the food we eat, they don't have much time to over throw the american dream while they are themselves looking for the same.

america will really have to worry when others don't want to risk illegal entry into the country, now theres something to think about, and if the cons continue their reign of power that situation is not far off.  

Hiring illegals (4.00 / 2)
The right wing attacks on illegal aliens was always a bad joke as everyone knows the real solution is to crack down on the companies that hire the illegals.  Of course, Republicans would never actually do that.  Besides, rabid base wants to see the brown people speaking funny words punished for existing; they don't care about actual solutions.

My understanding is Napolitano actually cracked down on companies instead of the undocumented workers themselves.  And to nobody's surprise, it worked.  There are still problems with Napolitano's approach, of course, but they are honest problems related to how many workers we should be letting in legally and the impact of those working illegally losing jobs they weren't supposed to have in the first place.

Protecting people (0.00 / 0)
The solution is to give full legal protections to all people working in the U.S. (which makes clear that the exploitation, not the workers, are the problem) and trade, agricultural and other policies that encourage (rather than discourage) growth in Latin America so that no one is forced to leave their home country because they can't support themselves there anymore.  

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

[ Parent ]
Explain this to me, then (0.00 / 0)
How are the feds not currently penalizing employers?  By invading the workplaces, I got the impression they were penalizing the employers and the workers.  What were they supposed to do -- just let illegal employees drift away into the social stew until they could illegally work for someone else?

Creating a legal path for those already here illegally might be all right if not for the question of how to prevent 12 million more people from coming illegally, and then some, based on the belief that they will eventually get legal status.  People call the 1986 Act that granted amnesty a bill that let illegal immigrants get off scot-free, but what they don't know is that the Act actually made illegal immigration to this country considerably tougher.  It lowered the knowledge standard for harboring an illegal immigrant and, for the first time, made it illegal for employers to hire illegal immigrants.  Yet it has not been enforced, so here we are today with 12 million illegal immigrants.  How can we guarantee that if we pass a reform bill to grant those currently in the country legal status, there won't be 25 million the next time we address the issue?

[ Parent ]
penalizing employers (0.00 / 0)
By penalizing employers I mean directly fining companies that hire workers illegally.  The workers themselves are not touched, other than being let go because they are too expensive to hire with the penalties applied.

You are talking about attacking the workers directly, which only hurts the company in the sense they loose some workers.  But they can turn around and hire new ones without a care.

[ Parent ]
Who says they aren't, though? (0.00 / 0)
The employers, I mean.  What I've read of the arrests, it sounds as though the employers are getting more than just "fined."  As for the illegal immigrants, again I ask: Is your solution to let them just float off into the social stew until they find another employer willing to hire them?  Do you think they deserve no penalty whatsoever for voluntarily accepting employment, knowing that their status in this country is illegal and that if discovered, they could be deported?

[ Parent ]
just to be clear (4.00 / 2)
Napolitano's comment was from 2005. Which, of course, is even better -- she has a record of standing up to this kind of stuff. As someone who lived in AZ for many years (and voted for her twice) I think she did a fantastic job at basically being as progressive and humane as possible in a state in which many people are rabid for crackdowns and deportations. I think we could have benefited from a slightly more progressive DHS head nationally, but she certainly has experience pushing the "moderate middle" of the debate into fairly progressive territory -- and winning.

We don't need no stinking ladders . . . (0.00 / 0)
From fence construction site: Inspectors noted what appeared to be rope knots on the US side of a recently completed section of "The Fence." On the Mexican side, a rope rung ladder up the reverse side made an easy climb.  Ingenuity always trumps brute strength.


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