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February 6, 2008 5:56 AM   Subscribe

The president of The University of Texas at Brownsville has refused to sign a right of entry request granting access to surveyors planning the U.S./Mexico border fence. This comes shortly after Cameron County landowners were forced to allow the government access to their land. Meanwhile, landowners in Hidalgo County are filing the next wave of lawsuits.
posted by fiercecupcake (46 comments total)

 
Securing the border is part of the GWOT, right? I mean, we know it isn't racism! So that means if you block the fence, you are providing material support to terrorists. Guantanamize 'em.
posted by DU at 6:05 AM on February 6, 2008


They need more Rovian framing.

I suggest:

Fence builders want to cede Texan land to Mexico.
posted by srboisvert at 6:38 AM on February 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


"Keep the brown people away!" Don't they know they're all terrorists.
posted by octomato at 6:38 AM on February 6, 2008


Thanks for this post. This is a huge issue -- much like everything in this administration, things that once seemed too asinine to even discuss are now becoming reality. A fence? Really? To fight terrorism? Or illegal immigration? I want to know who is getting paid to build said fence. That might shed some light on why Homeland Security is coming into communities guns-a-blazing to build an 18-foot fence that disrupts wildlife migration and border land. To what end? There are pockets of protest in Texas about this, but it seems like a done deal. Why are we letting this happen?
posted by gingembre at 6:41 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm amazed surveyors need permission. Up here they can basically go where ever in pursuit of their duties.

But politics aside, looking at the map it's not hard to see why the University is ticked off. Looks like the US is seceding half the main campus to Mexico. I didn't realize the border fence wasn't going to be on the border.
posted by Mitheral at 6:46 AM on February 6, 2008


jump on he bandwagon, lefties! all govt stuff is bad...Univ of Texas gets federal money? cut it. Taxpayers in Texas want fence, fire pres of the school. Illegals a serious problem, issue, and a fence may not be the answer, but how then to we keep out those who come in illegally, and, if arrested, return again and again? and the dope coming in? easy to sit far from the border and be pro-illegals...in fact, Bush and his gang simply inherited a problem that goes way back in time...recall the Oakies (Gapes of Wrath?),,,they did the work Americans would not do. And now? well, for openers, farm help exempt from minimum wage, and illegals work for much less ...sure: they are hard workers and most are decent etc etc but if you can not control your borders, they why bother with checking planes or anything else?And No. I do not have an answer for what to do with the 12 million now here. Ask Lou Dobbs, who raves but provides no answer to that issue.
posted by Postroad at 6:47 AM on February 6, 2008


Postroad: "recall the Oakies (Gapes of Wrath?),,,they did the work Americans would not do. "

I'm recalling, and I'm fairly certain they were, you know, Americans and stuff.

Regarding the UT issue, it seems like they're getting screwed by not having the government go through the usual eminent domain process. They're going to end up with a good chunk of land stuck on the wrong side of the fence, basically unusable, if that map/diagram is correct.

The solution, given that the public apparently wants a fence on or near the border, would be to take the land by eminent domain and compensate the University for it accordingly.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:54 AM on February 6, 2008


The border fence NEEDS to be well within US territory so that HLS tower gunners can easily machine gun any agriculture harvesting terrorist intruders to pieces without getting embroiled in bothersome international incidents.
posted by Horken Bazooka at 7:00 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's a nice title. You've clearly had 4th and 7th grade Texas history.
posted by wiggles at 7:07 AM on February 6, 2008


"Oakies" sounds like a squirrel's breakfast.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:18 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Texas? More like Fence-as amirite?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:24 AM on February 6, 2008


Alas, saying I fear brown people would be a lot more to the point if you knew that I have a daughter in law who is Black/Indian and another who is Korean
posted by Postroad at 7:33 AM on February 6, 2008


Securing the border is part of the GWOT, right? I mean, we know it isn't racism! So that means if you block the fence, you are providing material support to terrorists. Guantanamize 'em.

They need more Rovian framing.

Now don't be silly, these are NeoCons, they want to privitize government processes. That's why they'll just have the Minutemen take them out.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:36 AM on February 6, 2008


Politics (etc.) aside, I bet the president of UofT at Brownsville wouldn''t be nearly as angry if they weren't planning to put a giant fucking fence between the university and what looks like a nice stretch of their own land. (Not to mention the golf courses -- is she a golfer?)

Why are they taking that crazy route with the fence? Is it just to save construction money?
posted by pracowity at 7:38 AM on February 6, 2008


What happens if the fence chops thru your land like that? Do they put in a gate for you or do you need to go to a border crossing point every time you want to play a round?
posted by Mitheral at 7:55 AM on February 6, 2008


recall the Oakies (Gapes of Wrath?),,,they did the work Americans would not do.

Last I checked, Oakies were card-carrying Americans.

Personally, I think the border fence is the stupidest and most counter-productive proposal I've heard in a long time. As far as I can tell, its main purpose will be to give some nice big contracts to the same companies that have done such a stellar job in Iraq. What a fucking joke.
posted by Forktine at 8:27 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


recall the Oakies (Gapes of Wrath?)

There I was, having successfully forgetten the oaken carving of The Dreaded Goatse with a Mr. Potato Head angry eye stuck on each buttock so that it looked like the ultimate scream of rectal rage, and you made me recall it.

Ah well. Looks like it's back to Arkham Asylum for me. Gibbering in 3.. 2.. 1.. *gibbers*
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:33 AM on February 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hell, I'm doing the work Americans would not do right now.

(And by "Americans", I mean "Marketing", those bums.)
posted by ormondsacker at 8:39 AM on February 6, 2008


Mexicans are way too busy picking Lou Dobbs's fruit, cleaning his toilet and making his 5-Star hotel room bed to have time to crash hijacked planes into skyscrapers
posted by matteo at 8:42 AM on February 6, 2008


Dobbs may be a very irritable and repetitive guy but he is married to a lady who is Mexican, so it is dumb to dump on his "anti-Mexican" attitudes...He is anti-illegals. His problem is that he does not offer up his solution to those millions already here: amnesty? round up and send back? etc
posted by Postroad at 8:46 AM on February 6, 2008


C'mon, folks! We all know how well fences and walls work.
posted by pjern at 9:09 AM on February 6, 2008


Prediction: within a month or two of the fence being built, large sections of it will start to mysteriously vanish.

Extremist pundits will claim that this is a clear demonstration of how determined the illegal community is to get into our country.

Investigations will later reveal that it's a bunch of Americans, who are turning it in for the recycling money.

No one will offer a retraction, the fence will never be repaired, and the press will move on to the next non-issue 'Threatening Americans'.
posted by quin at 9:18 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]




Here's a Statesman article on the controversy.

To answer Mitheral:

The proposed fence would cut off nearly all of the school's 18-hole golf course, used by students and the public, from the rest of the campus. An opening in the fence would allow access to the course, but García worries that it would also serve as an entry point for illegal immigrants, jeopardizing campus security.
posted by puritycontrol at 9:25 AM on February 6, 2008


yeah, what cupcake said.
posted by puritycontrol at 9:27 AM on February 6, 2008


I say that every state should build a fence around it and every American should get a Pass Go and collect $200 with a Get Out of Jail Free Card.
posted by doctorschlock at 9:48 AM on February 6, 2008


If the fence IS ever built, will it be constructed by Haliburton employing illegal alien labor under a no bid contract? Plan B: Dick Cheney just shoots them in the face.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:02 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is anyone else afraid that the real purpose of the fence isn't to keep Mexicans out, but rather, Americans in?
posted by SBMike at 10:38 AM on February 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Afraid? Or a little bit cheered?

The cost is interesting:
The cost of building and maintaining a double set of steel fences along 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border could be five to 25 times greater than congressional leaders forecast last year, or as much as $49 billion over the expected 25-year life span of the fence, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

A little-noticed study the research service released in December notes that even the $49 billion does not include the expense of acquiring private land along hundreds of miles of border or the cost of labor if the job is done by private contractors -- both of which could drive the price billions of dollars higher.
Maybe they ought to pay Mexico to build it on Mexican land.
posted by pracowity at 11:12 AM on February 6, 2008


Learning from Athens:

"Three years later, in 480 B.C., the Persian Empire invaded Greece, and Athenians had to choose to fight the Persians with their ships, flee west, or surrender. Herodotus offers a detailed narrative of their decision-making. They began by seeking religious counsel. A delegation of citizens was dispatched to Delphi to ask the advice of Apollo’s oracle. The response was, at first, extremely pessimistic: “Wretches, why do you linger here? Rather flee from your houses and city. Flee to the ends of the earth.” The Athenians demanded clarification and were offered a cryptic message with a ray of hope. “All will be taken and lost . . . / Yet a wood-built wall will by Zeus all-seeing be granted / . . . a stronghold for you and your children . . . / Divine Salamis will bring death to women’s sons.“"

Turns out building a literal wall made Athens easier to torch. Our leaders are such fucking morons. Repeating mistakes on such a scale is simply inexcusable.
posted by phaedon at 11:26 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dobbs may be a very irritable and repetitive guy but he is married to a lady who is Mexican, so it is dumb to dump on his "anti-Mexican" attitudes...

I don't know a thing about Dobbs, but I would hesitate to use the nationality of his wife to prove a man isn't racist. Maybe he's just *also* sexist. (cf buying wives from overseas)
posted by DU at 11:29 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dear Ron Paul and various other faux-libertarians:

Your position on eminent domain is that it is unconstitutional and property rights must be protected at all times.
Your position on immigration is that we should move to isolationism where we build up a wall on the Mexican border ensuring that no one gets in.

Private property owners in your home state of Texas do not want the government taking their private property to build up a wall.

What is your solution?
posted by kigpig at 11:34 AM on February 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


I make it a rule to ignore anybody who uses "illegal" as a noun.
posted by nicepersonality at 11:53 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, I cannot believe that we're actually doing this. Illegal Mexican immigrants have been known to stow away in wheel wells, cargo containers, and other dangerous places; they are also known for running through some of the driest and most inhospitable stretches of desert in the country, while dodging both American and Mexican cops, soldiers, and armed drug-runners.

Gee, now that I think about it, it's obvious! If we build a giant fence -- one with gaps in it, of course, because otherwise we can't play golf -- this is clearly going to keep them out! I mean, I can just see it. "I think I'll leave my family and pay someone most of my life savings to help smuggle me across a national border illegally, all while running a significant risk of getting killed and/or kidnapped and sold into human slavery... Hey! Dammit, who put a fence here!? Jeez, now I have to go back and everything!"
posted by vorfeed at 12:22 PM on February 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


What is your solution?

Pay off the property owners in gold doubloons, do a set of donuts on the front lawn with a bulldozer, and scream "yaaarr!" while wearing an eyepatch.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:37 PM on February 6, 2008


The proposed fence would cut off nearly all of the school's 18-hole golf course, used by students and the public, from the rest of the campus. An opening in the fence would allow access to the course, but García worries that it would also serve as an entry point for illegal immigrants, jeopardizing campus security.

So today there don't appear to be millions of illegal immigrants cutting through the back nine of the golf course and there is no fence. We should instead build more golf courses along the border. It would be as effective as this boondoggle fence.
posted by birdherder at 12:39 PM on February 6, 2008


Dobbs may be a very irritable and repetitive guy but he is married to a lady who is Mexican, so it is dumb to dump on his "anti-Mexican" attitudes...He is anti-illegals. His problem is that he does not offer up his solution to those millions already here: amnesty? round up and send back?

Well I hear there will be a huge demand for below minimum wage labor to build up a gigantic fence...
posted by kigpig at 12:51 PM on February 6, 2008


oops, looks like that was already said.
posted by kigpig at 2:20 PM on February 6, 2008


Texas is fucking big, ya'll, and lots of it is empty. Then there's the rest of the border...It would drain the Treasury to make the actual wall work, and then? It still wouldn't work. Because walls never fucking work. Ask the Chinese.

This is as dumb as Star Wars space lasers...possibly dumber. Truly we've reached such deep levels of dumb from the Republicans that we're going to have to come up with different measurements. I would say we're approaching Absolute Dumb, but I've thought that before. At some point we'll pass the Moronic Event Horizon and be sucked into a crushing black hole of dumbness.

It does delight me, as a Texan, to see the two forces of "Government stay offa my land!" and "Keep out the Messicans!" collide in such hilarious fashion. That it involves a golf course for a bunch of privileged whities...even better.
posted by emjaybee at 2:23 PM on February 6, 2008 [11 favorites]


Yeah...I don't think I could have said it any better than emjaybee just did. *raises Shiner*
posted by dejah420 at 2:50 PM on February 6, 2008


Turns out building a literal wall made Athens easier to torch. Our leaders are such fucking morons. Repeating mistakes on such a scale is simply inexcusable.

WTF are you on about? According to your link, Themistocles
. . . argued, the Athenians should regard their ships as the wooden wall and fight the invaders at sea.

Themistocles’ novel interpretation provided the many Athenians who trusted the fleet with a way to align their personal knowledge of military preparedness with the religious message. Herodotus reports the outcome: “In their debate after the giving of the oracle they accordingly resolved that they would put their trust in the god and meet the foreign invader of Hellas with the whole power of their fleet, ships and men, and with all other Greeks who were so minded.” The outcome was a dramatic victory at sea—the decisive Battle of Salamis in 480 B.C. The Persian invaders were thrown back, and the Athenians went on to win their own empire and enter a Golden Age.
posted by D.C. at 3:15 PM on February 6, 2008


It's a question of literal interpretation, D.C. The oracle said "Build a wall" and the Athenians built a wall; and when the Persians came, they lit it in one place and set the whole city on fire.

Now I'm not advocating that we build a fleet of wooden ships to address illegal immigration.

But don't think you our leaders our making a mockery of our deep need for protection by building a chainlink fence on the border? I mean is that supposed to be a joke?
posted by phaedon at 5:36 PM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


knee-jerk mocking of the fence idea without offering any viable alternatives?
check.
conflating a concern about securing the boarders and stemming illegal immigration with anti-immigrant sentiment?
check.

must be metafilter.
posted by mikoroshi at 6:48 PM on February 6, 2008


mikoroshi writes "knee-jerk mocking of the fence idea without offering any viable alternatives?"

How about not building a fence? The East germans couldn't plug the flow over the berlin wall and they had guards in towers with guns overlooking no mans land and a willingness to use them. All in a heavily built up area. The US effort is laughable in comparison and doomed to failure.
posted by Mitheral at 7:05 PM on February 6, 2008


knee-jerk mocking of the fence idea without offering any viable alternatives?

It is possible to mock stupid ideas without needing to offer alternatives, because the thing you are mocking is stupid, pointless, and a poorly disguised corporate welfare handout.
posted by cmonkey at 7:02 AM on February 7, 2008


Wait, you want an alternative to building a fence? How about not building a fence, dumbass?
posted by phaedon at 9:57 AM on February 7, 2008


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