ENGL 101 W
18 April 2012
The Border Fence: An Environmental and Economic Disaster
In 2006, Congress authorized the Secure Fence Act; a multi-billion dollar plan to build hundreds of miles of fencing along the southern border of the United States to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants and provide security from potential terrorism. Construction of the border fence has turned into a controversial issue and financial nightmare for American taxpayers. Supporters of the fence (which covers less than half of the actual border) believe it significantly reduces the number of illegal immigrants from entering the United States. Opponents of the fence are concerned with the environmental impacts, rising costs and question if it can keep people from sneaking in at all. The U.S. Border fence may reduce the number of illegal immigrants entering the United States, but its construction comes with disastrous economic and environmental consequences.
Each year, millions of immigrants cross the border illegally in hopes of finding jobs and economic prosperity. Ninety-seven percent of apprehensions by the Border Patrol in 2010 occurred along the southwest border. Out of concern for the nation’s safety after 9/11 and increasing numbers of illegal migration, the U.S. Congress under the Bush Administration, authorized the construction of a border fence (Homeland Security).
The international border dividing the United States and Mexico stretches some 2,000 miles from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that it had more than 580 miles of fence in place by the second week of January, 2009. Work is still under way on fence segments in Texas and on the border in California. The number of Border Patrol apprehensions declined 61 percent from 1,189,000 in 2005 to 463,000 in 2010. Border apprehensions in 2010 were at their lowest level since 1972. Apprehensions previously peaked at 1,676,000 in 2000 (Homeland...