TCS Daily

The Battle of the Borders

By Arnold Kling - March 27, 2006 12:00 AM

What we have now -- and would with guest workers -- is a conscious policy of creating poverty in the United States while relieving it in Mexico. By and large, this is a bad bargain for the United States. It stresses local schools, hospitals and housing; it feeds social tensions (witness the Minutemen). To be sure, some Americans get cheap housecleaning or landscaping services. But if more mowed their own lawns or did their own laundry, it wouldn't be a tragedy. -- Robert J. Samuelson

Many people are eager to fight the Battle of the Borders. The idea is to prevent illegal immigration. In addition, what I might call the "new xenophobia" is eager to fight the Battle over Outsourcing and the Battle over Foreign Ownership. In my view, all of these battles represent misplaced priorities.

I believe that illegal immigrants bring relatively little economic benefit and cause relatively little economic harm. I believe that there are substitutes readily available for the work done by illegal immigrants. Legal residents could do some of the work. Other labor could be replaced by capital or by alternative production techniques. By the same token, because there are many substitutes available for unskilled labor, the salvation of American workers does not lie in immigration restrictions.

My prediction is that effective restrictions on illegal immigration would cause a shift in the location of unskilled labor, but not a meaningful long-term change in real wages. In the short run, wages for unskilled labor would rise in the United States. This would cause more manufacturing plants to relocate outside the United States, driving wages back down. Compared with the situation today, the net effect of immigration restrictions would be to shift some Mexican workers out of service work in America and into manufacturing work in Mexico. Within the United States, the reverse would happen: legal residents would lose manufacturing jobs more rapidly, and hang onto low-wage service jobs longer. I do not think that these economic effects are important.

Battle Over Outsourcing

Another battle that is not worth fighting, in my opinion, is the Battle over Outsourcing. For example, Harold Meyerson wrote in the Washington Post,

"Every other advanced economy -- certainly, those of the Europeans and the Japanese -- has a conscious strategy to keep its most highly skilled jobs at home. We have none

...We need to unionize and upgrade the skills of the nearly 50 million private-sector workers in health care, transportation, construction, retail, restaurants and the like whose jobs can't be shipped abroad."

Meyerson cites a paper by Princeton economist Alan Blinder that speculates about a large long-term impact from outsourcing. However, Blinder himself writes,

"Both history and logic suggest that markets, not governments, will take the lead in effectuating the necessary shift toward personally-delivered services -- and that markets will succeed. But the flexible, fluid American labor market will probably adapt better and faster than European labor markets will."

Blinder says that the sort of industrial policy advocated by Meyerson is a bad approach. He explicitly says that America's free-market system will "probably adapt better" than the European or Japanese model advocated by Meyerson.

Blinder argues that the structural adjustments over the next few decades due to outsourcing will be unusually large. Because of the Internet and the growth of the English-speaking work force overseas, primarily in India, there will be considerable churning of jobs, forcing Americans to adapt to new occupations and new careers.

Historically, international trade has not been a major source of structural adjustment for American workers. Other factors, primarily technological change, have been more important. Harvard's Ken Rogoff argues, correctly in my view, that this will continue to be the case. Rogoff writes,

"Globalization proceeded at a rapid pace through much of the last century, and at a particularly accelerated rate during its last two decades. Yet the vast body of evidence suggests that technological changes were a much bigger driver in global wage patterns than trade. That is, technology, not trade, was the big story of the twentieth-century economy (of course, the two interact, with trade helping to diffuse and stimulate technology, but this is a matter of semantics.)

"Are we so sure that it will be different in this century? Or will artificial intelligence replace the mantra of outsourcing and manufacturing migration? Chess players already know the answer."

Rogoff's important point is that technological change is going to be the most important source of Progress and Displacement in the years ahead. Many people today do jobs that did not exist 15 years ago, such as web programmer or genetic counselor. That sort of occupational churning will be a feature of our dynamic economy, and outsourcing will not be the dominant factor in that process.

The Battle over Asset Ownership

The Dubai Port Controversy came and went so quickly that I made no contribution to the discussion. However, I would have been in favor of allowing the Dubai-based company to manage ports located on our shores.

More generally, economists on the left have fanned the flames of the new xenophobia by arguing that when people or governments in other countries invest heavily in American assets, this poses a danger to Americans. However, as I have tried to point out (and as George Mason economist Don Boudreaux keeps trying to explain), investment in productive assets in America is a good thing. We should not fret that we are piling up overseas debts. Rather, we should rejoice that we are piling up capital that raises our productivity.

The Battles Worth Fighting

Security of our borders is a national security issue. However, it is a national security issue, not the national security issue. I would argue strenuously that Surveillance Supremacy and the Battle of the Mosque are more important.

A strong border would provide, at best, a false sense of security. We could have a perfect fence along the border with Mexico and still suffer a major terror attack, even from legal citizens.

I am not saying that the security benefit of a fence would be zero. However, the benefit would be very low, and a reasonable guess is that the benefit would be far below the "opportunity cost" of deploying those resources on other security measures.

Higher priority should be attached to getting surveillance policy right. In my view, databases and statistical profiling (which ought to rely on characteristics more precise and specific than race or religion) are critical. This issue, which also is controversial, has much more significance for our ability to prevent terrorist attacks.

The other major battle is the battle for hearts and minds in the Muslim world. My impression is that most Muslims are unwilling to commit themselves, either to moderation or to militancy. As long as militants are strong and occasionally successful, they will attract recruits and succeed at intimidating moderates. In order for moderation to have any chance, we need to inflict crushing defeats on the militants. We have to liquidate terrorist cells, overthrow pro-terrorist regimes (primarily Iran's), and stand up to Muslim threats to the values of liberty, including freedom of speech and women's rights.

The Battle of the Borders is a distraction. In the context of an existential threat coming from militant Islam, Mexicans and other Hispanics seeking better opportunity in the United States are, at worst, a minor nuisance.

Arnold Kling is author of Learning Economics.



Illegal immigration is more than just economics
Say what you will about the previous wave of immigrants, but this one doesn't want to integrate. They want to be accomodated and to not have to become English-speaking Americans. I don't want the United States to become a bilingual country anymore than I want to see the main language in China become English. America is an English-speaking nation with a English, not Spanish, political and cultural origin. Seeing the abject failure that is Latin America today, there is nothing good that can come out of having our country overrun with foreigners who don't share our perspective on freedom and culture.

Who's fault?
Who is at fault for immigrants not integrating? They surely bear some responsibility, but the anti-western civilization groupies invaded colleges and the US mind-set, it was considered intolerant to force new immigrants to speak English or vote using an English language ballot.
People are loath to change and when we accomodate them, why should they change?

Are our laws meaningless?
What's the point of having laws if we don't enforce them? It is ILLEGAL to enter our country without our consent. Period. How is this difficult to understand? For that matter, what's the point of having a country or a constitution when we don't have an enforceable border?

I don't see any problem when it comes to jobs -- we're currently at full employment with wages rising like it's the 80's again. What I have a problem with is not enforcing the law. That and the fact that illegal aliens are causing the breakdown of our educational and healthcare systems, and bringing with them poverty, disease and crime.

Finally, where's the compassion for Mexico? It's a 3rd-world country for no other reason than the fact that we allow our border to act as a pressure valve, insuring that the people of Mexico will never rise up and fix their own country. If we closed the borders and started deporting illegals, Mexico would have a revolution within 10 years. Why do we insist on an immigration policy that perpetuates 3rd-world conditions right outside our doorstep? It's cruel and inhumane!

Illegal immigration corrupts society
Illegal immigration corrupts society by further devaluing the rule of law. I have no problem with legal immigration. However, we must enforce all our laws if we are to remain a coherent, free society.

The lack of inforcement leads to anarchy, chaos, and the rule of those most willing to kill, maim, abuse, and steal from their neighbors.

Illegal residents
The problem is a matter of political ideology and who wants which position more: the anti-US advocates of open borders, or pro-US advocates who are legal residents and citizens who want rule of law and respect for them.
You cannot underestimate the ideological credentials, for example, of the current mayor of LA and others who directly organized these demonstrations.
The LA mayor has advocatged what amounts to nullification.
For those who payed attention to him, a graduate of The People's Law School for example and a Brown Baret before that, he is no surprise.
Wake up, America.
The battle over this issue is on, ready or not.

Why doesn't Mexico...
Why doesn't Mexico just Join the USA?

Good Grieg - Part 1
I'm in a rush and will address more of this later, but for the author to say that illegal aliens (NOT immigrants) cause very little economic damage is absurd. The cost the state of California over $10 billion annually. That isn't chicken feed!! As Sen Everett Dirksen once said, "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money."

Kling should live in Southern California and find out what a mess illegal immigration is making of the place. Between 1/3 and 1/2 of the inmates in our prisons are illegal Mexican aliens. Crime alon the border --- peoples' homes are invaded, livestock stolen, individuals physically attacked, by these illegal ALIENS coming across the border.

And then there is national security. The coyotes bringing the illegal ALIENS across the border bring drug shipments and other undesirables --- like potential terrorists. They don't care about the nationality or the intent --- just getting the money.

This weekend there were huge demonstrations across the country in support of illegal ALIENS and open borders. These people are saying, "We think American law should be ignored." How many other American laws would they like broken for them? How many other American laws HAVE they broken?

Intelligent, educated individuals who wish to enter the country wait on lists for years to do so. These people think they should just walk in becasue they are too lazy to do what they need to do --- change things in MEXICO. America is their candy store and their motto --- in opposition to all those who talk about the poor Mexican who just want a better life --- is, "Gimme, gimme gimme!"

Live here and see what it is really all about. Go through the juvenile halls and jails and see what it is all about.

Mexico supports this because the money sent back to Mexico from the US is such a huge part of Mexico's national economy and because drugs are such a huge source of revenue for the Mexican politicians. If those in the Mexican government weren't so corrupt, skimming money out of the economy, there would be more for the Mexican people. But the MEXICAN PEOPLE put up with this.

There is always talk of a guest worker program. Everybody seems to forget that we once had once. It was called the Brassero program and it was a huge failure, socially and economically, for both Mexicans and Americans.

Let Kling live here and see what it's REALLY like.

More later.

Imagine for a moment...
Imagine what sort of nation we would have if each year hundreds of thousands of our poorest, least educated citizens moved north to Canada to search for jobs and free health care with no intention of ever learning "Oh Canada", Francais, or how to make a killer poutine?

It's clear to see that Mexico has much to lose if we do anything drastic about the problem of illegal immigration. $17 billion in annual remittances by illegal aliens working in the USA is a nice way to paper over the real structural problems at home. Once here, the vast majority of aliens have no incentive to assimilate into the culture they now live in. Part of this is due to the fact that Mexico is so accessible, so there's no need to cut the ties to a home thousands of miles away and assimilate like so many other successful immigrant groups have done throughout our history. It is unfair to those legal immigrants fighting for jobs at the entry level as a sea of illegal immigrants ensures wage depression for all. They also put a tremendous strain on all forms of our civic infrastructure. The state collects no taxes from illegal workers or the employers who knowingly flout the law which effectively sticks law abiding citizens with the bill for maintaining that infrastructure. Something that is rarely mentioned in the whole immigration debate is the impact that such a mass exodus of mostly young, able bodied men has on the villages they leave behind. Who is to play the stabiilzing role that these fathers, sons and husbands should be playing in their community?

Battle of the Borders
A complex subject- by relating alternatives to economic terms the author evades the issue that our "enemies" do not. We are not, at this point in time, dealing with rational players who think in terms of cost/benefit on global terms. Short term actions are required to shore-up our "base" while longer term options are put in place.

If long term alternative energy programs had not been dismantled during the Reagan administration we wouldn't be faced with placating Arab oil sources.

Similarly, if the "Voice of America" had not been destroyed at that time, we would not currently be scrambling to offset the biased arab news channels.


Bracero Program
One of the key features of the Bracero program was that a certain precentage (~10% - 15% I believe) of the worker's earnings was set aside by the employer and deposited in a Mexican bank account as an incentive to return home. Not suprisingly, most of this money never made it through the official channels of corruption.
Bottom line is as long as Mexico remains a model of corruption, nothing will change. How else to describe the sorry state of a nation so rich in natural and human resources?

Tucson Trauma
Illegal immigration bankrupted the trauma care of Tucson General hospital leaving only one high level trauma hospital in the area for over a million people.
They are trashing the desert and have murdered a Ranger in Organ Pipe.
Also ranchers on the border fear for their lives and one has lost his ranch to illegals in a 'civil' suit.
No harm?
Also, remember the sweat shops uncovered in LA a few years ago? But they were asian illegals, not Mexican so they don't count?
How many sweat shops are currently operating across the country?
Where is the AFL/CIO demanding workers rights (and dues) for these poor illegals?

Don't get me wrong. My solution is to open the door to everyone with a valid passport, from anywhere in the world, no visa required. (Let's see how many Indians, Filipinos and other English speaking immigrants do against the Spanish speaking ones.)
If someone will hire them, great.
They stay no longer than five years or they must become citizens by passing a real English and civics test. (And no federal aid for ANY non-citizen.)

My Sicilian Grandmother lived in the USA for about 40 years and never spoke english.
We would eat more machine harvestable produce and less human harvested vegetables.

My Sicilian Grandmother lived in the USA for about 40 years and never spoke English. She did not need to because she lived in an Italian American part of the city where almost everyone spoke Italian. And my mother, her daughter speaks English far better than most of today American born college graduates (who say thing like there’s a few cars out there). My wife is from Honduras and all my nephews in Honduras go to English schools where they are immersed in all English classes, they all speak good English. Further when I lived in Honduras I saw that many of the bus drivers had American flags on the busses, the American flag was more common than the Honduran flag. Sure their where some privileged college student who where communists and/or just anti American but they are a small minority. So I think that today’s immigrant is no less interested in becoming American than past immigrants. BTW many even become protestant Christians.

PS I must say though that I do not like illegal immigration. I just think that the Government shoul

I do not think that Arnold argued that illeagl imigration good, just that it is a small issue.

This issue may not be big, but it needs to be addressed…
…and solved. Therein lies a big part of the problem. It is high time to get the border under control and has been for 50 years. It really surprises me that this didn't happen after WWII and that it remains an issue people love to talk about but don't want to solve. The solution is simple but getting more expensive every day. Decent security patrols and a fence; 8 ft. high razor "trap wire" fences would take care of most of the problem.

Oops, forgot that that isn't "humane". Still, it would stop the constant illegal traffic on the border. Also, lets get busy deporting a chunk of those here. After that, I'm not against giving amnesty to those who have shown they deserve it and a big-time guest worker program.

The real issue is: What do these people cost us? Neither they, nor their employers, pay any payroll taxes. What is the fine for hiring an illegal and not filing an I-9 form?
What does it cost for the health care and schooling for their families? How many of them have been involved in any criminal activities? How many of them have been involved in traffic accidents and have no insurance?

We need to let all of our wonderful, past and present, Senators, Representatives, Presidents, Vice Presidents, etc. that draw those healthy retirement checks pay for this situation. Just cut their checks back to equal the amount that Social Security would pay!

Build the same type of fence that all of the prisons have, round up all of those that are here illegally, and send them packing.

We need to show our politicians that we are not a nation of sheep and make them accountable for the laws that they pass and and the campaign promises they don't keep.

Law or no law?
Yes, either enforce the immigration and border laws or shut down INS and the Border Patrol.

Non-English voting
I agree. The problem is even worse than what you state though. If a person becomes a naturalized citizen, they must demonstrate proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing English in order to get that citizenship. So why are ballots for national elections in Spanish? For the illegal alien, of course.

One would think it had ...
One would think it had based upon the ease with which Mexican's move between the two countries.

Illegal Aliens Can't vote
AZ and CA both passed laws requiring proof of citizenship to register and to vote.
The laws are of course opposed by most illegal immigrant groups as racist. But why should they care if they are not illegally voting?
Mexico requires a voter photo ID card to vote, for what its worth.

Obviously she did not become a citizen.

How about the other states?
How about the other states? ... and besides, Janet Napolitano, Democrat Govenor of Arizona, has said publicly that she won't enforce the "citizens only" get to vote law. Additionally, she vetoed all registered voters having to show a photo ID in order to even vote, so as to prove who they are.

Prior to 9/11, I was in favor of completely opening the borders. Since then, priorities have changed.

If illegal workers have little trouble crossing the border, then so to can those who seek to harm the US.

Tunnel Vision
In a somewhat recurring theme, Dr. Kling sees the issue through a very narrow focus. The issue is more than economic - and ignoring the moral and legal implications of massive illegal (uncontrolled) immigration will lead to large economic problems down the road. One cannot have open, uncontrolled borders, through which 5% of its population streams, without social and legal consequences never mind the unfairness of it compared to those who play by the rules and enter legally.

There are costs in crime, disease, security, wage depression, lack of assimilation, schools, health care, social assistance, etc. How many do we allow to come - today its 12M, tomorrow its 100M. Where does it stop?

How do you have a country (a self-sustaining community) without reasonable controls at the borders?

Arnold got this one wrong.

Small if... believe laws don't really mean anything.

My beliefs haven't changed. Partially because of the things I saw in California and partly because of 9/11 I have always believed we need to have some border control. The same goes with Canada, believe it or not. I know a lot of farmer's who own land on both sides of the border with Canada, I don't have a problem with that; I do have a problem with Canadians and Americans hopscotching across the border and have for a while.
It isn't just for our security, but to be able to enforce our laws and for the security of Canada (or Mexico) as they don't want our criminals there any more than we want theirs here.

After 9/11 security just became a bigger focus; it has already been an issue for years.

TJ Jackson
Somehow I doubt the MSM will make these points in discussing illegal immigration. Good points.

Rule of Law or Mob Rule?
If your Congressman and Senators don't support stopping illegal immigration,now, please let them know we are not France. The USA is supposed to be a republic, resistant to mob rule.
In addintion, those illegal's protesting are not voters.

Mike RT is right.. and Arnold is wrong. End Economic Irredentism
To quote Professor Kling:

"I believe that illegal immigrants bring relatively little economic benefit and cause relatively little economic harm."

Notice the nature of this statement-rather than providing data and a soundly reasoned conclusion, Prof. Kling simply asserts belief. With good reason, too as it is a sign of ivory tower enlightenment to simply accept as fact any restriction on interbational flows of economic inputs is an unwarranted distortion on the flow of goods and services. I say this as somebody who earned an undergrad degree in econ and a grad degree in its first cousin-finance. Moreover if it WERE true, it would be deficient, because the issue is not one merely of economics. Then again, the problem with many economists is that they attempt to reduce every public policy issue to economic terms, even if economics isn't major dimension of the issue.

However, having spent time as a Government Healthcare auditor-I can tell you this is NOT true. Too many industry sectors predicate their business model on hiring illegals. This has a two fold effect: with fear of disclosure, a hiring firm can exercise control over the individual. Most importantly, it places that firm in a superior competitive position (costwise) over other businesses because when illegals get sick, then they are the public's problem. Illegals are often involved in high public cost behaviors and require HIV/AIDS, trauma and maternity servives. Beyond that, anybody know an increased rise in concern for TB and other "defeated" diseases? Thats because its coming in from other countries. Of course, its well know to illegals that having a child here "anchor baby" allows the mother to stay and qualify for public assistance.

Please do not compare the current crop of illegals with those who passed through Ellis Island.
Those folks were polked and prodded, often with degrading methods and invasive instruments as they were checked for diseases real and imaginary. They didn't suplement their wages with food stamps, TANF, medicaid, and various other programs. Equivalents of La Rasa and Reconquista wouldn't have among those folks. I know because my great grandmother who passed away in 1982 at the age of 94 and her peers, kept 60 and 70 year old municipal tax receipts squirreled away, carefully wrapped in sequential order for fear of losing her naturalized citizen status and being deported. Although she never mastered English, she accepted that as HER limitation and didn't except to be allowed to drive or do anything else in her language.

By the way, what a perfect example of "creeping socialism" as extending Medicaid to immigrants illegal and otherwise makes them easy prey for the next attempt at "Hillarycare".

You're right --- on thing, however, that many people forget is that, with the cheap labor coming over the border, the legal Mexican-Americans who worked near the border lost out economically. They would work the same jobs but were getting better money. When the braceros came in, they were paid less and so employers told the others to take less or move on.

Not humane?
Mexico has machine guns on its border with Honduras.

Savings for Security
I think Arnold should put all of the illegal alien Mexicans in our state prisons onto trains and ship them to Mexico City where they will be released. This ought to save us somewhere near $20 billion in prison upkeep costs for these losers. We can then use that to beef up border security --- and let Mexico deal with its own crap.

More than that!
I understand that ballots in Los Angeles are available in some 80 languages.

The thing that impressed me about the LA protest this weekend...
The thing that impressed (even surprised) me about the LA protest this weekend was that it was heavy on the US flag and light on the Atzlan rhetoric. Also, that it stressed that Hispanics come here to work rather than demanding welfare and programs. It is as if the classic Cuban ethic has taken the dominant position over the stereotypical Mexican ethic in the debate about Hispanic immigrants, legal and illegal. Honestly, I'm not surprised that the rank and file feel this way, strong on family and work. I am very surprised that the advocates have finally realized it's a position of strength and they knew it would be jaw-dropping to observers who hadn't paid attention for a couple decades.

The protest sent a message that put LA Mayor Villaragosa on the whacko fringe of the Hispanic political scene, a remarkable feat. It also made the anti-immigrant wing of the Republican Party (Bill Frist, Mark Krekorian, etc.) look like irrational xenophobes, another remarkable feat. Most importantly though, it gives us a model problem to have in relation to the Muslim problem that Europe faces. We have illegal immigrants waving our flag wanting to be here for the opportunities being here gives them. Great problem to have so far as I'm concerned.

As reported in the November 23, 2002 Houston Post:

Mexico’s foreign minister, Jorge Castañeda, said his country would begin a “bottom-up campaign” to win U.S. public support for a proposal to legalize 3.5 million undocumented Mexican workers in the United States. Castañeda said Mexican officials will begin rallying unions, churches, universities and Mexican communities.... [Castañeda said:] “We are already giving instructions to our consulates that they begin propagating militant activities—if you will—in their communities.”

While the Mexican government sends police to protect illegal border crossers against criminals, rogue Mexican soldiers protecting drug smugglers have threatened U.S. Border Patrol agents, and even engaged in shootouts, as reported in the Washington Times in January 2006. Rep. Tom Tancredo says the activities of these renegade Mexican troops in support of drug traffickers amount to a “war” along the U.S.-Mexico border, and he has urged President Bush to deploy troops there.

See pictures here:

Eye witness accounts state the organizers passed out US flags to replace the Mexican flags brought to the protest. The US flags were burned and trashed afterwards. This was from Tammy Bruce on the radio today.
Those that want to stay to become US citizens had better be aware that some want to reclaim the SW USA and make it just as prosperous as Mexico.

And most countries patrol their border with military or special police armed to the teeth.

I was being sarcastic, constantina razor wire is relatively cheep and miles of it could be put up in no time. If well patrolled, it is better than a wall as the patrol can see what is going on over the wire.

That is insane!!
I knew there were numerous ballots printed in California, but 80 languages? What a crock!!

The only answer is to look at what these folks do, that is work at jobs citizens don't want.
Who will pick fruit? Who will clean houses? Who will work in factories? As long as there are these and better jobs across the border there will be Mexicans crossing it legally or illeagally. You can not kill the American dream for these people or anyone else. And that is a good thing.

No US born folks that I know will spend 12 hours bent over in the blazing sun of California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas and pick beans or strawberries. If our stupid idiots in Washington stop them somehow, then these business that employ both low and high skilled labor will simply move to Mexico, Central or South America and get the labor there.

High school kids used to pick raspberries in NW WA for extra money.
Laws changed limiting the employment of teenagers and teenagers got lazy and parents got richer.
Growers developed machines to harvest the raspberries.
A significant number of construction workers are illegals.
Dairies hire illegals to milk the cows. I did that job for years.
If there are jobs that legal US residents won't take for the salary offered, then do like many countries in the Middle East do, bring in foreign workers on a contract basis.
There are better ways to meet the job needs.
Unless you speek Mexican, why would you want to hire Mexicans? If I had to import workers, I would look to Europe, India and the Philippines first, not Mexico.

Not corrupt enough, yet.

Good talking point
But wrong. There are a lot of people who will work these seasonal jobs. Teenagers are just one group willing to work some of these jobs. But no one is going to do it for the wages the illegals charge.
Where I live (way north of the Mexican border) their are migrant workers who come up to pick cherries and some other fruit crops; but a lot of the work is still done by area teens. Many other teens wish they could get the jobs and resent the fact these migrant groups come in at all. It used to be great summer employment, work a few weeks for enough to get gas for the car (or try to get enough together to buy a car), video games, music CDs and buy some clothes the parents don't want to pay for. Many teens thought it beat the crud out of bagging groceries.

I Know
I know you were being sarcastic --- I'm thinking more like land mines and nerve gas. Then again, sometimes I'm to the right of Attila the Hun

That is a bit drastic…
Lets compromise; claymores and WP with trips wires and razor wire. Oh yeah, and no humanitarian help on the other side of the wire.

BS - BS - BS
What BS!!! Only the Mexicans will pick fruit?!?! Give me a break!!! The only reason they're used to pick fruit is that the growers can exploit them for being illegal aliens. If there's work, people who need it will find it. Just because YOU don't know anybody who would pick fruit, doesn't me there isn't anybody.

Okay but ---
Claymores!! I like claymores --- but was always disconcerted that they had to put "This way towards enemy" on the damned things. It was pretty easy to figure out.

OR - we could just shoot them one at a time as they come over the fence and leave them there to rot. Anybody that tries to come get them --- we shoot and leave there. Sooner or later they've got to get the message.

Like we saud in the Army, you shoot the first one and the rest get the message.

Not that I have anything against it…
but shooting them requires active participation. An international mess if you ask me. However, we could put the claymores back a bit facing the wire and the tripwire inbetween. That should blow a few into the wire for the rest to see.

Yes, but -
we have to have a way of keeping people from picking up the bodies. Besides, eventually somebody will get the idea that they should look for trip-wires. How about ground sensors "wired" to auto-aiming M-1 50-cals --- make that quad-50s. Sensor triggers --- quad-50 turns in the direction of the sensor and opens up. Takes care of both offender and retriever. You just have to send sombody up to reload the quad-50s and replace sensors occassionally. Ordinance was such fun!

Of Course!
Phalanx guns: M-61A1 20MM Vulcan guns set up independently already; just have to change the sensor package and tweak them a bit. 4,000 to 6,000 rounds a minute ought to take care of every grasshopper in the county!!
Da mn, I worked with ordys on the version installed in the F-14A (yep, ex-navy) and I should have thought of that right away. One of my favorite weapons, sounds like a giant burp or rip when it goes off; cool as he ll and, because of the unusual sound, the idiots will probably walk right into it wondering what that funny noise is… at least for a while. Also, it has great range, only have to set one up every four miles and they will have overlapping fields of fire. It would probably take less than a thousand of 'em to do the job.

Yes she did eom

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