Proposed fence along the Rio Grande in Texas

Letter to the Editor
Re: Proposed fence along the Rio Grande in Texas

By Ben Zuckerman, Ph.D., Los Angeles
October 18, 2007
Los Angeles Times

Miguel Bustillo has written a heart-wrenching piece (Oct. 17) about a proposed fence along the Rio Grande in Texas.  For a wilderness-lover like myself, a long border fence through a rich, natural, environment is a damaging pseudo-solution to the problem of smuggling of people and dangerous contraband across U.S. borders. Sadly, it has come to this because the Bush administration, along with virtually the entire Democratic Party, refuses to enforce existing laws forbidding employment of people here illegally, laws that could much more effectively control illegal immigration than could fences in wilderness areas. Recent analysis by the non-profit Californians for Population Stabilization demonstrates that there are between 20 and 38 million people illegally in the USA.

Enforcement of existing employment laws would encourage most illegal immigrants to depart voluntarily and would greatly discourage others from entering illegally, even without a fence.

Ben Zuckerman
UCLA Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Board of Directors, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society