Just when you thought the Republican circus of presidential wannabes could not get any more laughable, a Black Republican named Herman Cain has emerged as a possible front-runner for the nomination with ideas so ridiculous it makes even nutty Michele Bachmann seem sane.
Cain recently stunned many when he claimed his solution to the problem of illegal immigration would be to build a Great Wall of Mexico that shocks-an electrified fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s right, Cain went a step further than Bachmann, not just supporting the building of a fence but electrifying it.
Which means that Cain has no problem frying people trying to enter the country illegally! Under media fire, he initially backpedaled and said his comments were “a joke” when talking to reporters after a meeting with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona on Oct. 17. However, the retired pizza executive acknowledged he still believes in the need for a border fence “and it might be electrified.”
Once again, this proves my thinking all along: Cain is nothing more than a pandering idiot, much like the whole slot of GOPers seeking to replace Barack Obama.
Cain, Bachmann and the entire Republican slate, like their base, have no idea how to solve the problem of illegal immigration-or they simply don’t want to face the facts.
The reality is that building a fence is costly and stupid and will not solve the problem of illegal immigration. The moderators, including Anderson Cooper, who get to question these bumbling fools on immigration should get the facts right.
Here are the facts. The border between the United States and Mexico spans four U.S. states and totals 3,169 kilometers in length. So far, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, a total of approximately 650 miles of pedestrian and vehicular fencing along the southwest border have been completed, out of the 652 miles mandated by Congress.
The cost of a wall that would run the entire length of the border has been estimated by some experts as low as $851 million for a standard 10-foot-tall prison-style chain link fence topped by razor wire. For another $362 million, the fence could be electrified, and for a larger, 12-foot-tall, two-foot-thick concrete wall painted on both sides, the cost would run about $2 billion.
At the end of the day, all of these costs could increase further, since the per-mile cost to build the fencing will vary considerably due to the type of fencing, topography, materials used, land acquisition costs and labor costs, among other things.
Where would this money come from in this time of global recession? Most importantly, how long would this fence take to complete, and what happens in the meantime, especially since it’s been proven that drug cartels build tunnels to get into the United States-no multibillion-dollar fence will really keep anyone out.
There are 40 such tunnels that have been discovered since 9/11 on the southern border. One tunnel running from San Diego to Tijuana emerged on the U.S. side into a very modern warehouse.
Most importantly, boots on the ground and modern drone technology at the border have been stepped up recently, as is evident in the unprecedented deportation of over 400,000 immigrants under a Democratic government.
And yet, the problem remains! Why? Because at the end of the day, there is no one solution. The need is for comprehensive immigration reform that addresses border security, the backlog on legal immigration and the need for work permits and a travel document for those who are moral, upstanding nationals living in the United States who continue to keep the wheels of the economy churning.
The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.