Sunday, August 06, 2006

Steve King: fenced & wired

In honor of the Setphano Reys' of the Latino world out there praying that they don’t put too much juice on that wire, I’ve the intro and link to Congressman Steve King’s recent opinion in the Daily Nonpareil on the urgent need to fence & electrify the southern border.

Guest Opinion: Fence cost-effective, compassionate -- Congressman Steve King

Some newspapers and blogs embellish facts and add meaning to suit their bias. This has been especially true of comments I made when discussing the need for border fencing.

To be clear, I am a proponent of border security and enforcement first. If the administration continues to neglect enforcing our immigration laws, employers continue to demand cheap labor, and illegal drugs and people continue to pour across our wide-open southern border, I want the most efficient and cost effective system we can devise.

Many of us have experienced the jolt of an electric fence, which serves as a distinct reminder not to touch it again. You don't have to be a farm kid to know this, but bloggers and liberal activists don't notice that standard practice in security is often electrified wire on top of a security fence or wall. We do this with people and livestock all the time in the U.S., where electric wires top fences that protect factories, military installations and private buildings. It is not a new idea or a particularly bold one, no matter how strident activists would like to make it sound.

Okay, so I really don’t want to make you read anymore of that Steve King. I figure the multimillion-dollar, creepy version from Bangor is about the only Steve King anyone should ever read for any kind of entertainment.

But read it if you must. It’s filled with the usual staff edited kingisms; a stream of Steve extolling his good earth confidence that building a twelve foot high fence, topped with electric wire will stop the flood of illegals, and funnel these determined people to the legal ports of entry where they’ll immediately be denied access and gladly return to their life of abject poverty a thousand miles to the south. Hmm, this string of logic seems to be missing a little bit of…something, perhaps a deeper understanding of the economics of migration?

I’m a big fan of the NBER -- expert economists elegantly crunching numbers -- so I went looking for a few points on the central problem in our illegal immigration debate: the interaction between economics and migration.

Professor George Borjas, in his introduction to an NBER book on Mexican immigration, provides an excellent summary of the elements that have converged to generate the current crisis in illegal immigration. On a quick read (eight pages), the key elements to the crisis center on the growth of the existing social infrastructure that facilitates immigrants’ access to economic opportunity, which, thanks to American employers, they have plenty of opportunity to inspire a move north. Mexican immigrants rely on their American based friends & family to get to the U.S. for jobs with significantly better wages than are possible in Mexico.

Good fences make good neighbors if you live in New England, have plenty of money and don’t particularly like people. But if you have friends in America and know that your standard of living will improve five times over, you’re going hop the fence no matter the height or the current.


Oh, and what is with Steve King’s dislike for bloggers?

According to Steve, bloggers are strident activists who embellish facts to suit a personal bias.

Guilty as charged.


Tom, crew, J & the girls: a fine finish in the Governor’s Cup - I'm glad y'all had reasonable winds.

Of course, if you MUST read more about Steve King, go to the KingWatch website at

KingWatch was put together by a group of voters from the 5th District who have had enough of the outrageous things King says and does in our name. Check it out.
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