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Nowadays, many people around the world try to immigrate to another country, mostly to more developed ones (Schiller). There are numerous reasons why the people migrate. A great number though migrate because of the economic situation while others may be to seek asylum, others migrate because of political unrest and others migrate to seek for education. The people who immigrate to another country go through a complicated bureaucratic process to meet the requirements in order to receive the citizenship, which takes a year or more depending upon the situation. Due to this complex bureaucratic process some people choose to enter these countries illegally also because they are unable to meet the requirements. Illegal immigration is a major problem facing the United States.
The United States has been facing the problem of illegal immigrants for many years. (Reid, Washington Post) argues, "state legislatures around the nation are considering hundreds of proposals dealing with illegal immigration, reflecting the exasperation of many local officials with congress's failure to contend with the millions of undocumented workers who have entered the nation in recent years". These proposals reiterate the fact that the states are worried about the impacts of illegal immigrants on the citizens of the state. The state governments are worried that continual increase of immigrants will have negative impacts both economically and socially.
To prevent the negative economical and social impacts caused by the illegal immigrants, Congress, under the Bush administration, passed this bill about building a fence between the border of the U.S. and Mexico to prevent illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico. Largely this has become a controversial topic to many people who have various opinions about the border fencing. Whereby in an effort to curb illegal immigration the then US President George Bush signed in to law a plan for 1,125 Km of new fencing along the US Mexico border.
Michael Chertoff, the head of the Homeland Security, visited Arizona and California in early 2008, where the construction the 700-mile US Mexico border fence had already been started, and presumed that the construction would be successfully finished by the end of 2008, as the Mexican officials vehemently opposed the move.
Edward Sifuentes, a reporter of North County Times San Diego, CA. argues that "the virtual fence -- a network of cameras, radar, sensors and satellite imagery -- is supposed to detect illegal immigrants and drug traffickers between the ports of entry and other areas of the border" . Melanie Mason, a journalist based in Washington, D.C., argues back that "Border fencing is bad policy for the United States" for many reasons, and that the "Virtual Fence" project "cannot distinguish humans and vehicles from livestock and bushes." Some of the other supporters who share the same opinion with Mason indicate that the project "Virtual Fence" had never influenced the illegal immigrants to stop crossing the border, and that these illegal immigrants were hired to build the fence. Although the "Virtual Fence" uses high-technology equipments to observe the illegal immigrants crossing a steep and dangerous mountain, opponents of argument are doubtful about the function of this Virtual Fence.
The cost of building the border fence has been another issue of this problem Mason insists, "though the exact figure is a matter of some dispute, there's no disagreement that a fence would be a tremendous expense" (Mason). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) predicted the cost of building the border fence only for the San Diego area is about $130 million for 14 miles, which rounds up to $9.3 million per mile. It is a tremendous amount, way over the prediction of the Budget Office, which was $ 3 million per mile. Nevertheless, (Hunter) Duncan disagrees with Mason and states that "the DHS has more than $1 billion cash on hand for border fence construction and more will surely be delivered" the fencing policy has been viewed by many as an effort to frustrate the Mexicans who crossing the border illegally. Through the past experience in San Diego, illegally, and DHS still has enough money to complete building the rest of the border fence. He thinks that when the border fences are connected to other states in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, the result will eventually be a satisfactory one.
Another severe problem due to the border is the arrest of the illegal immigrants crossing the border, which has caused many fatalities around the area. Owing to the surveillance that has been enforced a great number of the immigrants opt to choose the short distances so as to avoid being arrested. They choose to use regions that mostly consist of rough mountains and terrains and has severe climate conditions. Especially, by enforcing the surveillance for illegal crossing, many of the immigrants choose the short distance to avoid being arrested easily, to the region where it is mostly consisted of rough mountain paths with severe climate and terrains. Mason asserts that "deaths along the border have increased substantially since the mid-1990s-500 fatalities in 2007 alone." (Mason). On the other side, such fatalities give enough warnings for those who planned to cross the border fence illegally. Some supporters say that the people who died or arrested while crossing are mostly drug traffickers. Sara Miller Liana, a writer of The Christian Science Monitor, states that "about 400 of the Mexican drug cartels were arrested in the US as the culmination of a two-year effort" (Liana). They should seriously be prevented from crossing the wall because the data indicates that they do not care of the danger and the risk they are taking when they cross the border. However, the death of those who died by crossing the border is mostly affected by the environmental causes. Dane Schiller, a writer of San Antonio Express-News, claims that "most of the deaths were from drowning, heat and other environmentally related causes," that resulted hundreds of fatalities (Schiller).
These people who gave their opinions out have the same goal: to minimize the immigration problems. However, due to the differences in their points of view, they presented different opinions and actions that resulted unwanted outcomes such as enormous expenditure, and increased numbers of fatalities, or crimes. In particular, the clash of opinions between Mason and Duncan seemed to be far from compromising. Yet, if they break down their own opinions and look again, their ultimate objective is to lessen the damages around the border.