April 30th, 2006


America: a gated community?

Okay... When I first saw this website I thought it was meant to be a joke. But no! This is, hilariously, serious.

We Need a Fence!

Yup. These people are seriously proposing building a fence across the entire continent of North America, like some sort of national gated community, to keep out dangerous foreigners. Now, having spent six long years working for the UK Immigration Service, let me point out a few problems with this genius idea.

1) There is a piece of technology known to many would-be immigrants; the technical term is a "boat". It's used for floating on water and can, cunningly, be used to "sail" between countries. There is another, similar, technology known as an "aeroplane". Whereas a "boat" can be used for going around a fence, an "aeroplane" can be used for going over it. These foreigners can be tricky, you see?

2) The site says:

Approximately 100,000 illegal immigrants entering the United States from Mexico each year are not Mexicans. The Border Patrol refers to these persons as "OTM's" - "Other Than Mexicans"
Within the last year, over 450 OTM's have been apprehended illegally entering the United States from such officially-designated "special interest" countries as:

Anyone who has worked a week in immigration knows that the really dangerous foreigners - the terrorist variety - rarely enter the country in the back of a van. Oh no. They enter the country travelling first class, with a business or student visa in a passport that is either expertly forged or corruptly issued in a false name. The idea that a fence would stop a terrorist attack on the US is, frankly, as ridiculous as thinking you'd be safe hiding under the bedcovers. I'm sure it would make some people in government look like they were doing something useful, but it would have no real effect.

3. It would make the country look insanely paranoid. I mean, seriously. Check this out:

It is not unreasonable to think about the need for a northern security fence once a southern security fence is in place and working.

Yes! Secure that Canadian border, folks. Damn those Canadians with their niceness and good manners! (Or perhaps the northern security fence would be designed to keep in all those liberal Americans trying to escape?)

But, you know, why stop with a fence in the north and south? Why not go the whole way with some kind of dome? Seal the country under a plastic dome, that way no dangerous foreigners could ever get in. If you made it sound proof, no new ideas could get in either. Screw the huddled masses!

And for those of us on the outside, it would have the added bonus of sealing in 25% of the world's pollution.

Hey, it's a win-win situation. :)
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