The Fence that Divides

If this doesn’t cause serious problems with civil libertarians, then who knows what will. Homeland Security’s border surveillance system is about ready to be put into operation.
By all reports, the new border surveillance system (Secure Border Initiative – SBINet), the one that will likely clock in at a cool $8 billion dollars, will likely be software operational shortly with actual construction starting by late March or possibly early April. There seems to be a few software glitches holding it up right now and the tech wizards are trying to sort them out before putting the virtual fence into operation.
Imagine that, a fence right along the order of the U.S. and Mexico that will feature radar, sensors, cameras and a plethora of other sophisticated communications equipment all tagged up on towers, which are linked to communications centers for border patrol agents. Rather reminds one of war zones seen in the movies. How this is going to be good for human relations is a good question. How this will impact immigration is an even better one.
The erection of fences always goes to the heart of the question of who is being kept in or out and what will happen over time when people try to breach the system. An idea that doesn’t even truly bear thinking about when this is supposed to be a century of people treating others with humanity, dignity and respect. Ideally that is what the immigration system is supposed to do. Add in this provocative border fence and all good will flies out the window.
The fence, being built in segments and also named in segments e.g. Tuscon-1 and Ajo-1, will be under way by late summer. This particular segment spans about 60 miles and will be the first portion of the fence to get built. One segment has already been operational since February 2008, a 28 mile stretch in Arizona.
Take a moment to really think about the ramifications of something like this. What does this say about a nation whose Constitution is based on freedoms? The kinds of signals this type of project sends to the world is frightening and it has the potential to spin off in other directions, causing other unforeseen events. This whole project isn’t about respect and dignity for human beings. It is about keeping people out of the U.S.
As lawyers who defend the rights and freedoms of the people in the U.S. and its immigrants (also from Mexico) we need to regard this project with a great deal of suspicion. The ramifications of this may be ones we will heartily wish we had never seen.

Sally Odell – Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, PA is an immigration lawyer in Miami with immigration law offices in Orlando and Miami Florida. To learn more about immigration lawyer in miami, immigration lawyer in orlando, immigration lawyer in florida, visit

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