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Border Security a Waste of Billions of Dollars

When you hear a conservative say that we have to “secure our border” before we can have immigration reform, you should ask them a few questions.

What does “secure our border” even mean? Is it even possible? Has it ever been done, anywhere? What would it take to completely secure a land border? What problems are we trying to solve, and how are we going to solve them?

If they can answer those questions (and I doubt they can), and if they are really interested in reducing our deficit, you should point out a federal report that shows that billions of dollars have been wasted on trying to secure the border. Indeed, if politicians would actually enact real immigration reform, that would have a far greater effect on securing our borders against real threats, not imaginary ones.

After all, to solve the problem of illegal immigrants, we need solutions, not meaningless sound bites like “secure our borders”.



  1. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Couldn’t you also use the same analogy for Education, we’ve thrown billions at that problem and it seems to show no improvement. So why spend more money until we get some real actual reform.

    We’ve spent a trillion dollars trying to stop terrorism, but theres still terrorism, so why keep trying.

    We’ve spent billions and 50 years trying to develop a viable electric car, yet we keep trying.

    We’ve spent years billions on many diseases that are not cured, so why keep trying.

    I hear you complain about spending on border security, but what would you do differently with the border? You seem to offer no solution. You know what I do to whiners that complain to me ad don’t offer a solution don’t you? 🙂

    Monday, February 28, 2011 at 7:05 am | Permalink
  2. C.S.Strowbridge wrote:

    “Couldn’t you also use the same analogy for Education, we’ve thrown billions at that problem and it seems to show no improvement.”

    Except you are not spending billion on improving education, but fighting wars trying to ban evolution. You are spending money of Charter Schools, which have been shown to have worse outcomes than public schools. It’s not the money, it’s the waste.

    “We’ve spent a trillion dollars trying to stop terrorism, but theres still terrorism, so why keep trying.”

    Mark Ruffalo was put on the no fly list for sponsoring a showing of GasLand. The warrantless wiretapping program was caught listening on generals’ phone sex with the wives back home. Again, it’s not the money, it’s the waste.

    “We’ve spent billions and 50 years trying to develop a viable electric car, yet we keep trying.”

    Firstly, we do have a viable electric car, many of them. However, we also spend billions each year on the oil companies, who then interfere with said development.

    “We’ve spent years billions on many diseases that are not cured, so why keep trying.”

    Oh for fuck’s sake.

    “You know what I do to whiners that complain to me ad don’t offer a solution don’t you?”

    Whatever it is, you should do it to yourself.

    If you read the link, you would know the report said the money was being wasted while the offered better solutions.

    In other words, they are spending billions of dollars, but the border is no more secure than before. On the other hand, there are other options out there.

    Monday, February 28, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink
  3. Sammy wrote:

    Yes Patriot, waste is waste, and waste is bad. But arguing that because we’ve wasted money elsewhere, then it’s okay to waste it on the fake border security is a terrible argument.

    At least with education, there are teachers being paid and students being taught. I lived in San Diego for 14 years. There ain’t no one gettin’ stopped from coming into the States if they really wanna be here. I worked as a payroll director for an employee leasing company in the construction field. Somewhere along the lines of 90% of the SSNs I saw were fake and there was NOTHING we could do about it. We, as a private employer, were legally prohibited from investigating SSNs, as long as one was provided with other legally required documents. EVEN if the SSN was 999-123-4567.

    Monday, February 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Yeah PatriotSgt, why are you whining when I did provide a link to a report that *did* provide alternatives. RTFM!

    Monday, February 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  5. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Oh I’m sorry IK, are these the alternative plans:
    “billions of dollars could be saved if government agencies better used their resources”
    or was it this one;
    “Congress terminated wasteful or duplicative programs and refocused enforcement priorities on real threats.”
    Or from;
    “This grand bargain—better security through wider gates—may seem counter-intuitive, but may be more effective”
    I don’t see anything a 5th grader didn’t already know or open borders people want AND I didn’t see anything from YOU!

    Sammy, I have done contract work for ICE and I can tell say with 100% certainty that you are wrong. It is required that you send look at the documents and detact anyting a laymen (such as yourself) should be able to detect. If you , as you pointed out, could see the #’s were no good, you broke the law by hiring them. Additionally, the IRS should have sent you a list of SSN’s that were mismatches with names and asked you to check that employess documents. I understand most don’t stay longer then 1 year, but there could have been some. Also, as an emplyers agent you were required to fill out and sign a W9 saying the documents (2 forms of ID) were in the best of your ability true and real.

    CSS – I know we need to have immigration reform, no doubt about it. I have personal immigration stories that show that beyond a doubt. I have also been a eye witness to what goes on at the border and how lives are affected. I want change, but I want responsible change. As do many of my “naturalized” associates. I’m tired of people proposing these wide general crap solutions that they believe support their political viewpoint. Give me a detail.

    Monday, February 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
  6. Sammy wrote:

    @Patriot: Not in 1995. I don’t know the law now. However, the I-9 packets I receive do not anywhere have the requirement that I be able to recognize a real SSN card from a fake one. As long as I receive one.

    Monday, February 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
  7. Bard wrote:

    It’s easy to solve immigration. Let people into the country, make them citizens and tax them. The current immigration limits are a joke considering they’ve only existed for the last 100 years.

    Monday, February 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
  8. Name wrote:


    Opening the borders isn’t a very good solution. I am all for immigration. Except for the bit of Native American in my ancestry, I am a product of immigration. So is 99% of Americans. I feel that what some people are forgetting is that immigration in our ancestor’s days was much different. You came through Ellis Island, you yearned for the freedom and chance at prosperity. You can practice religion freely. Start a farm, a business and incorporate into the society. Immigration now a days is an entirely different issue. People are sneaking across the border. Living illegally and giving them citizenship is not the answer. If your first act in this country is an illegal one, you can’t be here. If you wish to come here and do it properly, I am 100% behind you. The government cannot take on thousands of new people and give them things and rights that we as Americans enjoy.

    Without knowing the language, the culture, the land, the laws and behavior, how long would you last if you decided to jump ship to Germany or France?

    Border security is a must. Not just for the people who wish to come here and better their lives. I admire that in people. Leaving everything, leaving an opressive government and coming to new lands. I would do it in a heartbeat if I had to. But they’ve got to do it right.

    I remember working with a landscape company back in the summer months of high school. I worked with some illegal immigrants who spoke very little English, drove cars and weren’t able to read the signs. Couldn’t go to a grocery store and buy an apple unless it was an ethnic shop. Not only did they not integrate into the society, they sent 75% of their earning back home to their country where the conversion rates made them essentially rich back home. After 10 years or so they would retire back to their home land. It’s a great idea if you think about it, but it doesn’t assist this country in the long run. Most were working for at or below minimum wage under the table, they had food stamps, they lived in section 8 with 6 others. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but it doesn’t stimulate the economy to have an unfaithful person living here, not paying equal taxes as citizens, having children in public schools when the parents aren’t fully contributing to the local governments and having all the freedoms and rights as an American.

    If you want to be here, great. I salute you. Please do it properly and when you do, do it because you want to be an American, not just be in America.

    Perhaps easier restrictions on gaining citizenship would be beneficial. Not less security. Lets not forget that, albeit a beautiful country, our southern neighbors have some serious issues with drug cartels and corruption within their government.

    Seriously talk with someone who is a native from Mexico, and they will tell you that times are very rough down there. They fear for their friends and families, honestly they do. They will tell you there are a lot of crazies down there. We need border security for those people. I urge you if you have the chance to speak with someone about Mexico, ask them what it’s like. It’s no wonder they wish to leave. But we can’t let the unruly ones in and to ensure that we need security and to have immigrants do it legally.

    Monday, February 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  9. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Sammy- The use of I9s began in 1986 with the Immigration Reform and Control Act and the amnesty program that Reagan used. It’s what caused our current wave of illegal immigration with people thinking there would be another amnesty. By your own admission you knew the documents were false so the “i didn’t know” defense would not work. Both employers and employees can be fined for knowingly accepting false documents and either can also be charged criminally. There is a free web based program by the SSA to verify SSNs for employers (, but I’m not sure how long it been around.

    Bard – Open borders is as ridiculous as putting armed Soldiers every 5 feet along the border. Our infrastructure can barely support us. Does anyone want to see 50-75 kids in a class, or our parks disappear so we can build te additional housing for the 300+ million people who would come here in the first year?

    You are right though in that the current quota systems need to be adjusted and the process by which people apply to come fixed. I know from 1st hand experience that more then a few of our foriegn embassies are not quite on the up n up. If you do’t “know” someone or contribute to someones “pocket fund” it is extremely difficult to get an appointment let alone a visa. Thats from both americans and locals who work in those places.

    We have many open border like entry points. I have been to the San Ysidro, Otay Mesa and Tecate POEs in CA and there are 10’s of thousands of vehicles and people who legally cross our border 24hrs day/ 7 days a week just like at our airports. They are not the problem, it’s the ones crossing illegally. Imagine if we let anyone walk onto airfields? Wold you feel safe flying?

    I realize we need to fix immigration policy, but we also need to fix illegal entry. I don’t know exactly what that will look like, but we can start a real adult conversation towards that end.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 8:32 am | Permalink
  10. Iron Knee wrote:

    PatriotSgt, thanks for the thoughtful comments.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 10:07 am | Permalink
  11. Sammy wrote:

    Patriot: I am currently, in a different window, reviewing an I-9 form. Nowhere on the form is there a requirement that I, as an employer, have the burden of proving the document I have is legitimate. It only states that I must retain copies of the listed required documents. Furthermore, there is this notice in the first box of the document: “Employers CANNOT specify which documents they will accept from an employee.”

    Yes, you are correct that the SS Dept does submit to employers a list of SSNs that are not legitimate, and we did receive those all the time, AFTER the fact. But by the time we could track down the employees, they were gone (and often back for another round with a new SSN).

    At the time there was no internet and no way to request in advance verification of a valid SSN. In fact, the laws against discrimination didn’t allow us to even ask the question, because we would have only been asking the question of those with brown skin, speaking mostly Spanish.

    As a side note, I wonder how many untold millions of dollars have been dumped money into the Social Security and Medicare system by illegal workers using fake SSNs?

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink
  12. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Hey Sammy – I know the difficulties employers have, I’ve talked to many and been one myself. INS/ICE is getting better and will even come to your location now if requested to help HRO type folks comply better. The requirements I spoke of are contained in the law and are not on the I9 itself (typical government operation) other then the list of acceptable documents. Where I’m at, we wanted to invoke that charge concering I9’s back in 2006, but the INS Chief attorney (in our local) had to look back to 1989 to find the only case it ever successfully used in. They would not prosecute basically, because they didn’t know how and if it would work. But, none the less the law exists. You don’t have to worry.

    Your right on the SS and MC funds going in, but it gets yanked out somehow by the IRS, because it never shows up as extra income in the rightful taxpayers SS reports. I do know that most claim alot of exemptions (i’ve seen 99)and consequently don’t pay income tax, but I really don’t know what happens to the SS and MC dollars, maybe some secret government slush fund or something (area 51). They other danger is ID theft, it usually won’t work because they don’t have your DOB or current address, but can be a pain to fix. There was an illegal using my SSN in Las Vegas a few years back, and I had a ID theft issue during the same time frame, but could not confirm if they were related.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink
  13. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Sammy – Here is a link to the instruction book that might clarify the I9 use and employer responsibility (latest version 1/5/11).

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink
  14. ebdoug wrote:

    Christian Science Monitor had an article on the Border Fence waste and destruction of the environment. Remind me to get the link on the Web Site when it goes on-line.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink
  15. Sammy wrote:

    Ha Sgt! I used to see that too. A whole lot of 99 dependents, but anything over 10 we were supposed to notify the IRS about, so they started using 9 and 10 dependents. Actually quite industrious.

    On a side note, when I lived in SD I drove a pickup. I couldn’t drive into a Home Depot parking lot without a group of six to 12 guys running up asking me if I had any work for them. Not a handout or “money for gas or a bus ticket”, but work. None of them were white, ever. These were not folks looking to get government money. They wanted a job. To work.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink
  16. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Your right on that SAmmy, there’s many of them who’ll out work most Americans. Very industrious. A funny story – We had finished a search warrant at a location and were bringing everyone back to the jump point. We all had our tactical gear including ICE raid jackets when we pulled into the shopping center lot and jumped out of the vehicles. Must have been about 50 guys took off running, a few just stood still and looked the other way. We changed out of our gear, and went into McDonalds for lunch. I bet underwear sales or laundry use shot through the roof that day.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink