Past Features

January 13, 2017

Border Security:
Wall, fence -- or what?

A barrier by any other name would smell as sweet?

Well, I think there will be a barrier --- there will be a multi-layer approach to this, with technology, aviation assets, fencing. ---McCaul on Morning Joe - Jan. 12, 2017
Glenn Spencer   
Awaiting Clarification
    At his Jan. 11 news conference, President-elect Donald Trump said:
    "On the fence --- it's not a fence. It's a wall," Trump began. "We're going to build a wall. I could wait about a year and a half until we finish our negotiations with Mexico, which we'll start immediately after we get to office, but I don't want to wait."
    Yesterday, Homeland Security Chair Michael McCaul had this exchange on Morning Joe:
    Question: Will there be a wall along the Mexican border, and will Mexico pay for it?
    McCaul: Well, I think there will be a barrier - there will be a multi-layer approach to this, with technology, aviation assets, fencing.
Wall vs. Fence
    What is the difference between a wall and a fence? A Google search provides this most consistent definition: "The difference between a fence and a wall is that you can almost always see through a fence, at least to some degree, while a wall is solid."
    The question is: Should we build a border barrier that U.S. Border Patrol agents cannot see through?
    As Mark Krikorian of CIS said:
    "The border patrol has no interest in a masonry wall because you can't see what's on the other side."
    I made the same point 18 months ago when I also said: "More importantly, we need a border metric that will tell us if we have achieved the level of security the people want."
    At his confirmation hearing, General Kelly provided an answer to a question asked of him in a questionnaire:
    Question 42. The DHS Border Security Metrics Act was included in the National Defense Authorization Act. These requirements call on DHS to create consistent, transparent, informative metrics to measure the security across all of our borders. If confirmed, will you commit to work diligently to deploy these metrics?
    Should I be confirmed, I will.
    I eagerly await President-elect Trump's clarification of his position on these questions
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