Randy, your “Remember the Alamo: Walls work” is a telling narrative.

History can be a good predictor of the future, but in the case of walls, haven’t we advanced at all since the Alamo?

That was 1836 — almost three centuries ago. In the past we also protected our castles with moats; could we settle for some moats instead of your wall?

Your “Taylor story” does a good job humanizing the challenges our border patrol have in containing unauthorized (illegal) crossings; we agree a problem of epic proportions exists, and Taylor needs tools and, more importantly, policies that will help border patrol agents carry out their important job.

The focus on “walls” or “fences” is where we diverge. We have much more sophisticated methods that weren’t available in 1836. We need Taylor and others to get together with our politicians and experts in the field to figure out how we create barriers of entry and checkpoints that are abided by, rather than pundits like you or me thinking we know best.

It starts with good policy; the challenge is President Trump has politicized the wall as his symbol and characterizes all others who are not like-minded, like myself, as believers in “open borders,” which is simply not true, and no amount of saying it makes it so.

The other ingredient Trump loves to throw into the mix is fear. Fear is a powerful motivator that provides red meat to his base, and doubt to those “on the fence” as to whether walls will work, no matter how many miles are needed or how little economic sense it makes.

While not all “wall-believers” are racists, all racists want a wall. That polarizes and clouds judgment; fear and racism are a deadly combination. If this was about gangs and drugs, most of which come over in legal crossing zones, a wall isn’t the answer or the action step needed.

The solution begins with building policy honoring and respecting immigrants and those seeking asylum. Good policy alone will do more to stem the flow of illegal crossings than a wall, making Taylor’s job easier — especially equipped with technology built for 2019 instead of 1836.

We need to invest in solutions, not in politics; creating a national emergency so that “he” (and he alone) can fix it is like lighting a fire so that you can take credit for putting it out.

Stemming the flow of illegals with better policy, better technology and more manpower will make it easier for Taylor to spot and stop the “bad guys.”

Here is a simple, sobering factor to consider: Most illegals apprehended by Taylor are not the bad guys that “wall guys” want you to think they are. Rather, they are people (men, women and children) escaping war and seeking asylum; those yearning for a place to work or wanting to give their families a safer, better life.

Think about "Manuel"; he’s scared for his life every day, and that of his wife and family. He knows staying where he is means death and/or hunger. He runs, he hides, and he does whatever it takes, not taking a moment to ask questions or permission. That is real fear.

Think about the times you’ve been truly afraid of something, or somebody, and what you would do in the name of safety for yourself and your family.

Our immigration system is so broken that our politicians use “dreamers” as pawns and can’t even figure out what to do about them, knowing full well the majority are peaceful people. With dreamers, our country doesn’t benefit from a wall; they are not a threat. They’ve been here all their lives, paying taxes and adding to society.

We are a country built on immigration. Don’t quash it; work to make it a system based on “fair” not “fear” by building bridges, not fences.

Here’s another analogy to consider; our infrastructure has too many roads to fix to think about new bridges and there aren’t enough American workers to hire (the real tragedy with immigration is that there is a “win-win” we’re missing) and not enough money because our infrastructure dollars get eaten up by our war machine.

There’s something wrong in America that building a wall won’t change.

The answer: changing attitudes and setting new priorities.


I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it.— Oscar Wilde, author (1854-1900)