Debate Club

A Border Fence Won't Deter Desperate Illegal Immigrants


No fence will deter desperate people whose countries are in the midst of unrest, war, famine or poverty. Desperate people overstay their student and tourist visas; tunnel under the border then walk the desert; burrow into the side doors of cars or trucks with no air conditioning, food or water for days; or swim or take a leaky boat across the sea. Desperate people climb over the current 20 foot, 600 mile fence, or walk around its. We wouldn't consider a Maine to Michigan "big fence."

Our country has maintained its demand for illegal immigrants by not educating for the available jobs and by regulating businesses right out of hiring legal workers.

America needs top-level science-trained professionals and low-level laborers--jobs Americans are not qualified for or don't want. America needs blue collar professionals like carpenters, mechanics, plumbers and electricians, but the U.S. government goes to war with the very schools that teach the trades with an emphasis on academics-only in high schools and by dismissing the value of for-profit schools. Then the Environmental Protection Agency decides these trained workers need five years of steady, one-employer training at minimum wage before they get full pay. Employers cannot commit to five years in today's economy; trained workers will not accept it. Yet demand continues; faucets break.

[Read more from Donna Keene: The Conservative Case Against a Border Fence.]

Until we look at the mandated benefits that step in between the contract between employee and employer, we will continue to squeeze our businesses into choosing audacious and hazardous illegal hiring. The cost of hiring legal workers is skyrocketing while the prices businesses can charge in completion within a global economy is declining. Labor unions, many of them voted into a permanent parasitic role in dying American industries more than 50 years ago, keep our businesses from competing on a level playing field with the world.

As with the "war on drugs," the demand side of illegal immigration is as important as the supply side. Fix our labor and legal immigration policies and the illegal immigrant conundrum will be simpler.

Spending another $15 billion to finish the fence is a sound bite we cannot afford, but it is easier to blame the Mexican border and desperate Hispanic illegals rather than face our government's failure to compete against countries with simple taxes, solid education systems, and reasonable regulations.

Donna Wiesner Keene

About Donna Wiesner Keene Washington Liaison for

Other Arguments

60 Pts
Why a Border Fence Wouldn't Work

No – Why a Border Fence Wouldn't Work

Ralph Basham Former Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

58 Pts
Illegal Immigrants Are Drawn Towards Jobs

Yes – Illegal Immigrants Are Drawn Towards Jobs

Mark Krikorian Author of 'The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal' and 'How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration'

33 Pts
Border Fence Part of Larger Solution

Yes – Border Fence Part of Larger Solution

Colin Hanna President of Let Freedom Ring

-51 Pts
U.S.-Mexico Border Is Safer, But Not Secure

No – U.S.-Mexico Border Is Safer, But Not Secure

Alfonso Aguilar Former Chief of the U.S. Office of Citizenship.

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