Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Never even saw it

There have been a number of different concepts for dealing with immigration in the United States. For a long time, there was the "bring everyone through Ellis Island and see what happens" approach. There was also the "they aren't immigrants if we've purchased them first" thought. In more recent times, the concept has shifted to "let's see what happens if we let them in and give them no support". Needless to say, this last concept hasn't really proved as fruitful as some of the others, which is why there is now a major push to stopping immigration (or, at least for now, the illegal kind, where they don't bother trying to register their existence within our borders).

One of the more novel ideas of the GDub administration was the creation of a fence along the border between the US and Mexico, along with a military presence. Well, recently, it was discovered that a good portion of the military along the border was the Mexican army itself. Now, given that we had that fence in place, there just isn't that much to worry about, right? Double bonus when the fence is a "virtual fence", set to alert border guards to illegal crossings.

But hold on. It turns out that the "virtual fence" idea is about to be scrapped, because it wasn't actually alerting the guards anywhere near as often as it should have. Which may cast a new light on the whole border issue, since, well, up until now the thinking behind it has been flawless.

What we're failing to realize is that the virtual fence worked exactly as it should have. The problem came when we failed to realize the overall canny nature of the immigrants, who proceeded to come up with a plan called "virtual staying put". And they then proceeded to wander right across the area where the lack of fence was, because, if we can't bothered to actually get some chain link and barbed wire, why should they have to stay where they are.

This also will make it much more difficult for the government to move ahead with some of their other concepts, which include the "virtual spaceship" and the "virtual White House". Actually, that last one might not be such a bad idea, especially if we can get "virtual campaigning" to go along with it.

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