- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), which has placed hundreds of civilian volunteers on the Southwest border to stop illegal aliens from entering the country, announced plans yesterday to build a high-security fence on private land along the U.S.-Mexico border.

MCDC President Chris Simcox said six landowners and two construction companies have partnered with the organization to break ground and begin construction on a state-of-the-art security fence similar to one proposed last year by a Pennsylvania-based advocacy group.

Groundbreaking for the fence will be in Arizona on Memorial Day, Mr. Simcox said, unless President Bush deploys National Guard and Reserve troops “to immediately secure the out-of-control Southern border.”

“The existing border crisis is a dereliction of duty by those entrusted with American security and sovereignty, leaving America vulnerable to terrorist infiltration and an unprecedented crime wave caused by drug smugglers, rapists, thieves, human traffickers and murderers who currently cross our border at will,” he said.

Mr. Simcox said the Bush administration had taxed the wages of the American public “to pay for the protection of our country, and expended those dollars to subsidize millions of low-wage illegal workers with housing, education, medical care and welfare benefits.”

Colin Hanna, president of WeNeedAFence.com, told The Washington Times in December a “secure continuous physical barrier” was absolutely essential for any comprehensive immigration legislation to succeed.

His organization’s proposal calls for the construction of separate fences on both sides of the border, each 12 feet to 15 feet high and separated by a roadway to allow the passage of U.S. Border Patrol vehicles. Motion sensors would be buried in the road as part of the project, estimated to cost between $4 billion and $8 billion.

The structure would be 40 yards to 50 yards wide, with coiled barbed wire stacked eight feet high on each perimeter, and would include a ditch to prevent vehicles from approaching.

“Our proposal calls for 200 ports of entry, so that legitimate trade, commerce, tourism and commuting can take place without hindrance,” Mr. Hanna said. “The fence is not intended to stop immigration, only to stop illegal immigration.”

He said illegal entry is out of control, particularly across the Southern border, adding that some studies — including a January 2005 report by Bear Stearns — estimated that as many as 20 million illegal aliens live in the United States.

Nearly 700 miles of fence is proposed in a House-approved immigration reform bill, and about 200 miles of fence is proposed in a Senate bill, most of it in Arizona and well-traveled urban areas along the 1,951-mile U.S. Mexico border. The bills are now stalled. The government would have to purchase the land or declare eminent domain to build the fences.

Mr. Simcox said the two construction companies offered to inaugurate groundbreaking, coordinate volunteer construction crews and donate the use of heavy construction equipment. He said the fence will be built with privately donated funds, engineering and labor.

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