Recent editorials from Texas newspapers

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San Antonio Express-News. March 13, 2014.

Border fence not same as reform

If and when immigration reform is reprised, talk of “the fence” will spout as reliably as Old Faithful.

Consider, then, the difficult experience of just one part of the 56 miles of the existing border fence and wall in the Rio Grande Valley. An Express-News article Nelsen spelled it out.

The Rio Grande meanders. Its banks are sometimes here, sometimes there. Other factors, including environmental, intrude.

But what is immediately separated from the United States at the Sabal Palms Sanctuary is the United States. As Nelsen explained, no passport is required to pass through its gates. In some places, more than a mile separates the fence, built on top of the levee, from the river. In between is the same farmland that predates the fence.

But also there, residents say, is a “no-go” land in which scrutiny - of the Border Patrol and those who cross the river without documents or with drugs and other contraband - is difficult.

Yet proponents of more border security have, in the past, blithely suggested more fence. Some suggest one continuous 1,950 mile fence from the Pacific to the Gulf. Others a mere 350 miles of double fencing. There are now 651 miles, which includes 352 miles of barrier to thwart pedestrians and 299 miles to block vehicles.

Now, imagine about 1,200 miles more - if a completely walled off Mexico is your taste. And since much of this would be in Texas, along the Rio Grande, picture the fence as having to separate much of Texas from Texas.

Picture also the cost along the entire length of the U.S. Mexico border: $185 million for a standard 10-foot chain-link fence topped by razor wire.

There is a better way to control and regulate immigration. A fence isn’t it.

___

El Paso Times. March 17, 2014.

Immigration debate: Obama right to review deportations

President Barack Obama will no doubt face criticism for his decision last week to review the nation’s deportation policy. But it’s a correct step, and one made necessary by Republican refusal to even consider immigration reform at this point.

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