Wednesday, March 11, 2009

tunnel vision

You know the saying, "build it and they will come" ? It appears to be truer than ever when it comes to the border fence industry. Tunneling is the new the black. For a couple of years now Subtopia has done a remarkable job in examining the worldwide outbreak of border fence building. Here is the latest after dozens of tunnels have been discovered in just one Arizona border town.

As you may or may not know Nogales, Arizona has quickly become the border tunnel capital of North America, as in illegal cross-border tunnel, at least as far as the U.S. government can tell. The latest numbers according to a NORTHCOM Task Force briefing that was apparently secretly leaked over the web just weeks ago, indicate between 1990 and November 2008, 93 cross-border tunnels were discovered, 35 of which were in California, 57 in Arizona, and 1 in Washington State.

Looks like the multi-billion dollar border fence aint working so well after all – what a surprise. In fact it seems to be causing as much disaster as it claims to be trying to prevent, evidenced in nearly every environmental impact review you will read of the fence (not to mention the DHS waived of over thirty environmental protection laws to build it). FAS recently pointed out that the proliferation of tunnels dug underneath the border had been casually categorized as an unintended consequence in a Congressional Research Service report (pdf) drafted last year.

Looks as though the tunnelers are out smarting the rather expensive wall builders. As if the lessons of Berlin never entered the minds of our multi-million dollar govt. planners? Street smarts always trumps the bureaucratic mind.

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hat tip: phronesisaical

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