February 14th, 2009
09:15 AM ET
8 years ago

Border fence a dividing line in immigration debate


Photo credit: CNN.
On CNN's "State of the Union," CNN host and chief national correspondent John King goes outside the Beltway to report on the issues affecting communities across the country. King recently traveled to Arizona, to explore the debate over how to control illegal immigration.

SAN LUIS, Arizona (CNN)
- The Yuma desert is below: San Luis, Arizona, to one side and San Luis, Mexico, to the other. On this clear day, the Colorado River is glistening, birds playfully circling over what any map defines as the U.S.-Mexico border in this area.

But from a helicopter above, the border is a steel barrier that stands out along the riverbank and against the desert sands, and is the dividing line that gets the most attention from those crying to cross illegally and those who believe recent efforts to bolster U.S. border security have been riddled with wrong choices.

Just this past week, eight Democrats in Congress wrote President Obama urging him to halt any further construction of the fence, one of the many border- and immigration-related political debates that have carried over from the Bush administration.

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Watch "State of the Union" this Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. ET.

Filed under: Immigration • State of the Union
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Anon

    Building a fence is waste of money ... it won't stop illegals to cross border.

    February 14, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Barbara Ca

    They may have fenced out illegal aliens but they also fenced out that beautiful, God given horizon.

    February 14, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Xavier

    I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley, so living along the US/Mexico border is something that I am very familiar with. Those individuals that think that a wall will solve the immogration problem are deluding themselves. The only purpose that the wall is serving is to allow GOP politicans give contracts to those individuals who gave money to their political campaigns. Follow the money, and you will learn that the companies being used to make the wall contributed to republican candidates currently in office.

    February 14, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Jon Davis

    It's a big waste of money because ultimately it won't have any positive effect. Mexico is a narcocracy with a narco-president already.

    February 14, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. KLS

    Too bad Bush didn't properly fund the fence project so it was already completed. With the flood of illegals going back over the border because of our dire economic mess would the fence now keep the illegals here and work against our original plan of keeping them out?Recent CNN report stated 1 million have returned home – "Bad economy forcing immigrants to reconsider U.S."

    February 14, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. C W

    Right, a fence is going to keep people out – get real! If you want to reduce illegal immigration, start cracking down on all the old white guys and their companies who keep breaking the law by hiring illegal immigrants (who are cheaper and will put up with more doing jobs Americans don't want to do).

    If there were no jobs – if Latin America's economy wasn't in the toilet – if Latin American could offer their own people education and opportunity – we wouldn't have an illegal immigrant problem.

    But most importantly, if American business people didn't hire illegal immigrants, the illegals wouldn't keep coming.

    February 14, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. jaye

    Why not build the fence and keep illegals out? I'm just curious.

    February 14, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. libs be dopes

    Interesting.....Obubba says the economy is in shambles yet we will allow free flow of illegals and drugs into our country?

    Maybe they come here to spend dollars and increae our cash flow.

    February 14, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. gg

    the only fence you need don,t hire illegals

    February 14, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Matthew, Detroit

    I love how everone is so free and loving with spending my money to pay for illegals. They should not be here. The clog up the system, the prisons, the hospitals, the schools, the colleges, welfare, etc...

    They should be shipped out. WE CAN NOT PAY FOR EVERYONE.


    February 14, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. Richard A. Spomer

    This is an act which should have been done a decade ago, and in so doing we would not have the immigration problems that exist at present. Do you really think President Obama has the initiative to see that correct measures are taken??

    February 14, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Bill

    It's not high enough!

    February 14, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I don't believe immigration is high enough on Obama's already overambitious agenda to ram through any comprehensive reform with the same undue haste he applies to other issues. He will likely stall enforcement by eVerify and ICE raids on employers who feed the problem, but it doesn't appear he has the political muscle or vote margin to protect illegal aliens.

    February 14, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Looking for truth and honesty

    C W, you hit it right on the head. We need to start having harsher penalties on those companies that hire illegal immigrants. This will force companies in the country to take more responsibility and accountability for their hiring process.

    February 14, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. texas

    mr obama tear that white wall down

    February 14, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Lilly Rose

    Unless you are a pure Native American, we are all immigrants, so stop the bull. Hating immigrants is just another excuse to hate and there is too much of that in this country already. We need to stop before God just destroys us.

    February 14, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. MartiM, Plano

    Let's hope the stim package doesn't result in a reflooding of illegal (operative word here is "illegal") aliens taking the jobs created from taxpayers' money.

    February 14, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. gary, gpp

    How about a wall around Alaska to keep sarah Palin in?

    February 14, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. Hammer

    The Democratic leadership will try to force the congress to give the nearly 40 million illegals in the US citizenship.
    They refuse to stop business from hiring illegals, illegals are not required to pay taxes,but are given special treatment in education,health care, and exemption of obeying the laws of the US.
    This is to subsidies,at taxpayer expense, the business labor cost by providing cheap labor with these illegals.
    With 11.5 million Americans unemployed, if our government had any concern at all for these citizens they would made some effort to stop the illegal flow into the country.

    February 14, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. roger dowdle, lockhart, Tx

    We can spend millions to build a twenty foot fence, and somebody will spend 100 dollars to build a twent five foot ladder! The best way to curb illegal immigrants is to target the businesses that employ them with hefty fines, give amnesty to those who are here and register,( requiring picture id, fingerprints, and dna sample), payment of back taxes, and place them at the end of the line for legal status.

    February 14, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Ken

    The American citizens deserve to have the fence built the WHOLE LENGTH of the southern border!


    Obama and his administration needs to STOP CATERING to the ILLEGAL ALIENS that are in this country taking American jobs away from our LEGAL citizens.

    February 14, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. Happy Camper

    Bring our troops home so they can gaurd the borders and protect us from terrorism. Also, the illegal immigration problem is bankrupting the states social service programs and they are being taken advantaged of by unscrupilous employers.

    Some illegals are working in agricultural and poultry plants without knowing if they had proper immunizations. This will be a health crisis soon. Why don't we enforce our laws and demand that anyone here illegal be deported ? It's not racist to ask people to obey the law and follow proper procedure.

    February 14, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. worriedmom

    to: Roger
    We need you up there in Congress!! Why havent they figured out that is the way, start with employers!!! We have been saying it all along but then again, get rid of the Hispanics and ACORN wont have anyone voting Democratic!!! If you are gonna be here in the US collecting benefits then pay your taxes as ever other hard working individual does!! Let's take care of our own first!!!

    February 14, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. susi

    BRING ALL ILLEGAL they will be new democrats voter..liberal want all as long tax payer pay for all free bee.

    Liberal trade american with illegal

    February 14, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. kee

    US PRESIDENT JOB TO PROTECT america NOT bring all illegal because they will vote OBAMA..

    war in the border causing by illegal can WH move to loredo

    February 14, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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