Monday, October 11, 2010

No Border Wall group launches Web site

Rio Grande Guardian
October 11, 2010

McALLEN, Oct. 11 - The No Border Wall coalition has launched its own Web site, to go alongside the blogs it has been running these past few years.

With a lot of information and citation links to documents and newspaper articles embedded throughout, the group hopes the new site will become a point of entry into the issue for reporters, researchers, policy makers, and the general public.

The Web site address is .

Scott Nicol, a spokesman for the No Border Wall group, said the Web site is designed to be a comprehensive guide to the U.S.-Mexico border wall – its history, effectiveness or otherwise, and the types of wall designs being floated and built.

Nicol said it is vital that national policies of the magnitude of a border wall are based on facts, rather than misleading sound bites. “That is why we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information that is presented on the Web site,” he said.

The border wall issue was huge in the Rio Grande Valley a few years ago, when the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Michael Chertoff was developing plans to build hundreds of miles of border fencing. The issue has since waned at least as far as news coverage is concerned.

The Guardian asked Nicol to detail why the Web site has been developed now and why it will be relevant in the weeks and months ahead. Here is his response:

“This is a critical time in the struggle to prevent hundreds of miles of additional border walls from being built. With mid-term elections less than a month away, politicians from all over the country are calling for the erection of more border walls. Some go so far as to demand that double-layered walls stretch continuously from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

“South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, who hopes that his backing of Tea Party candidates will give him a power base in the Senate, has twice this year introduced amendments that would require hundreds of miles of additional border wall, ignoring the fact that at an average cost of $7.5 million per mile his new walls would cost taxpayers $2,647,500,000.

“Even more extreme than DeMint is Kansas Representative Todd Tiahrt, who is running for the Senate. He has introduced legislation that requires continuous double-layered border walls along the entire 2,000 mile long border.

“From Rand Paul in Kentucky to Michael Gardiner in Rhode Island, conservative candidates are trying to outdo one another in their support for more and more border walls, in an effort to show voters that only they (certainly not their opponent!) can secure our nation's borders and keep us safe.

“Most of their claims regarding spillover violence and the effectiveness of border walls are at best urban myths, and at times outright lies.”

Nicol said the No Border Wall has launched its new Web site in an effort to present the facts.

“Any discussion of the future of the border, and those of us who live here, should be based in fact, not simply sound bites that appeal to the irrational fears and misconceptions of voters in Kansas or South Carolina or Kentucky.

“If, as many predict, there is a big shift in Congressional control, those who campaigned on border walls will feel obliged to follow through. As we saw with the Secure Fence Act (passed just weeks before the mid-term election) once legislation is passed it is extremely difficult to do anything about it. We need to work to educate people now.”

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