News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Friday, March 14, 2008

US city plans moat to keep out migrants

Yuma goes back to basics as hostility to fences grows
Environmentalists back plan for Mexican border

Photograph: George Steinmetz/Corbis

There have been virtual fences, real fences, increased patrols and night-vision cameras. Now the latest initiative by the US to seal its increasingly porous border with Mexico harks back to one of the oldest approaches: dig a moat. City officials in Yuma, in south-western Arizona, have come up with a scheme to create a "security channel" along the nearby border by reviving a derelict two-mile stretch of the Colorado river.

"The moats that I've seen circled the castle and allowed you to protect yourself, and that's kind of what we're looking at here," Yuma county sheriff Ralph Ogden told the Associated Press. The scheme would see engineers dig out a two-mile stretch of a 180-hectare (440-acre) wetland known as Hunters Hole.

Once a haven to anglers, ducks and the Cocopah Indians, the area is now a thicket of tamarisk, forgotten shoes and old cars providing cover for smugglers and border crossers. But under the plan, all that would change. The banks of the river would be replanted with native cattail, bulrush and mesquite, and wells would supply water to the wetlands as well as to a 20-metre-wide, three-metre-deep channel that would run the length of Hunters Hole.

With the replenished river marking the frontier, would-be border crossers would have to scale a 4.5-metre levee - built with the earth excavated from the riverbed - cross a 120-metre-wide marsh and then ascend another levee on the northern side of the wetlands.

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