Friday, December 23, 2011

Is This About That Israel Fence?

Ever heard of what some Texans call the "Mexican side" of the U.S. border fence?

No? Well, this is what I learned from this story:-

There's an 18-feet steel-and-concrete border wall erected by the American government and the wall was built to satisfy a law, passed in 2006 and 2008, that authorized 700 miles of fence on the southern border, 315 miles of it in Texas. President Bush said the fence would make the border safer and was "an important step toward immigration reform."

Because of a decades-old treaty with Mexico prohibiting building in the Rio Grande floodplain, the government built its border fence more than a mile north of the snaky river, trapping tens of thousands of acres of Texas--land in Cameron and Hidalgo counties--on the wrong side of the fence. Some Texans live completely on the other side of the $6.2 million-a-mile wall. Others had their property split in half by the fence, after the government seized portions of their land. At least 200 people in Cameron County had some of their land seized for the fence.

Some residents worry that the government will close the gaps in the fence. A complete wall wouldn't let him get to his house from the road, which is on the "American" side. The road also provides access to his farm, which grows sugar cane, grapefruit, corn, and other crops, for his eight employees.

Earlier this year, Homeland Security told landowners that it planned to close the gaps with 15-feet-wide gates that would have keypads on them. Each landowner would get a personal code to open the gate, and the government would be in charge of who else might be allowed to use each code.

Technically the residents in the area are in the United States, but during a drug-cartel gun battle in June just across the Mexican border, several Border Patrol agents lined up on the north side of the fence and didn't venture beyond it. The impression was that the Border Patrol was securing the fence line in times of trouble, instead of the actual border.

A spokeswoman for the Customs and Border Patrol said agents patrol both sides of the fence.

The government didn't offer to buy the land it walled off from the rest of Texas, or to compensate people for the subsequent devaluation. It offered only to pay for the strips of land that were seized for the fence's path.

Does this sound something similar to Israel's predicament?

Is Israel acting worse than the US? Better? The same?


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