For all the talk in Congress about a fence between Mexico and the United States, nothing ever gets done.
For all the talk in Arizona about a fence between Mexico and Arizona, nothing ever gets done.
But now a state legislative committee that has recommended nothing specific in over a year and a half of meetings has proposed building the first mile. The fence has received no government funds. It has raised $273,000 in donations. It will cost the state an estimated $2.8 million, which of course means $5 million, minimum.
Politicians like to talk. Bureaucracies like to plan. Committees like to meet. But the border remains a sieve.
Something will be done one of these days. We have a politician’s word on this. A member of the committee assures voters that the committee is “looking to get the first mile started.” Yes, sir, it is looking into it. Carefully looking, you understand.
Once construction begins — within the year, if all works out — Smith said he is confident private contributors will begin donating again. Since fundraising began last year, private donors have given $273,000. The committee is talking to two fencing companies for the project, plans to use inmate labor and hopes private companies will donate supplies to lower costs.
The state legislature set up the committee in 2010. The committee is rolling along, holding meetings. “Members include Republican state lawmakers, county sheriffs and state department heads.” It has been meeting since March 2011. It has made no recommendations.
It was set up to make recommendations.
“I don’t think we have enough info to make a recommendation,” said co-chairman Rep. Russ Jones, R-Yuma. “There’s so much technology that’s important given the challenging terrain.”
But do not worry. “Jones said the committee may make recommendations starting early next year.” Then again, maybe not.
The committee is required to file monthly status reports. It has not met since April. It did submit a report in November 2011.
These is a solution to this problem. Jones has said the legislature may change the law requiring monthly reports. Then again, maybe not.
Although the committee hasn’t made any recommendations, Jones said there has been some movement: creating the committee website, hearing testimony from law enforcement and twice visiting the border.
There is an old rule: “Activity is no substitute for production.”
Their next step is to look at the technology and figure out the best way to secure the border, physically and through surveillance, Jones said.
That will happen Real Soon Now.
“We need to figure out how to make legitimate trade and travel possible,” he said.
Yes, they do. One of these days.
Meanwhile, the border remains a sieve.
Do voters care? Maybe a few do, but not enough of them to threaten politicians with reprisals for doing nothing. Comprende, usted?