The Border Fence.

Throughout his primary campaign, U.S. Senator and teabagger wannabe, John McCain, has repeatedly called on President Obama to “finish the dang fence.” Of course, he’s referring to the fence being built along the border between Arizona and Mexico that has already cost billions of dollars.

McCain and Gov. Jan Brewer would have you believe that illegal immigration is the source of all our problems – crime, unemployment, the drain on social services, and the deficit. They would also have you believe that the fence, along with stationing thousands of National Guard troops in the desert will solve all of our problems. After all, who could get through a fence?

Well, for starters, how about the three escaped murderers who recently left an Arizona medium security prison by cutting a hole in a fence? Or how about the Mexican drug cartels that have breached the border fence by cutting holes in it and building ramps to drive over it? Or how about the human smugglers who have tunneled under it? How come McCain and Brewer never talk about that? And when they talk about adding National Guard troops at the border, why don’t they ever mention the nearly 10 border security guards per mile already stationed there?

Throughout history, there are plenty of examples of fences and walls that failed their purpose. The Great Wall, the Roman wall across England, the Berlin Wall…there are many more. What makes McCain and Brewer think this border fence will be any different? The point is that, if people are desperate enough, they are not going to let a fence stand in their way.

The immigration issue is extremely complex, driven by poverty on one side of the border and by the greed and need of employers on the other. In Arizona, as well as in other states, many of our homes have been built with the help of cheap labor provided by illegal immigrants. Much of our food is harvested, prepared and served to us by illegal immigrants. Many of our hotel rooms are cleaned by illegals. The list of products and services provided, wholly or in part, by undocumented workers is quite lengthy.

Who’s at fault? The workers? The employers? The Mexican government? The succession of administrations and Congresses that have failed to deal with the issue? The U.S. and Mexican economies? The Central and South American economies? Or those of us who knowingly purchase goods and services provided by undocumented workers? There is plenty of blame to go around.

Ramping up racist hatred through jingoistic campaign commercials does not help.