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One Texas Newspaper Bucks the State Trend of Common Sense to Endorse a Border Fence

LatinaLista — Today, The Dallas Morning News ran an editorial titled “The Fence Must Go Up.

Fence between El Paso area and Mexico
(Source: Sprague Photo)
In the editorial, the writer(s) say that though they don’t see the fence as a “cure-all,” they support it because it’s “part of the immigration overhaul Congress was trying to pass the last two years. We said build it, if that’s what it takes to pass a plan to create a saner immigration system.”
But how is a “saner” immigration system built when the foundation it rests on defies common sense?
Probably the same way a newspaper endorses a controversial issue because now it is law, and for that it suddenly makes sense.

A great newspaper stands up for what is right — regardless if it’s the law or not.
How many papers in their day spoke out against slavery? Civil rights violations? Unequal treatment of women and people of color?
A great newspaper exhibits the courage to stand up for what is right for the state, for its people and for its larger role in the Union and global affairs.
A great newspaper champions the underdog when the underdog’s stand is considered just and righteous.
Opposition against the border fence is definitely an underdog issue.
Small town people are facing a government machine that is part of an administrative philosophy that believes Executive Branch privileges prevail over what is best or wanted by the people most impacted by the issue.
That The Dallas Morning News would justify their endorsement because it is now “the law of the land” undermines what the duty of every newspaper editorial page in the world is: to analyze, weigh and deliver a verdict on an issue.
To say they go along with it because it is the law is an easy way out of delivering a thoughtful analysis and weighing the pros and cons to deliver a verdict that exemplifies they know the people and what’s good for their state.
Yet, what’s worse is that this newspaper can now never be counted on for championing change of that law.
Its resigned acceptance sends a message that a battle is over when it becomes law — even if the law is bad.
Thank God Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporters did not follow this course of action. Otherwise, Obama nor Clinton would be running for president today.
If The Dallas Morning News stand is to be justified because the border fence is now law, then it stands to reason that every other newspaper in the state of Texas would resign themselves to this fact as well.
That’s hardly the case.
In a very informal survey of the major newspapers in Texas, I found that no newspaper agreed with The Dallas Morning News.
Newspapers surveyed were: the Houston Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Antonio Express News, El Paso Times and Amarillo Globe-News.
Speaking to either the editorial page editor or an editorial writer or assistant in the department, the question was asked: Has your newspaper ever editorialized about the construction of a border fence between Texas and Mexico. If so, what was your newspaper’s stand on the issue?
The editorial page editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram responded: “We understand there is a problem with illegal immigration but no fence is going to solve it. We stand by our editorial and several editorial writers and columnists feel this way. We’re also concerned with the environmental (impact) and water rights.”
The editorial page editor of the El Paso Times adamantly delivered a one-word response if they were in favor of a fence: “NO.”
From the San Antonio Express-News: “We’ve written several editorials against it. We call it an impractical fence.”
Two newspapers, the Austin American Statesman and the Amarillo Globe-News, while not completely saying no to the fence, did not fully endorse it either. In fact, both newspapers said they were skeptical about the effectiveness of such a barrier.
As the editor of the Amarillo Globe-News editorial page said, “Something needs to be done to stop illegal immigration but we don’t feel a fence will necessarily work.”
Each of these surveyed newspapers did what the public trusts them to do: analyze, weigh and question the wisdom of something that will have a profound impact on the state of Texas and its residents along the Mexican border.
It is what newspapers are supposed to do — not just give up because it’s now designated as law.
Laws can be changed.
Public trust is harder to turn around.

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  • Frank
    December 13, 2007 at 7:44 am

    The fence will work. In San Diego where there is only a 14 mile fence it has detered illegal immigration by 90% there. It greatly assists the Border Patrol in doing their job. This is about national security for this whole country and any border state that objects to it is being selfish to only care about their own little territroy rather than our country as a whole. What could possibly be more important than our national security?

    December 13, 2007 at 8:02 am

    It is the will of the people, not all people, but the majority. The fence will not be a cure all solution to illegal immigration, but if it decreases the flow of illegal immigration by 50%, it is well worth the cost to erect it. The government, state and federal, does know what’s good for the people (legal citizens) on this issue because the people have demanded a barrier along the border and finally someone is listening to those demands.
    The environmental impact of the fence will be minimal since the main concerns seem to be for migrating birds and plant pollination. Both are airborne and will not be effected by a fence. Desert cats will climb over and coyotes will find their way around. Besides, even if a few plants and animals are inconvenienced, the goal of a more secure border will be accomplished. That’s the bottom line.

  • Frank
    December 13, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Although I value animal and plant life, I value human life much more.

  • Horace
    December 13, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    As EoT has stated, a fence will reduce the flow across the border. Marisa would expect us to believe that a guest worker program is the solution, but that can hardly be the case, as we do not have near enough employment opportunities to accommodate all who would make the attempt to come. An open border will only encourage future illegal immigration, despite a guest worker program. There is no evidence that a guest worker program alone, would stop the flow. I just wonder what Marisa’s plan B would be, should her concepts fail. An apology to the American people will hardly be sufficient. Remember that we instituted a guest worker plan in the 1980’s? Our politicians took the advice of the Hispanic community at the time, but it failed to stem the flow. Latin Americans were generously given amnesty, and they betrayed their adopted country when they encouraged their friends to follow in hopes of a new amnesty, the very one under consideration at this time. Furthermore, an open border would permit the entry of drug smugglers, gang members, and criminals fleeing Mexican justice. Our Constitution requires that our federal government protect our nation, first and foremost, the inconvenience of local border communities and interests of would be economic refugees notwithstanding. Amnesty? Never again.

  • yave begnet
    December 13, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Although I value animal and plant life, I value human life much more.
    Except for the lives of migrants who die trying to cross the border. Apparently they don’t count.

  • David O.
    December 13, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    I love the the Magic 8 ball views of the pro-wall, anti-immigrant know-it-alls with THE answers and solutions. It has not changed one bit. Same old noise.
    There is more to life that the Frank and Horace show.

  • Publius
    December 13, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    Something like 50,000 citizens die on our highways every year, a fact that rarely makes the headlines. We haven’t seen fit to declare that everyone park their car in their drive way, so why should we sacrifice our law enforcement interests for the sake of less than 500 who choose to engage in risky behavior. Your point is absurd, yave. I suggest the reason that few Americans are up in arms about this is that it is viewed as a Mexican problem, as it rightly is. If it were Americans crossing the other way and dying, perhaps we’d care more, as our government would be proactive in preventing it. I suggest that you write your Mexican congressman in Mexico city, yave, or maybe your nearest consulate. I understand that there are over 40 in the U.S.

  • Publius
    December 13, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    “Except for the lives of migrants who die trying to cross the border. Apparently they don’t count.”
    I’ll admit it. Shame on me if I value the lives and safety of 300 million Americans over that of thousands of smugglers, criminals and MS-13 gang members who would infiltrate our nation along with the thousands of people looking for work. The first duty of our government is serve citizens, otherwise it would have no purpose. While I would regret it, I’m afraid that I would indeed sacrifice the 500 illegal immigrants who die by their own hand in the deserts, if it means that the aforementioned criminals would be prevented from killing hundreds of citizens every year. These crimes do occur, though illegal alien advocates would callously dismiss it as not being committed at any greater rate than is done by citizens. Such dismissive arguments are hardly solace to citizens whose loved ones would be sacrificed to the economic needs of foreigners.

  • Frank
    December 14, 2007 at 7:16 am

    yave, these illegal aliens choose to put their own lives at risk, we can do nothing about that. See publius’ last comment. He/she said it well.
    david, same old nonsense from the pro-illegal crowd too. Amnesty, pull the race card, etc. Yawwwnnnn.

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