As the Washington "immigration debate" begins to look more and more like "political theater," it's refreshing to hear some new ideas. Here's one from officials in Texas, who live the immigration issue every day:
In response to the Department of Homeland Security's plans to construct hundreds of miles of fencing along the border with Mexico, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce started a campaign of their own: build a wall around Washington, D.C.
Steve Ahlenius, president and CEO of the chamber, inaugurated the tongue-in-cheek campaign through a news release Tuesday.
"It's frustrating to no end that Washington, which has no idea of what's happening here and along the border with Mexico, is proposing to build a wall," Ahlenius said by phone. "My response is: Why don't we just build around Washington, D.C.? It can protect us from some bad characters, some bad legislation and bad ideas."
So far, no one in Washington has responded to the proposal. But Ahlenius says that the chamber's 1,600 members support the idea.
UPDATE: Speaking of walls, Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) is insisting that he meant no harm in his suggestion earlier this week that immigrant families be contained by an electrified goat fence:
“If the answer is ‘build a fence’ I’ve got two goats on my place in Mississippi. There ain’t no fence big enough, high enough, strong enough, that you can keep those goats in that fence.”
“Now people are at least as smart as goats,” Lott continued. “Maybe not as agile. Build a fence. We should have a virtual fence. Now one of the ways I keep those goats in the fence is I electrified them. Once they got popped a couple of times they quit trying to jump it.”
“I’m not proposing an electrified goat fence,” Lott added quickly, “I’m just trying, there’s an analogy there.”
Asked for clarification as to what exactly the analogy was, Lott spokesman Lee Youngblood said…”A fence in and of itself is not enough… You can have technology to support the fence and to supplement the fence.”
Bizarre, but not original. As Think Progress points out, Lott likely stole the idea from his GOP colleague Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who last year displayed a prototype for an electric fence in the House chambers. "We do this with livestock all the time," King said.
Great minds think alike.