Arizona: Please Donate to Help Build Border Fence
Gov. Jan Brewer signed bill launching the plan
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2011 1:20 PM CDT
The porous US-Mexico border fence stretches through the Sonoran Desert on January 18, 2011 in the Tohono O'odham Nation, Arizona.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – If the federal government won't complete Arizona's border fence, then gosh darn it, the state is going to do it itself. Arizona lawmakers have a plan that would get the fence built using online donations and 50-cents-an-hour prison labor, and Gov. Jan Brewer recently signed a bill setting the plan in motion, the AP reports. If the money comes in and landowners cooperate, construction could begin this year. Of the 650 miles of fence currently in place along the US-Mexico border, nearly half is in Arizona, which has a 376-mile border.

"We're going to build this site [for online donations] as fast as we can, and promote it, and market the heck out of it," says state Sen. Steve Smith, who sponsored the bill. He adds that donors could possibly receive certificates stating that they "helped build the Arizona wall." Supporters of the bill haven't given any estimates as to how much they need to raise, but the federal government has previously estimated a cost of $200,000 to $15.1 million per mile. The state is already using public donations for another border-related purpose: defending its controversial illegal immigration law in court.

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Showing 3 of 40 comments
mimidrn
May 29, 2011 8:09 PM CDT
Try living in AZ before you're so quick to judge. Our schools, neighborhoods, and hospitals are over run with illegals sucking the system$ dry. Over 52% exist on food stamps, welfare, free food programs in public schools, SSI, and any other tax-payer funded programs they can collect in their P.O. boxes (since, legally, they can't have a U.S. address). Announcements and signs in department stores are no longer in English, for "fear of offending"; VOTING ballots are printed in Spanish but, oops, my mistake....you must show proof of citizenship to vote in this country, right? ....and proof of citizenship to register your children for public school (exempt from immunizations that my children HAD to have) and receive in-state tuition and scholarships, right? ....and hospitals must hire interpreters for "equitable care" and require that employees are bi-lingual for fear of federal government retribution. I, for one of MANY, would much rather have my tax dollars spent on CLOSING OUR BORDERS, STOPPING THE FEDERAL/STATE/LOCAL money going to illegals (Mexico's responsibility), and feeding and clothing America's poor and unemployed. I then would have no problem with HALF of my paycheck going to TAXES. For those of you that would like to see MORE money poured into our broken public education system (with students' test scores declining rapidly over the past 10 years), I agree...the classrooms need more foreign language interpreters [maybe 5-6 per classroom] to keep up with those students falling behind.
Glasswalker
May 9, 2011 11:49 PM CDT
See the episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit on illegal aliens for why this is the stupid idea of the century. Any fence you build they could go over, under or through within a minute or two. This is nothing but a massive waste of time and money. Especially money. And now Arizona is begging you for more so they can waste your money too. Fuck republicans.
TheVEG
May 9, 2011 8:06 PM CDT
Without specific language written in such as: No private or public entity may borrow from or against the funds in this account, nor match private dollars with taxpayer dollars, yadda yadda yadda... then this looks like another trough in the making. Could get rather expensive to bus inmates to and from work sites, and the manpower involved to guard them.