Work Begins on Controversial San Diego Border Fence

Critics charge $57M fence isn't worth cost or environmental damage
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2008 4:58 AM CDT
A US construction crew fills the Smuggler's Gulch canyon near the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
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(Newser) – Construction crews have launched work on a controversial section of the US-Mexico border fence near San Diego, AP reports. The Smuggler's Gulch canyon will be filled with dirt and a fence built at a cost of $16 million a mile. Critics charge the fence is no longer vital and the work will cause serious environmental damage.

Smuggler's Gulch was a major crossing point for illegal immigrants in the '90s but a massive Border Patrol crackdown pushed traffic to more remote areas."It's crazy," said the director of a Tijuana human rights center. "I don't see the justification to spend $60 million on an area that's no longer an important crossing."