A response to a conservative, about the wall.

Have you lived on the border, Allie? I think probably not. No, your bio says Dallas. You really don’t know, do you?

I grew up on the border. During the Reagan/Bush years, when the border was fairly open. My BFF’s fam owned property on both sides, since the 18th century. I was the immigrant; please look up Gadsden Purchase. The US only acquired Southern Arizona in 1854.


There were no cartels, and very little cross-border violence; no more than any two small towns in the middle of nowhere.

Nor did people die of hyperthermia in the desert, back then, nor was human smuggling a thing. It wasn’t rosy, but it was safer for everyone on both sides.

Stealing our jobs? Please define our first? Because I don’t see you out in the fields weeding lettuce. Or picking strawberries. Not every day.

Nor are they coming for your podcast ad money. You’re totally fine there.

Do you even scrub your own shower, sis? Because you don’t look like you do any work.

You could say that my BFF’s orthodontist on the south side of the border took business from a US ortho, but my BFF was always going to get her braces from her family dentist (literal family, cousin).

Citizenship in my BFF’s family depended more on which doc their mom picked. Some generations were more US-born than Mexican, when US docs were better about pain control/problem pregnancies.

When the Catholic line about saving baby & letting mom die was strong, there were a lot more births in the US hospital. The costs were about the same, back then. Seriously, the idea of anchor babies was not even a thing, because almost everyone was a dual citizen anyway, either by place of birth or through their parents. The availability of nitrous or epidurals mattered WAY more.

That border? It’s a figment to scare people like you. For those who live on the border? It used to be an annoyance at most; it’s now dangerous because you aren’t coping with your fear. People like you provide weapons to cartels. You do the straw purchase, then private sell the gun, or its parts, to the drug runners. You may even do it at a remove, but that’s what’s always happening.

Mexico tries to control weapon flow, specifically because the cartels (which the US helped create) have a tendency to be mass murdering agents of chaos. You have to take ownership for this: US policies have made the cartels incredibly lucrative. Conservative policy created them.

My BFF’s family was old money, old land owners. They have water rights to Colorado river water that are older than the state of Indiana. That predate the Louisiana Purchase, much less Gadsden. And they have to fight for that water every single year, because of people like you. If you’re not defending their rights to their land, you don’t respect property rights. You’re not a conservative. You’re stealing.

And it’s people like you who are making my BFF’s family into incredibly talented lawyers, because they sue people like you every single day. Thanks!

The wall? It’s noise. Again, if you’d ever been on the border, you’d understand that it’s an incredibly stupid idea to build a giant wall – or fence – in a desert. I can explain a flash flood or a dust storm to you, but you’ll never understand how powerful the desert is. Not even in Dallas. Not a city girl like you.

It’s not even so much that a wall is immoral as it’s moronic, in the sense of stupid, destructive, and counter to good sense.

Let’s just talk about pouring the concrete. You realize that almost all of the concrete will come from... Mexico? That’s were the cement plants are. (And even if the federal spec requires US concrete, which will be more expensive, because it has to travel further, Cemex will be taking up the slack by providing replacement concrete. Cement & concrete are actually sort of fungible, especially when the mix is for deep footings in the desert.)

Right there? Thanks for exporting a lot of jobs. All that tax money? Gone. (And yes, the cartels do have interests in legitimate business, like cement... so good on you for enabling MORE crime! I’m impressed at how multi-modal you’re getting here.)

Oh, and it’s a desert. Concrete requires a LOT of water for pouring and setting, and even more when you’re pouring in the desert, because it’s hot and dry, even in January. There’s very little municipal water piping on the border. Trucking in all of that water. More expense!

The steel? Well, two problems. Back in the late 70s & early 80s, all of the industrial technology built for and after World War II came to the end of its useful life. In the years since it was installed, better tech had been invented, but it was going to be expensive to replace. The Reagan admin refused to subsidize updating the steel industry (because that would have meant acknowledging how dirty and dangerous the industry had been, opening everyone up to deserved suits) so... steel left the United States. We don’t have much steel production anymore. And now we’ve got that little tariff problem. Oops. That’s on your guy, not anyone else. He started that.

Of course, it’s pretty clear who benefits from that artificially high steel cost. Mostly Russia.

Have you checked on the Birchers recently? Their heads must be exploding. (Seriously, will you go check on your Cold Warriors? How can you do this to them? They know Ivan didn’t quit just because Gorby said they did. Oooh, you really are so very young you don’t know... Please go talk to your elders, honey. You’ve got a lot to learn.)

Oh, and one more. Construction jobs. You know, the AZ contractors will probably subcontract out parts of this job, and every subcontract means the job pay rate gets a little lower.

You know who does most of the stoop-level construction work for $15/hr?

You’re not gonna like it.

Basically? All the things you think you want from a wall? You’re not gonna get. The problems you think a wall solves will get worse.

When you force criminals, like cartels, to get creative? They do. The coyotes were a creative (if evil) solution to the problem US caused. And I’m pretty sure I can’t explain scale to most people who have not lived in the Sonoran/Mojave Desert, but let me try.

My grandparents lived about 30 miles from Indianapolis. Going to Indy was a MAJOR expedition. Like all day, get dressed up, check the tire pressure & oil. When I was in High School? 45 miles? That wasn’t even an away game; that’s still in my high school catchment area.

The border is enormous. 2,000 miles. The distance from Miami to Boston. Very few people live there, because there’s no water.

You have no idea of the scale. You think you understand because you’re a Texan, but you’re from Dallas. You’re hemmed in, locked in the suburbs. You have no idea what walking out into the night and desert means.

Maybe a few people in Kansas & Nebraska will get this, but even the scale of the Great Plains is still small compared to the Mojave/Sonoran desert, and those are just two fractions of the whole desert.

You’re imagining walls for action figures. Think Game of Thrones DRAGONS.

There are SO many better ways to monitor that desert.

Use cameras, and send someone out to intercept ASAP with water, not bullets. Because seriously? The coyotes make money for the cartels by selling the fear.

Treat people crossing the border well & you destroy cartel income. Drones & humanitarian aid will do this far better.

Because really? What are you scared of?

Marijuana? We grow that here now. A LOT OF IT. (And it’s hurting the cartels!)

Opiates? See Lilly, Phizer, Roche, et al.

Meth? Mostly local manufacture. Look in your backyards, please. If you’re afraid of labor? Oh, wow. Okay, see, here’s the thing: are you raising your kid to think mucking out a dairy barn is a good living?

This is only true if you own a dairy. The people who come here willing to take an ag job have to be willing to travel, not own homes. The next step up from working stoop/orchard crops (requiring migration with the harvest) is dairy or eggs. All in the same place, but badly paid and dangerous work.

Then slaughterhouse. Badly paid, dangerous, with knives.

Then maybe? Cleaning houses & lawn/garden. Are those the aspirations you have for your child? That’s what you want? Those are the jobs you don’t WANT.

That’s why immigrant labor fills them. It’s all skilled labor, and it’s incredibly valuable, and you don’t value it. But others do.

So what are you afraid of? Are you afraid of another language?

Let me assure you, as a Native English speaker and near native Norteño speaker, with mono-lingual parents who have asked me to eavesdrop & translate a lot...

They’re not talking about you. I promise. You’re not even on their radar. (Also, never ask me to do that. It’s really gross, and I don’t care about their kids’ sportsball schedule, or their family dramas, or what they watched on TV last night.)

I’m sorry you feel you’re not the center of their universe, but that’s on you, not on them. There’s nothing to fear. For far less money, we can hamstring the cartels and provide all of our labor needs.

Oh, and one last. If you want your Social Security, and want a comfortable retirement, and for your roads to at least be patched... you want immigrants’ taxes. Because an undocumented worker is still paying into the FICA & SS funds.

(Most of the time; it’s safer for the employer to have a fake social than to be paying under the table. The former can be plausibly deniable. The latter makes the state & IRS twitchy.)

But they can’t claim those funds, even if they ever manage to get legal. That money goes into the SS/FICA fund and never comes back out. It’s a subsidy for people with legitimate Social Security numbers.

You’re hurting your own future self, conservatives. Undocumented workers pay sales tax on everything they buy. They pay property taxes, on their own property or through their landlord. With 1 citizen in the family, that person gets to own the property, do the insurance, keep everyone as under radar as possible.

Including taxes. It is deeply conservative to want people in jobs.

Nativism is not conservative. It’s fear-driven.

So I just ask this: look at your fear, and really sit with it. Think it through. The Swedes & Irish & Italians & Polish were also immigrants, fleeing war & poverty.

~end Well. I write fiction. It does include deserts, though it’s mostly #hopepunk about a civil war. Because we can get through this, and I tell stories to get us there.

All my books are on sale right now at Smashwords. The first one is forever free! smashwords.com/books/byseries…