Readers write about a fence along the US-Mexican border and presidential charisma.
A border fence will not solve immigration issues
In response to your Feb. 29 editorial, "On a fence at the border": As a resident of Arizona (where the United States southern border is at its most porous), I believe building a fence is a waste of money. Any student of history will tell you border fences are as ineffective as they are offensive.
Instead, America should leverage its expertise in credit card authorization to track immigrants. Knowing who's in the country, where they are, and what they're doing is critical to national security. We can do this by issuing immigrants a visa with a magnetic strip or computer chip.
Whenever immigrants rent an apartment, apply for a job, or engage in other important activities, they could be required to swipe their visa using a terminal similar to those in retail stores. I'm sure MasterCard, Visa, or American Express would be happy to tackle this project. Tracking immigrants isn't the only measure that's needed, but it would be money well spent – unlike a fence.
Regarding your recent editorial on a border fence: Does what the Soviet Union tried in Germany and what Israel is trying in the Near East mean nothing to us? The expense and appearance of a fence around us says so very much about our failure as a country in international relations.