May 9, 2011; Source: Fox News | Arizona state lawmakers are seeking donations through a soon to be built website to fund a fence between the U.S. and Mexico – whether the federal government thinks it’s a good idea or not.
Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill earlier this month to approve building a website to promote the effort. Steve Smith, first year Republican senator declared, “We are going to build the website as fast as we can, promote it and market the heck out of it.” Donors giving online will receive a certificate declaring that they helped build the Arizona wall. “I think the certificate is going to be a really, really neat thing,” added Smith.
The state’s 376-mile border with Mexico is the busiest gateway both for illegal immigration and marijuana smuggling. Under the bill, the fencing construction could be done with other states or by Arizona alone.
The plan also includes using prison labor to build the fence. Work crews of Arizona minimum security inmates have been used on previous projects to clear brush and clean up trash along the border. Prison officials noted that, “At 50 cents per hour, we are an inexpensive labor force.”
Arizona officials haven’t determined the total cost of the fence, but firmly believe this state effort will cost less than a similar project funded by the federal government.
Democrats and other critics have noted that this legislation is just symbolic and doesn’t address any border issues.
Arizona already is collecting donations to fund a court battle against SP1070 illegal immigration bill. As of a week ago, this fund has received over 44,000 donations totaling more than $3.7 million collected online and through the mail. State officials believe this money will all be spent on this court issue.
Interested supporters will have be patient before they can hand over their donation – a internet search yesterday didn’t find this giving opportunity available yet to fans of the fence.—Nancy Knoche