Thursday, January 17, 2008

Heroes: Not on the Fence

I love you, Eloisa Tamez:

Tamez owns three acres of land along the Texas-Mexico border where the Department of Homeland Security would like to build a border fence. The property is a remnant of a 12,000-acre grant from Spain to her family in 1767, before the United States even existed.

"It is my history. It is my heritage," Tamez said.

This week, the Justice Department began legal action against landowners and municipalities who have refused to give government surveyors access to their land.

Tamez expects she will be sued sometime soon, but she is not intimidated.

Asked how long she will fight, she said, "As long as I have to."

Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of Homeland Security, said the fence will not be stopped by opponents like Tamez.

"Can we simply abandon an enterprise because it is a problem for a particular individual?" Chertoff told CNN. "I don't think I can accept that."

Hmm. I expect internet libertarians will be all over that last assaultive statement on civil liberties just the way they were all over Kelo. What? What's everybody laughing at?

(More here. Also related.)


baby221 said...

...I was gonna say, it takes a quite a damn bit of privilege to schluff your nose at someone like that. Taking land from someone else who's had it since your country even existed?

But then again, there was that whole manifest destiny thing, so I guess they're not exactly reinventing the wheel. But still, what assholes.

wolfa said...

There are all sorts of similar issues along the Canadian-American border. There are dozens of stories where firefighters or police officers were stopped at the border in the middle of a town, and some poor town in Maine was suddenly not allowed to bring meat in from the only grocery store in town (in Quebec or New Brunswick), so they had to drive 100 miles to the closest American store.

I don't believe they are yet trying to force the buildings etc that straddle the border to be torn down, or build fences, but they're getting pretty close here, too. (Except I think Vermont keeps threatening to secede when they threaten to do that.)

I bet the people who complain at the northern borders do better than those who complain at the southern ones. Just guessing.