Technology is helpful to detect and arrest illegal aliens crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, says an advocate for immigration enforcement, but it cannot replace physical barriers that stop their progress.
As the partial government shutdown continues into a third week, both President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders are digging in their heels over funding a border wall, a key promise of Trump's 2016 campaign but a boogey man to Democrats who want to stop him from achieving that goal.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have claimed they support night vision cameras and sensors along the border rather than a physical barrier.
"We favor smart, effective border security," Schumer has said, "not a medieval wall."
Pelosi, meanwhile, made headlines in recent weeks by calling a border wall "immoral" then, in past days, described it as an "immorality between countries."
Republicans, however, have pointed out that liberal Democrats voted for a 2006 bill that poured millions into a border fence, and talk radio and Twitter have been asking if supporting that border fence was an "immoral" vote, too.
Meanwhile, footage of Schumer defending U.S. sovereignty and referring to illegals as "illegal aliens" --- now considered a derogatory term to far-left activists --- has materialized as well as the border battle heats up.
Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, says Democrats object to a wall because it clashes with their progressive vision of an open border.
Their claims to push technlogy are suspect, he says, because those measures fail to keep illegals from stepping onto U.S. property.
"A wall actually does," he insists. "And we've seen evidence of that around San Diego with the caravan that came up from Central America. Most of the people remained on the other side of the border because there is a wall there."
Mehlman likens the idea of technology to a home security system but says a border barrier is much like an old-fashioned lock on the door.
"If you had to choose between locks on the doors and windows, and censors on the doors and windows," he observes, "I think most people would choose the locks."
What any new border barrier will look like, if it ever happens, is up in the air: Trump has stated in recent days that steel fencing --- "steel slat barriers" --- would be suitable, and that idea is being mocked by Democrats over his campaign promise of a concrete wall.
According to The Daily Caller, however, Trump is listening to the advice of Border Patrol leaders who have shown him prototypes of border structures. The most suitable structure depends on the terrain, flooding, and if the area if a favorite for illegal entry, the story explained.
As far as the Democrats mocking the idea of a wall, Mehlman says walls might be a medieval idea but they have worked for thousands of years.
"The wheel's been around for a long time but it works," he says, "and so does the wall."