We want our fellow Americans to know that not all Arizonans think building more of a border fence between the U.S. and Mexico is a good use of economic resources. Many of us think that the fence represents a lack of moral will and a distorted vision of America.
Estimates for building the border fence run between $3 million and $20 million per mile of fence, depending on the terrain. The electric fence Republican candidate (Herman) Cain is proposing would cost $75 billion with $21 million for the warning signs alone.
How can this expense be justified in our tough economic times?
We believe that there are many Americans who do not agree with the negative, fear-inducing rhetoric around building the border fence. We believe most Americans' vision of this country includes helping people living in poverty along the border, especially children struggling in underfunded borderland schools with little access to health care.
Providing the support that those living on the border need will strengthen our border communities in the areas of health, economic development, education, job training, micro loans, and innovative approaches to job creation.
We should be building our borderland communities - not spending precious resources on a border fence. Let's build something better than a border fence.
Gail Covington McBride, Etta Kralovec, the Rev. Seth Polley, Boyd Nicholl, Raymond Rodgers
Founders of Build Better Than a Border Fence.Com