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Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Hands Across the Border
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 10:42 am

Clearly, our current border policies aren’t working. As such, I propose “Hands Across the Border? from Brownsville to San Diego: a human chain of patriots making sure that no illegals enter (at least on foot). Given a stance of about six feet each, and with roughly 10,560,000 feet, the project would only take about 1,760,000 persons (just short of the entire population of New Mexico). Of course, we’d need four shifts a day, so that’s 7,040,000 folks (basically the population of Virginia)—not to mention support staff—for a 24 hour period.

Just for the ChainPeople, that would be 56,320,000 man hours a day. At minimum wage ($5.15) that would be $290,048,000 a day, and $10.5 billion a year. I am not sure what kind of support staff would be needed, let alone transportation and supplies.

Of course, getting people to work for minimum wage for such a job might be a trick. Perhaps we could employ illegal aliens!

To be less silly (at least slightly), let’s consider the Minuteman Project itself as a model.

The project utilized approximately 900 persons to patrol a 23-mile swath of the border in the “Tombstone Triangle? for a month.

Now, if we take this as a basis for the entire border, that would require about 87 such units to cover the entire 2000 mile border (yes, I am over-simplifying here—as some places would need more, and others would need less), and that’s 78,300 persons.

Again, at minimum wage ($5.15), that’s 626,400 man hours a day (assuming each of the 78,300 persons working 8 hour shifts a day), that’s $3,225,960 a day in wages (and that doesn’t account for any other costs associated with an employee or the cost to maintain these persons). That’s $1,776,754,00 (i.e., $1.8 billion) a year in wages alone at this level.

If we paid these people, on average, $30,000 a year, the figure would be $2.35 billion for salaries alone—and if one takes into account health care, social security taxes and other elements (say a cost of roughly$50k a year), that number would be more like $3.9 billion. And this figure has nothing to do with the cost to outfit these persons with gear, the money needed to maintain vehicles (not to mention aircraft), or the offices out of which these folks would operate—and there would have to be a lot of them to adequately patrol the border using the Minutemen model.

Filed under: Immigration | |Send TrackBack


  1. Ok, we got it, you don’t like the Minutemen. But at least they tried to do something constructive, rather than wringing their hands about an insoluable problem.

    Actually, you did a pretty good job, particularly the second post, but didn’t come up with a suggestion, other than a managed program.

    Comment by Aubrey — Wednesday, May 11, 2005 @ 11:13 am

  2. It seems to be that first dealing with the idea that more people is that simple answer to a complex problem is doing something constructive.

    Proper policy cannot be designed unless the problem under attack isn’t adequately understood.

    Comment by Steven Taylor — Wednesday, May 11, 2005 @ 11:34 am

  3. Maybe we should just pay potential illegals $10,000 to stay in Mexico.

    Comment by Harry — Wednesday, May 11, 2005 @ 12:02 pm

  4. Oh come on! Hand across the Border is silly! It will never work. Let’s try execution (as the late Sam Kinison suggested for how to end homelessness).


    Comment by Mark — Wednesday, May 11, 2005 @ 12:14 pm

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