Giuliani: "We could end illegal immigration"
November 19, 2007 - 8:56AM
MISSION - With Mission police cruisers parked behind him, border
patrol boats swarming in the background, and Winter Texans standing
on tiptoe to grab photos on their cell phone cameras, Republican
presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani struck an upbeat note Monday on
the possibility of ending illegal immigration.
Having seen the border during a short tour through Mission and
McAllen, Giuliani said seeing the Rio Grande reassured him that a
border fence -- part electronic, part metal -- could reduce illegal
"If we had the national will, we could end illegal immigration and
expand legal immigration,
The former New York mayor stopped at Chimney Park, an RV park along
the Rio Grande, before heading to a private fundraiser at the
McAllen Country Club.
Giuliani is a strong advocate of a border fence. "There's some
places where a physical fence would work, some places a virtual
fence would work. ... In some ways, the virtual fence is more
valuable," he said.
When asked how he would secure the section of the border around the
park, Giuliani said a system of night-vision and heat-seeking
cameras trained on the Mexican bank of the Rio Grande could alert
Border Patrol to movement without restricting American use of the
Chimney Park has a boat ramp and is a frequent site of illegal
crossings in both directions.
"It's about prediction," he said. "The border patrol is trying to
guess where people are going to cross. This system would make that
guess more strategic, better informed."
A camera system "doesn't mean you're going to pick up every single
one of them, but you learn from it."
Eventually, he said, "you change behavior. People realize they can't
cross there anymore."
J.R. Lewis, a resident of the park, said he got a chance to greet
Giuliani before the candidate's brief press conference. "When I
shook his hand, I told him he's got my vote," he said.
Other residents said he hadn't answered all their questions.
"I wanted to know if he wanted to make English the national
language," said Ed Augustine.
JoAnn Birchare, a winter Texan from Iowa, said she is planning to
vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton. However, "if it would be a
Republican, he would probably be the best one," she said of
Looking across the park's shuffleboard courts toward the river, she
said, "I don't understand how (the virtual fence) is going to work."
"Where's the money going to come from?"
Giuliani and a phalanx of staffers and traveling press arrived in
McAllen around 10:30 last night and stayed at Casa de Palmas.
Watch themonitor.com for updates on Giuliani's visit, as well as
photos and video from his morning events.
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