How Tesla Builds Electric Cars | Tesla Motors Part 2 (WIRED)
Electric Car Quality Tests | Tesla Motors Part 3 (WIRED)
Fatal Telsa crash shows limits of self-driving technology
The U.S. government is investigating the first reported death of a driver whose car was in self-driving mode when he crashed. Joshua D. Brown, 40, died May 7 when his Tesla Model S, which was operating on “autopilot,” failed to activate its brakes and hit a truck in Florida.
The crash raises questions about autonomous and semi-autonomous cars, their capabilities and their limits. Here are answers to some of those questions:
Q: ARE THERE SELF-DRIVING CARS ON U.S. STREETS RIGHT NOW?
A: Yes, but in limited numbers. Various companies, including Google, Ford and Uber, have test fleets of autonomous cars running in specific areas, including Mountain View, California, and Austin, Texas. Right now, those vehicles always have a steering wheel, brakes and a driver ready to take over in case of a problem, but prototype cars without steering wheels are also being developed.
Q: HOW DO THEY WORK?
A: A network of cameras, radars and lasers feeds information to the car’s computers, helping to fill in the gaps in the GPS system, which knows how to get the car from point to point. Cameras let the car see what’s around it, while radar senses things in the dark or in inclement weather. Lasers constantly scan the road and give a three-dimensional picture of what’s going on.
Q: ARE THERE LAWS ALLOWING SELF-DRIVING CARS?
A: Right now, it’s a patchwork. Eight states — including Nevada, Michigan, Florida and Tennessee — and Washington D.C. have laws allowing autonomous vehicles. Other states have legislation in the works. Later this summer, the federal government is expected to release guidelines for the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles.
Q: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SELF-DRIVING CARS?
A: Self-driving cars have the potential to save lives by anticipating accidents before they happen. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Friday that 90 percent of car accidents are caused by human error, and distracted or drowsy driving accounts for some 13 percent of those crashes. The accidents cost about $870 billion a year globally.
Q: CAN I BUY A SELF-DRIVING CAR?
A: No. A few automakers offer cars and SUVs with semi-autonomous modes that can perform some functions without help from the driver, including maintaining a set speed, braking, changing lanes and even parallel parking. Semi-autonomous features can be found on high-end vehicles from Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti and Volvo. Some lower-priced models have them, too. Toyota, for example, plans to make automatic emergency braking standard on its vehicles by 2017, ahead of a self-imposed deadline of 2022 that most automakers have agreed to.
Q: WHEN WILL COMPLETELY SELF-DRIVING CARS BE AVAILABLE TO CONSUMERS?
A: That’s not yet clear. Volvo plans a large-scale test of driverless cars in Sweden next year. Google wants to make cars available to the public around the end of 2019. BMW, Intel and Israel’s Mobileye have teamed up to roll out the cars by 2021.
IHS Automotive, a consulting firm, predicts that the U.S. will see the earliest deployment of autonomous vehicles, with several thousand on the road by 2020. That number will rise to 4.5 million vehicles by 2035, IHS says. But even if the vehicles are on the road, they might not be in your garage. The earliest self-driving cars might be on-demand taxis, employee shuttles or other shared vehicles.
Q: WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL CHALLENGES TO GETTING AUTONOMOUS CARS ON THE ROAD?
A: Driverless cars need detailed maps to follow, and companies are still mapping roads. They also can have trouble staying within lanes in heavy rain or snow. And, as the Tesla crash showed, there will always be scenarios that driverless cars can’t foresee or navigate correctly. Brown’s car didn’t see an oncoming tractor-trailer because it was white against a brightly lit sky. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the car’s radar is also designed to tune out what looks like overhead signs to prevent false braking.
Q: HOW COULD THE TESLA AUTOPILOT NOT SEE SOMETHING AS LARGE AS A TRACTOR-TRAILER?
A: Raj Rajkumar, a computer engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who leads its autonomous vehicle research, said computers can’t be programmed to handle every situation. But Tesla may need to adjust its radar, he said.
Tesla would not comment directly on the radar and computer programs, but the company issued a statement saying that it continually advances its software by analyzing hundreds of millions of miles of driving data. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking at the design and performance of Tesla’s system as part of its investigation.
Tesla has plenty of customers, but still no profit
by Jackie Wattles
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is spending some nights in a sleeping bag on a factory floor.
He’s keeping a very close eye on the electric car maker’s production.
“My desk is at the end of the production line,” Musk told investors Wednesday after the company posted its quarterly earnings report. “I have a sleeping bag in a conference room [nearby] and I use it quite often.”
Tesla’s biggest challenge is scaling up manufacturing to meet customers’ demand — and that’s why the factory isn’t just where Musk is sleeping, it’s where Tesla is spending billions of dollars.
Tesla (TSLA) said Wednesday that it’s decided to invest more than $2 billion on production capacity this year — $750 million more than initially planned.
But that means Musk won’t be able to deliver on what he previously told investors: Tesla may finally turn a profit in 2016.
“Naturally, this will impact our ability to be net cash flow positive for the year, but given the demand for Model 3, investing to meet that demand is the best long-term decision for Tesla,” Musk said.
The company posted a net loss of $282 million for last quarter.
The automaker made a name for itself with two $70,000-plus luxury models — the Model S and Model X — but a successful mass market vehicle is the cornerstone of Musk’s plan to grow the company.
The first Model 3’s are expected to reach customers next year, and he wants the company’s new gigafactory to be churning them out “at capacity” by the end of 2017. Musk said the company plans to start making 500,000 cars per year by 2018. For comparison, the company made about 50,000 in 2015.
To do that, the company is also looking to hire top-tier manufacturing talent, which Musk said is the “most significant” factor in ensuring a bright future for Tesla.
It’s unclear why, but the company also announced earlier in the day on Wednesday that its vice presidents of production and manufacturing are leaving the company.
Musk’s production plans may face other problems. He has given Tesla suppliers a July 1, 2017 deadline to ship the parts he’s ordered, but “it’s like college term papers. There’s always late term papers.”
Musk also said he plans to start producing more car components in-house — another reason he’s investing more money in Tesla’s manufacturing capabilities.
Tesla affirmed earlier guidance that it plans to put 80,000 to 90,000 new electric cars on the road this year, and that’s despite hitting a production snag with the Model X recently that made the company miss its quarterly delivery guidance.
And the Model S is still selling well. Orders were up 45% compared to the same quarter last year.
Tesla’s stock has struggled in 2016, down more than 7% since January. Shares were essentially flat after-hours when the company issued its report.
Tesla is a hot mess—there is no path to profitability
Michael Pento, president of Pento Portfolio Strategies
Tuesday, 3 May 2016 | 1:55 PM ETCNBC.com
Tesla shares got a little pop in after-hours trading Wednesday after the electric car maker delivered an earnings report in line with expectations and an optimistic outlook.
But I think the stock’s run is already over.
The primary reason? Profitability.
Tesla stock soared for a few months starting in February following news that pre-orders for the electric-car maker’s Model 3, with a price tag of $35,000, were approaching 400,000 units.
But, as well-known short seller Jim Chanos so perfectly put it in an interview with CNBC: “We have all kinds of questions on the profitability of the business.”
First, the Model 3. This was Tesla’s play for an “affordable” electric car but it appears to be affordable for everyone EXCEPT Tesla.
Tesla loses more than $4,000 on each of its high-end Model S electric sedans; and that model’s cost is between $70 and $108k. With margins like that, one has to assume a $35k Model 3 can’t be the answer to solving Tesla’s red ink.
Tesla’s income statement reveals the company is hemorrhaging cash at a robust clip. Furthermore, according to TheStreet Ratings, they have a net profit margin of -26.38 percent and a quick ratio of 0.49, which means they have 49 cents in available cash to pay every $1 of current liabilities.
Worse than its lousy earnings and cash flow, Tesla is grossly overvalued compared to its peers. Tesla’s market cap is more than $30 billion, compared to Fiat Chrysler at around $10 billion and Ferrari at around $8 billion. Being valued at 3x more than FCAU — an established and profitable company — looks especially absurd when considering FCAU produces annual sales of over $130 billion, while Tesla produces revenue of only $4 billion.
Furthermore, Tesla’s market cap is nearly two-thirds of General Motors‘ market cap. This is despite the fact that General Motors has a history of selling 10 million cars at a profit each year and Tesla sold less than 100,000 cars last year at a loss. They would have to sell 6.6 million cars this year to justify its current valuation. With less than 400,000 cars on pre-order that doesn’t appear likely anytime soon.
First, he pointed out that, on the back of falling oil prices, demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is slowing. Second, there is growing competition that will cut into Tesla’s margins as prices for EVs fall. Tesla has a lot of competition over the next few years. The industry is already awaiting the Apple car with bated breath that is set to launch in four years. And GM’s Chevy Bolt is similarly priced with a similar range and is set to come out this year. And then we have the Nissan Leaf expected to more competitive in the coming months and years. And add to that first generation vehicles like the BMW i3.
And in China, they have the EV Company LeEco, which recently unveiled its very first electric car that includes self-driving and self-parking capability using voice commands via a mobile app. Besides LeEco, there is another Chinese EV auto maker that sold more electric cars last year than Tesla, Nissan or GM, it’s called BYD Co. and is now targeting the U.S. market.
Lutz believes that competition from industry heavyweights like these could “kill” Tesla in the future.
“The major OEMs like GM, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, etc … they have to build electric cars, a certain number, in order to satisfy the requirements in about half of the states. Those have to be jammed into the marketplace, otherwise they can no longer sell SUVs and full-size pickups and the stuff that they really make money on. So that is going to generically depress the prices of electric vehicles,” Lutz warned.
Lutz also explained that companies such as General Motors will not be making any money on their “Tesla killer.” They are making these vehicles to appease Washington.
“The majors are going to accept the losses on the electric vehicles as a necessary cost of doing business in order to sell the big gasoline stuff that people really want. Well, Tesla does not have that option,” Lutz said.
But Musk has a strategy for driving down the cost of his electric car that hinges on achieving economies of scale, bringing down the production cost of the battery pack by 30 percent. This hinges on the success of their future Nevada home called the “Gigafactory.”
The Gigafactory is a one-stop shopping in battery-pack production. The company currently buys battery packs through a deal with Panasonicand has partnered with Panasonic in this venture. Production volume at the Gigafactory is anticipated to be the equivalent of over 30 gigawatt-hours per year; this would mean the Gigafactory would produce more storage than all the lithium battery factories in the world combined. The $5 billion dollar plant is as big as the Pentagon Tesla, and Tesla is hoping to produce 500,000 lithium ion batteries annually.
Musk recently laid out his Energy-branded battery ambition in rock star glory. At the event spectacle, Musk declared that his batteries would someday render the world’s energy grid obsolete. “We are talking about trying to change the fundamental energy infrastructure of the world,” he said.
Musk envisions his affordable, clean energy will one day power the remote villages of underdeveloped countries as well as allowing the average homeowner in industrial nations to go off the grid.
But before you sever your ties with your electrical company, it’s worth noting that not everyone thinks Musk’s plans are achievable – at least not in the time frame he envisions.
Panasonic, the supplier of the lithium-ion cells that form the foundation of Tesla’s batteries, and partner on the company’s forthcoming battery factory — calls Musk’s claims a lot of hyperbole.
“We are at the very beginning in energy storage in general,” said Phil Hermann, chief energy engineer at Panasonic Eco Solutions. “Most of the projects currently going on are either demo projects or learning experiences for the utilities. There is very little direct commercial stuff going on. Elon Musk is out there saying you can do things now that the rest of us are hearing and going, ‘really?’ We wish we could, but it’s not really possible yet.”
And far from the grand stage with little fanfare buried in their November 10Q Tesla also sought to tamper investor’s expectations: “Given the size and complexity of this undertaking, the cost of building and operating the Gigafactory could exceed our current expectations, we may have difficulty signing up additional partners, and the Gigafactory may take longer to bring online than we anticipate.”
With a company saddled with debt and cash-strapped, who is going to shoulder the burden of a delay in the Gigafactory realizing its full potential? That would be shareholders through stock dilution or the American tax payer – but most likely a combination of both. There are those who believe that Musk’s real genius is in following government subsidies.
Tesla’s model relies strongly on a “green” administration. According to the Los Angeles Times, all of Musk’s ventures: Tesla Motors, SolarCityand Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.
The promise is that the Tesla stockholders and the tax subsidizing public will greatly benefit from major pollution reductions as electric cars break through as viable alternative and gain access to mass-market production.
And frankly, I’m not convinced that electric cars are even good for the environment. First, it’s important to note that at this time, these cars don’t power themselves — they are plugged into an outlet in your garage that connects to an electric power plant. Second, there are a lot of environmental questions about the lithium battery itself. In a 2012 study titled “Science for Environment Policy” published by the European Union, a comparison was made of the lithium ion batteries to other types of batteries available such as; lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal-hydride and sodium Sulphur. They concluded that the lithium ion batteries have the largest impact on metal depletion, making recycling more complicated.
Musk may be a genius and a visionary but the truth is that Tesla has an unproven business model and a stock that is massively overpriced. Even if some year in the distant future there exists the charging infrastructure and pricing available to make electric vehicles conducive to supplant the internal combustion engine, Tesla faces an onslaught of competition that will most likely drive its profit margins further into the red for years to come.
So, as far as I’m concerned, the stock is not a buy — no matter what earnings say. The math just doesn’t add up.
Story 1: Rick Perry Announces His Candidacy For President in 2016 — Enters A Very Crowded Candidate Field — Run Rick Run — Big Interventionist Government Statist (BIGS) Cheerleader — Voters Beware of Identity Politics Videos
Rick Perry Announces Running For President in 2016 | Presidential Bid | FULL SPEECH
Rick Perry Announces Running For President in 2016 | Presidential Bid | FULL SPEECH
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a crowd at an airport hangar outside Dallas today that he would seek the presidency a second time, saying he was running because “it’s time for a reset, time to reset the relationship between government and citizen.”
“We have the power to make things new again, to project America’s strength again, and to get our economy going again,” Perry, 65, told those gathered at a public airfield in Addison, Texas, to hear the longtime politician formally announce his campaign. “That is exactly why today I’m running for the presidency of the United States of America.”
Five Things You Might Not Know About Gov. Rick Perry
Perry Poses For Mugshot, Treats Himself To Ice Cream Cone
Perry, whose more than 14 years in office made him the longest-serving governor in Texas history, joins a stronger presidential field than he faced four years ago. Already, nine other Republicans have formally announced presidential candidacies, and at least half a dozen more are expected to jump into the 2016 race.
His speech, the plane he stood in front of and the prominent veterans joining him onstage highlighted his credentials as one of just a few 2016 presidential contenders who have served in the military. He flew planes while in the Air Force for five years in the 1970s.
“I was proud to wear the uniform of our country as an Air Force officer,” Perry said, praising his father, a World War II veteran, and even George Washington’s selflessness. Perry rose to the rank of captain during his time in the military.
Taya Kyle, the widow of Chris Kyle, who inspired the movie “American Sniper,” appeared onstage with Perry along with several other notable veterans, including Marcus Luttrell, a retired Navy SEAL whose book “Lone Survivor” was made into a feature film.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry made it official on Thursday, joining the already-crowded field of candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Perry, whose infamous “Oops” moment during the last GOP primary derailed what had been a promising start to his 2012 campaign, announced his latest bid at a rally inside a hot airplane hanger north of Dallas.
“We’re at the end of an era of failed leadership,” Perry told supporters. “We are a resilient country. We’ve been through a civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression — we even made it through Jimmy Carter. We will make it through the Obama years.”
Perry was joined onstage by Taya Kyle, widow of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, and retired U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, author of “Lone Survivor.”
Rick Perry, the former Texas governor whose 2012 campaign for the White House turned into a political disaster that humbled and weakened the most powerful Republican in the state, announced Thursday that he will run for president again in 2016.
Mr. Perry is the latest candidate to officially enter a crowded field of Republican presidential contenders, declared and undeclared, several of whom have Texas ties and have overshadowed him in recent months, including Senator Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, the brother of former President George W. Bush, Mr. Perry’s predecessor in the governor’s mansion.
“We will make it through the Obama years,” he told a cheering crowd at a small municipal airport here in Addison, a northern suburb of downtown Dallas. Saying, “It’s time,” he declared in an impassioned speech, ”I am running for the presidency of the United States of America.”
The location had to do with his giant stage prop – a C-130 plane, the type he flew serving in the United States Air Force in the 1970s.
The plane – parked behind the stage and emblazoned with “Perry for President” – illustrated one of the ways Mr. Perry plans to distinguish himself from the other Republican candidates, by emphasizing his service in the military and his support from veterans, several of whom joined him on stage, including Marcus Luttrell, the former Navy SEAL whose memoir inspired the movie “Lone Survivor.”
In his speech, Mr. Perry also sought to separate himself from other Republican contenders by casting himself as a leader who has done the work rather than a politician who talks about doing it, pointing to his handling of natural disasters and crisises at the border and his 14-year tenure as governor of a state with the 12th-largest economy in the world.
Rick Perry announces his run for President
Rick Perry announces presidential run
Rick Perry Talks Immigration
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14 REASONS WHY RICK PERRY WOULD BE A REALLY, REALLY BAD PRESIDENT
Bilderberg favorite Perry
Supporters of Texas Governor Rick Perry are not going to like this article at all. Right now, Republicans all over the United States are touting Rick Perry as the “Republican messiah” that is going to come charging in to save America from the presidency of Barack Obama. Many believe that if Rick Perry enters the race, he will instantly become the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Perry certainly looks the part and he knows how to give a good speech, but when ordinary Americans all over the country take a hard look at his record, they may not like what they see. The truth is that Rick Perry is a big-time globalist, he has raised taxes and fees in Texas numerous times, he has massively increased the size of government spending and government debt in Texas, he has been trying to ram the Trans-Texas Corridor down the throats of the Texas people and he tried to force young women all over Texas to be injected with the Gardasil vaccine. No, Rick Perry is not going to save America. In fact, he would likely be very, very similar to both Bush and Obama in a lot of ways.
Right now, Rick Perry is trying to portray himself as a “good conservative” so that if he enters the race he will be accepted by Christian conservatives. If Rick Perry did win the Republican nomination, he would have a great chance of winning the general election because he would very much be an “establishment” candidate.
But before Republicans get too excited about Rick Perry, there are a whole lot of things that they should know about him.
The following are 14 reasons why Rick Perry would be a really, really bad president….
#1 Rick Perry is a “big government” politician. When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was approximately $49 billion. Ten years later it was approximately $90 billion. That is not exactly reducing the size of government.
#2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control. According to usdebtclock.org, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645. In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932. If Rick Perry runs for president these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.
#3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled since Rick Perry became governor. So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?
#4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system. If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.
#5 Rick Perry claims that he has a “track record” of not raising taxes. That is a false claim. Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor. Today, Texans are faced with significantly higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.
#6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.
#7 Back in 1988, Rick Perry supported Al Gore for president. In fact, Rick Perry actually served as Al Gore’s campaign chairman in the state of Texas that year.
#8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent. In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.
#9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation. The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year….
• We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma.
• We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.
• We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.
#10 Rick Perry attended the Bilderberg Group meetings in 2007. Associating himself with that organization should be a red flag for all American voters.
#11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.
#12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue. If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.
#13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less. By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.
#14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade. Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with an untested and unproven vaccine. Since then, very serious safety issues regarding this vaccine have come to light. Fortunately, lawmakers in Texas blocked what Perry was trying to do. According to Wikipedia, many were troubled when “apparent financial connections between Merck and Perry were reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution and Merck’s hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work.”
Rick Perry has a record that should make all Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents cringe.
He is not the “conservative Republican” that he is trying to claim that he is. He is simply another in a long line of “RINOs” (Republicans in name only).
If Rick Perry becomes president, he will probably be very similar to George W. Bush. He will explode the size of the U.S. government and U.S. government debt, he will find sneaky ways to raise taxes, he will do nothing about the Federal Reserve or corruption in our financial system and he will push the agenda of the globalists at every turn.
Look, the truth is that another four years of Barack Obama would be a complete and total nightmare.
But so would four years of Rick Perry.
America deserves better than the “lesser of two evils”.
Unfortunately, the American people have been dead asleep and have been sending incompetents, con men and charlatans to Washington D.C. for decades.
Is Pence still considering a 2016 presidential run?
Perry launches 2016 bid for White House
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his 2016 presidential campaign Thursday, hoping the second time’s the charm after his 2012 bid fizzled following a debate gaffe and other challenges.
The three-term Republican governor, who has spent months traveling and studying policy issues in preparation for another run, made it official at an event in Addison, Texas.
“Today, I am running for the presidency of the United States of America,” Perry said.
Perry railed against the economic and foreign policy record of the Obama administration, calling the former a result of tax-and-regulatory policies. On foreign policy, Perry faulted leaders of both parties for making “grave mistakes” in Iraq but said President Obama “failed to secure the peace,” with the Islamic State now seizing cities American troops fought for.
“The truth is we are at the end of an era of failed leadership,” Perry said.
His campaign is likely to run heavily on Perry’s economic record as governor. A “Perry for President” website, which went live Thursday morning ahead of his announcement, includes stats highlighting tax cuts and other policies from his lengthy term. The campaign also released an announcement video.
More on this…
Perry: Americans don’t have to settle or apologize
He’s also one of the few military veterans in the field. Parked next to the small stage Thursday was a hulking C-130 the cargo plane, like one he flew for the Air Force.
Perry, though, becomes the 10th Republican to enter the race — and one of several current or former governors in the mix. Underscoring the competition he will face to stand out, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s team confirmed hours before Perry’s announcement that Bush would announce his campaign plans June 15.
Perry, in preparation, has made several visits to the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and will look to erase the memories of his 2012 campaign.
When Perry entered the Republican race last cycle, he was considered to be among the front-runners. Then, at a November 2011 debate in Michigan, he forgot the name of the third federal agency he said he would close if he was elected, then muttered “Oops.” In that moment, he went from powerhouse to punchline and gradually faded from contention.
However, Perry still has the policy record that made him an early force last time.
Perry left office in January after a record 14 years as governor of Texas. Under him, the state generated more than a third of America’s new private-sector jobs since 2001.
While an oil and gas boom fueled much of that economic growth, Perry credits lower taxes, restrained regulation and limits on civil litigation damages. He also pushed offering economic incentives to lure top employers to Texas and repeatedly visited states with Democratic governors to poach jobs.
Perry was thought to be a cinch for four more years as governor in 2014, but instead turned back to White House ambitions. His effort may be complicated this time by a felony indictment on abuse of power and coercion charges, from when he threatened — then carried out — a veto of state funding for public corruption prosecutors. That came when the unit’s Democratic head rebuffed Perry’s demands that she resign following a drunken driving conviction.
Perry calls the case against him a political “witch hunt,” but his repeated efforts to get it tossed on constitutional grounds have so far proved unsuccessful. That raises the prospect he’ll have to leave the campaign trail to head to court in Texas.
Perry blamed lingering pain from back surgery in the summer of 2011 for part of the reason he performed poorly in the 2012 campaign. He has ditched his trademark cowboy boots for more comfortable footwear and wears glasses that give him a serious look.
Perry also traveled extensively overseas and studied policy with experts and economists at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Lately, Perry has traveled to Iowa, which kicks off presidential nomination voting, more than any GOP White House candidate.
“People realize that what the governor did in the high-profile debate, stumble, everyone has done at some point in their lives,” said Ray Sullivan, Perry’s chief of staff as governor and communications director for his 2012 presidential bid. “I think he’s already earned a second look, particular in Iowa.”
One thing Perry hopes to emulate from 2012 is his fundraising, when he amassed $18 million in the first six weeks.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence won’t run for president
By JONATHAN TOPAZ 5/19/15 5:13 PM EDT
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence won’t run for president in 2016, a spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.
The Republican governor said Monday that he would run for a second term next year, which he will likely officially announce at the Indiana Republican Party’s Spring Dinner next month. Indiana law disallows candidates from running for two offices on the same ballot — and a legislative effort to allow Pence to run both for the White House and governor hasn’t gone anywhere.
Asked whether there is now no scenario in which Pence will run for president in 2016, spokeswoman Christy Denault replied: “Correct.”
Pence told POLITICO in February that he was still considering a bid, but that he couldn’t run for both offices. “Indiana law, in terms of a federal office and a state office, doesn’t permit that,” he said.
The governor, 55, spent more than a decade in Congress, at one point serving as chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
President Barack Obama is shown. | AP
For a time, Pence was seen as a strong 2016 contender. An evangelical governor who often touted his balanced budgets and job-creation record, he was considered by some in the party as a candidate who could bring together the establishment and social conservative wings of the party. Many of his former staffers have assumed top roles with GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch, and the brothers’ Americans for Prosperity political group supported his efforts in office.
But Pence recently suffered a series of missteps, most notably his support for a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill that earned national attention following major criticism from the business and gay rights communities. Pence declared in a defensive interview on ABC’s “This Week” that he wouldn’t change the law, which critics argued would allow for businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian individuals.
Under mounting national pressure — including Apple CEO Tim Cook pledging to boycott Indiana and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy calling Pence a “bigot” — Pence oversaw a change in the law to ensure it didn’t allow for discrimination. The governor’s approval rating subsequently dropped nearly 20 points in the state.
Pence also earned ridicule for planning to launch a state-run news service funded by taxpayers, a plan his administration quickly scrapped after it was roundly criticized. And Pence’s prospects suffered due to the sudden rise of another Midwestern Republican — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has quickly emerged as a front-runner embraced by top donors including the Koch brothers and conservative activists.
An elderly supporter of US Republican presidential hopeful John McCain displays her voting choice.
The 2016 gubernatorial election may be a rematch of the close 2012 race between Pence and former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg, who has already declared his candidacy. Former Indiana Democratic Gov. Evan Bayh, who also served two terms in the Senate, said he won’t run in 2016.
Indiana GOP chairman Jeff Cardwell praised Pence’s decision to run for reelection in a statement Monday. “Gov. Mike Pence is a conservative leader and dedicated public servant who always puts Indiana first … We are excited the governor will formally announce his plans to seek re-election during our annual Spring Dinner,” he said.
It’s a legend of Texas politics and a hatchet for foes of Gov. Rick Perry, front-running candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. The story goes that as a Democratic legislator, Perry chaired Democrat Al Gore’s presidential campaign in Texas.
The legend has been aired routinely for more than 13 years, originally by a Democratic opponent of Perry’s, and in news reports—all but unchallenged by Perry. Even we at PolitiFact Texas repeated the story as fact.
Of late, there’s a July 16, 2011, reference to Perry chairing the Gore effort in Timemagazine, and an Aug. 29, 2011, item in The New Yorker magazine saying Perry “became a Republican after shouldering the thankless task of running Al Gore’s 1988 Presidential campaign in Texas.”
This week, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, likewise bidding for president, premiered an advertisement calling Perry “Al Gore’s Texas cheerleader.”
But interviews with political players in Texas and Tennessee and news articles from 1988 have convinced us that, although Perry endorsed Gore, he was not his Texas chairman.
Ray Sullivan, a spokesman for Perry’s presidential campaign, recently told us by email: “We have no record or recollection of any leadership position” for Perry in Gore’s 1988 campaign.
Asked why Perry did not say as much when a 1998 opponent repeatedly lofted such claims, Sullivan replied: “We did not (have) access to information about the Gore ’88 campaign organization and therefore 10 years later could not definitively say one way or the other.”
Perry says he voted for Republican George H.W. Bush in November 1988, Sullivan said.
Political journalist R.G. Ratcliffe of Texas, who also reports for the Austin American-Statesman, recently declared in a blog post that Perry did not chair the Gore campaign in Texas. That prompted us to take a closer look at the Perry-Gore connection.
Austin consultant George Shipley, who advised Gore’s 1988 campaign, told us in an interview that Perry “made, to my knowledge, one, possibly two press tours, but he was not what I would call that active in the campaign.”
Sherman lawyer Bob Slagle, who supported Gore while chairing the state’s Democratic Party, told us in an interview that Perry “may have been chairman for some area around Haskell County,” Perry’s home county, but he was no more than that.
Similarly, two staff members in Gore’s 1988 effort said Perry was not its Texas chief.
Tennessee lawyer Tom Jurkovich, Gore’s Texas director, told us by email that “we may have named (Perry) to a ‘steering committee’ or as one of several campaign ‘co-chairs,’ typically honorific titles with no real role … (Perry) wasn’t highly involved in the campaign, however, and had zero operational responsibility.”
Mike Kopp of Nashville, who did press outreach for Gore, was more emphatic, saying in an interview: “We didn’t have a chairman in Texas; we didn’t have co-chairs,” either. “We weren’t that organized; we didn’t have that strong a ground game.”
Perry, who switched to the Republican Party in 1989 before winning his first statewide office in 1990, has since said he realized around that time that Gore was not his man. Still, he did not— could not—deny he’d come aboard with 27 fellow Texas House Democrats who endorsed Gore at a Jan. 5, 1988, Texas Capitol press conference.
Perry and the other legislators saw Gore as the best conservative Democrat in a field that included Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, Missouri U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
A Jan. 7, 1988, news article in the Abilene Reporter-News quotes Dusty Garison, Perry’s district aide, saying: “Rick thinks it’s important that conservative Texans who have traditionally voted in the Democratic Party not vote in the Republican Party simply because they want to vote for a conservative presidential candidate.” Gore, Garison said, appears to be a candidate who can bring the party back to “mainstream America.”
But Gore’s candidacy faded after he fared poorly in Southern primaries. He wound up third in the March 1988 Texas primary, trailing Dukakis and Jackson.
Garison recently told us in an interview he doesn’t remember Perry having an official position in Gore’s campaign.
Perry’s “chairmanship” appears to have originated as a campaign attack that stuck after it was seemingly confirmed by Perry himself. Sprinkle in Nexis fever—the tendency of journalists to echo news clips they find using the Nexis database—and the legend abides.
A review of news articles archived by the Legislative Reference Library shows that Democrat John Sharp made the charge about Perry’s leadership role in the Gore campaign when Sharp faced Perry in the 1998 race for lieutenant governor.
In March 1998, Perry’s camp pressed Sharp to say whom he’d support in that year’s governor’s race between Gov. George W. Bush and Democrat Garry Mauro. Sullivan was quoted in a March 15, 1998, Dallas Morning News article as saying that while Perry would back Bush, Sharp had “supported Mike Dukakis in 1988, Bill Clinton in 1992, (Democratic Gov.) Ann Richards in 1994 and was preparing to run against Gov. Bush in 1997. In 1998, will John Sharp continue his long opposition to the Bush family in Texas or change his position for political gain?”
“Texans deserve a straight and honest answer,” Sullivan said.
The newspaper reported Sharp’s campaign then claiming that Perry served as a state vice chairman for Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign in the state. In an April 1998 debate with Perry, Sharp charged Perry with being Gore’s “co-campaign manager,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram then reported.
In a Sept. 15, 1998, Dallas Morning News article, Sharp is quoted making the “co-chairman” claim again. Perry acknowledged that, the story says, but said there was a “push to get a conservative Southerner” elected president.
“Going through that was part of what started me through the process of changing parties in 1989,” he told the newspaper. “I came to my senses.”
It was Perry’s September 1998 acknowledgment that fed our conclusion in a January 2010 fact check that there was some truth to Republican gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina’s claim that Perry had been Gore’s “campaign manager.” We again leaned on the 1998 article in rating Mostly True a similar claim by Rep. Ron Paul.
Sharp now acknowledges he was making a charge he could not prove.
Sharp, who lost a second bid for lieutenant governor in 2002, later helped devise a business tax overhaul at Perry’s behest. He’s poised to become chancellor of the Texas A&M University System.
He recently agreed Perry wasn’t chairman of Gore’s 1988 Texas campaign. When reminded that he said things otherwise on the hustings, Sharp said: “Never could prove it.”
We couldn’t prove it either. We failed to find campaign-related documents potentially listing titles, if any, given to the Texas legislators who came out for Gore.
Interviews suggest campaign leadership titles may have been casually shared.
Hugo Berlanga, a former legislator who was then speaker pro tempore of the Texas House, said in an interview that the members committing to Gore, who was then a U.S. senator, were going to be his Texas co-chairs. “The bottom line, whether he was a coordinator or co chair, (Perry) was involved,” Berlanga said.
Bobby Aikin, also among legislators then for Gore, said in an interview: “I think each one of us claimed to be a co-chair or coordinator or some-such like that.”
So, say so long to the “Chairman Perry” legend?
Sure, barring contradictory evidence.
Finally, we’re re-rating our fact checks that echoed the chairman description.
Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs – Updated 2010
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the United States? Presentation by James H. Walsh, Associate General Counsel of the former INS – part 1.
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the United States? Presentation by James H. Walsh, Associate General Counsel of the former INS – part 2.
Rand Paul: Lack Of Border Security Is Immigration Bill’s ‘Fatal Flaw’ – Bloomberg 6/18/2013
Ann Coulter on Immigration Bill, Amnesty and Gang of Eight
Ted Cruz Discusses ‘Gang of 8’ Immigration Bill with Rush Limbaugh (part 1)
Ted Cruz Discusses ‘Gang of 8’ Immigration Bill with Rush Limbaugh (part 2)
Sen. Ted Cruz Speaks on the Senate Floor in Opposition to the Gang of Eight’s Immigration Bill
Glenn Beck: Interview with House Republicans Planning Revolt On Immigration Bill
Chris Crane Testimony At Senate Immigration Hearing
Sessions To Senate: Can Anyone Explain How This Immigration Bill Will Help Struggling Americans?
Schumer, Gang of Eight Refuse To Say How Many Will Be Admitted Under Their Plan
Law Enforcement Groups Detail How Immigration Bill Guts Future Enforcement
Dramatic Guest Worker Provisions In Immigration Bill Designed To Suppress Wages
Sessions Warns Washington Elites Against Rush To Amnesty
Sen. Ted Cruz Speaks on the Senate Floor in Opposition to the Gang of Eight’s Immigration Bill
Congressman Steve King Spoke on the House Floor — Immigration and Securing the Border
Congressman Steve King leads House opposition to Senate’s Gang of Eight immigration bill
Senator Boxer Speaks on the Need for Immigration Reform
Background Articles and Videos
BORDERS : Mexican Drug War – Full Documentary 2013
The full-length documentary that is an “on the ground,” on location look at the problem at the US/Mexico border. The film demonstrates the reticence, if not absolute refusal, of the US Govt to adequately protect the dangerous southern border. While security is feigned in some locations, it is totally disregarded in others. Footage shows the mostly non-functional and worthless border fence, easy access across the border at nearly any location, interviews with affected US citizens in the border zone, and questions why certain drugs are illegal that fuel the carnage. I do apologize for some of the wind problems in the sound as I was in very windy locations without an adequate cover on the mic. I did submit this documentary to several networks, but was told it was too politically charged for broadcast. So, here it is on youtube.
The Mexico–United States barrier – also known in the United States as the border fence, rotted fence or border wall – is actually several separation barriers designed to prevent illegal movement across the Mexico–United States border. The barriers were built as part of three larger “Operations” to taper transportation of illegal drugs manufactured in Latin America and illegal immigration: Operation Gatekeeper in California, Operation Hold-the-Line  in Texas, and Operation Safeguard in Arizona. The barriers are strategically placed to mitigate the flow of illegal border crossings along the Mexico–United States international border into the Southwestern United States. Construction supporters cite the ongoing escalation of national security risks, relating to Cartel border violence, and their possible co-operation with overseas terrorists. Opponents claim the barriers are a taxpayer boondoggle, an ineffective deterrent and that the barriers inappropriately jeopardize the health and safety of those seeking illegal entry into the United States, as well as destroy animal habitat, prevent animals from reaching water, disturb animal migration patterns, and otherwise damage the environment.
General impact on illegal immigration
96.6% of apprehensions by the Border Patrol in 2010 occurred at the southwest border. The number of Border Patrol apprehensions declined 61% from 1,189,000 in 2005 to 723,840 in 2008 to 463,000 in 2010. The decrease in apprehensions may be due to a number of factors including changes in U.S. economic conditions and border enforcement efforts. Border apprehensions in 2010 were at their lowest level since 1972.
The 1,951-mile (3,141 km) border between the United States and Mexico traverses a variety of terrains, including urban areas and deserts. The barrier is located on both urban and uninhabited sections of the border, areas where the most concentrated numbers of illegal crossings and drug trafficking have been observed in the past. These urban areas include San Diego, California and El Paso, Texas. As of August 29, 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had built 190 miles (310 km) of pedestrian border fence and 154.3 miles (248.3 km) of vehicle border fence, for a total of 344.3 miles (554.1 km) of fence. The completed fence is mainly in New Mexico, Arizona, and California, with construction under way in Texas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that it had more than 580 miles (930 km) of fence in place by the second week of January, 2009. Work is still under way on fence segments in Texas and on the Border Infrastructure System in California.
The border fence is not one continuous structure and is actually a grouping of short physical walls that stop and start, secured in between with “virtual fence” which includes a system of sensors and cameras monitored by Border Patrol Agents. As a result of the effect of the barrier, there has been a marked increase in the number of people trying to illegally cross the Sonoran Desert and crossing over the Baboquivari Mountain in Arizona. Such illegal immigrants must cross 50 miles (80 km) of inhospitable terrain to reach the first road, which is located in the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation.
There have been around 5,000 migrant deaths along the Mexico-U.S. border in the last thirteen years, according to a document created by the Human Rights National Commission of Mexico, also signed by the American Civil Liberties Union Between 43 and 61 people died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert during that same time period; three times that of the same period the previous year. In October 2004 the Border Patrol announced that 325 people had died crossing the entire border during the previous 12 months. Between 1998 and 2004, 1,954 persons are officially reported to have died along the US-Mexico border. Since 2004, the bodies of 1086 migrants have been recovered in the southern Arizona desert.
U.S. Border Patrol Tucson Sector reported on Oct. 15, 2008 that its agents were able to save 443 undocumented immigrants from certain death after being abandoned by their smugglers, during FY 2008, while reducing the number of deaths by 17 percent from 202 in FY 2007 to 167 in FY 2008. Without the efforts of these agents, hundreds more could have died in the deserts of Arizona. According to the same sector, border enhancements like the wall have allowed the Tucson Sector agents to reduce the number of apprehensions at the borders by 16 percent compared with fiscal year 2007.
U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California and the then-chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, proposed a plan to the House on November 3, 2005 calling for the construction of a reinforced fence along the entire United States–Mexican border. This would also include a 100-yard (91 m) border zone on the U.S. side. On December 15, 2005, Congressman Hunter’s amendment to the Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (H.R. 4437) passed in the House. This plan calls for mandatory fencing along 698 miles (1,123 km) of the Mexican border. On May 17, 2006 the U.S. Senate proposed with Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (S. 2611) what could be 370 miles (600 km) of triple layered-fencing and a vehicle fence. Although that bill died in committee, eventually the Secure Fence Act of 2006 was passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2006.
U.S.-Mexico Border at the Pacific Ocean in Imperial Beach, California. (Tire tracks from Border Patrol Jeeps are visible on the beach.)
The government of Mexico and ministers of several Latin American countries have condemned the plans. Rick Perry, governor of Texas, also expressed his opposition saying that instead of closing the border it should be opened more and through technology support legal and safe migration. The barrier expansion has also been opposed by a unanimous vote of the Laredo, Texas City Council. Laredo’s Mayor, Raul G. Salinas, is concerned about defending his town’s people by saying that the Bill which includes miles of border wall would devastate Laredo. He states “these are people that are sustaining our economy by forty percent, and I am gonna [sic] close the door on them and put [up] a wall? You don’t do that. It’s like a slap in the face.” He hopes that Congress would revise the Bill that better reflects the realities of life on the border. There are no plans to build border fence in Laredo at this time. However, there is a large Border Patrol presence in Laredo.
Secure Fence Act
Beach in Tijuana.
House Resolution 6061 (H.R. 6061), “Secure Fence Act of 2006”, was introduced on September 13, 2006. It passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on September 14, 2006 with a vote of 283–138.
On September 29, 2006, by a vote of 80–19 the U.S. Senate confirmed H.R. 6061 authorizing, and partially funding the “possible” construction of 700 miles (1,125 km) of physical fence/barriers along the border. The very broad support implies that many assurances have been made by the Administration, to the Democrats, Mexico, and the pro “Comprehensive immigration reform” minority within the GOP, that Homeland Security will proceed very cautiously. Michael Chertoff, announced that an eight-month test of the virtual fence, he favors, will precede any construction of a physical barrier.
On October 26, 2006, President George W. Bush signed H.R. 6061 which was voted upon and passed by the 109th Congress of the United States. The signing of the bill comes right after a CNN poll shows us that most Americans “prefer the idea of more Border Patrol agents to a 700-mile (1,125-kilometer) fence.” There is a down payment of $1.2 billion to the Department of Homeland Security marked for border security, but not specifically for the border fence.
As of January 2010, the fence project has been completed from San Diego, California to Yuma, Arizona. From there it continues into Texas and consists of a fence that is 21 feet (6.4 m) tall and 6 feet (1.8 m) deep in the ground, cemented in a 3-foot (0.91 m)-wide trench with 5000 psi (UK/Éire:345 bar; 352 kg/cm²) concrete. There were no fatalities during construction, but there were 4 serious injuries with multiple aggressions against building crews, there was one reported shooting with no injury to a crew member in Mexicali region. All fence sections are south of the all American canals, and have access roads giving border guards the ability to reach any point easily, including the dunes area where a border agent was killed 3 years before and is now sealed off.
The Republican Party’s 2012 platform states that “The double-layered fencing on the border that was enacted by Congress in 2006, but never completed, must finally be built.” The Washington Office on Latin America notes on its Border Fact Check site that the extremely high cost of complying with the Secure Fence Act’s mandate, estimated at US$4.1 billion, or more than the Border Patrol’s entire annual budget of US$3.55 billion, was the main reason that it was not fulfilled.
Rethinking the expansion
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) announced in January 2007 that Congress will revisit the fence plan, while committee chairs are holding up funding until a comprehensive border security plan is presented by the United States Department of Homeland Security. Both Senators from Texas, John Cornyn (R-TX) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), advocate revising the plan.
Construction of the border fence will not be subject to any laws. This is because in 2005 the Real ID Act, attached as a rider to a supplemental appropriations bill funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, decreed, “Not withstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive all legal requirements such Secretary, in such Secretary’s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads.” Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff used his new power to “waive in their entirety” the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act to extend triple fencing through the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve near San Diego. The Real ID Act further stipulates that his decisions are not subject to judicial review, and in December 2005 a federal judge dismissed legal challenges by the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, and others to Chertoff’s decision.
Secretary Chertoff exercised his waiver authority on April 1, 2008. In June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of a lower court ruling upholding the waiver authority in a case filed by the Sierra Club. (Associated Press) In September, 2008 a federal district court judge in El Paso dismissed a similar lawsuit brought by El Paso County, Texas.
By January 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had spent $40 million on environmental analysis and mitigation measures aimed at blunting any possible adverse impact that the fence might have on the environment. On January 16, 2009, DHS announced it was pledging an additional $50 million for that purpose, and signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior for utilization of the additional funding.
President Barack Obama ordered a halt to the expansion of the “virtual fence,” the Department of Homeland Security announced on March 16, 2010. The money would be used to upgrade current border technology.
In response to a perceived lack of will on the part of the federal government to build a secure border fence, and a lack of state funds, Arizona officials plan to launch a website allowing donors to help fund a state border fence.
Steel barrier wall near Mariposa port of entry, Nogales Sonora, Mexico. Viewpoint: from Sonora northeast to Arizona.
Wildlife Friendly Border Wall in Brownsville, Texas. A young man climbs wall using horizontal beams for foot support.
Tribal lands of three American Indian nations would be divided by the proposed border fence.
On January 27, 2008, a U.S. Native American human rights delegation, which included Margo Tamez, (Lipan Apache-Jumano Apache) and Teresa Leal (Opata-Mayo) reported the removal of the official International Boundary obelisks of 1848 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the Las Mariposas, Sonora-Arizona sector of the Mexico-U.S. border. The obelisks were moved southward approximately 20 meters, onto the property of private landowners in Sonora, as part of the larger project of installing the 18-foot (5.5 m) steel barrier wall.
The proposed route for the border fence would divide the campus of the University of Texas at Brownsville into two parts, according to Antonio N. Zavaleta, a vice president of the university. There have been campus protests against the wall by students who feel it will harm their school. In August, 2008, UT-Brownsville reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the university to construct a portion of the fence across and adjacent to its property. The final agreement, which was filed in federal court on Aug. 5 and formally signed by the Texas Southmost College Board of Trustees later that day, ended all court proceedings between UTB/TSC and DHS. On August 20, 2008, the university sent out a request for bids for the construction of a 10-foot (3.0 m) high barrier that incorporates technology security for its segment of the border fence project. The southern perimeter of the UTB/TSC campus will be part of a laboratory for testing new security technology and infrastructure combinations. The border fence segment on the UTB campus was substantially complete by December, 2008.
In the spring of 2007 more than 25 landowners, including a corporation and a school district, from Hidalgo and Starr County in Texas refused border fence surveys, which would determine what land was eligible for building on, as an act of protest.
In July 2008, Hidalgo County and Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1 entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the construction of a project that combines the border fence with a levee to control flooding along the Rio Grande. Construction of two of the Hidalgo County fence segments are under way; five more segments are scheduled to be built during the fall of 2008; the Hidalgo County section of the border fence will constitute 22 miles (35 km) of combined fence and levee.
Mexico has almost always condemned any course of action by the United States on its stance to increase border security and immigration control dating back over a century. It is estimated that over 500 people a year die trying to cross into the US illegally. In prior years, two times the amount was estimated as a casuality. Because of this, some Mexicans see the barriers as a slightly positive thing; but most Mexicans, as well as the Mexican government, somewhat view it a discrimination, as well as a source of alienation by the United States.
In 2006, the Mexican Government vigorously condemned the Secure Fence act of 2006. Mexico has also urged the US to alter its plans for expanded fences along their shared border, saying that it would damage the environment and harm wildlife.
In June 2007, it was announced that a section of the barrier had been mistakenly built from 1 to 6 feet (1.8 m) inside Mexican territory. This will necessitate the section being moved at an estimated cost of over US$3 million.
In 2012, then presidential candidate of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto was campaigning in Tijuana at the Playas de Monumental, less than 600 yards from the US/Mexico border adjacent to Border Field State Park. In one of his speeches he critizied the US government for building the barriers, and asked for them to be removed. Ultimately, he mocked Ronald Reagan’s “Tear down this wall” speech from Berlin in 1987.
In April 2008, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to waive more than 30 environmental and cultural laws to speed construction of the barrier. Despite claims from then Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff that the department would minimize the construction’s impact on the environment, critics in Arizona and Texas asserted the fence endangered species and fragile ecosystems along the Rio Grande. Environmentalists expressed concern about butterfly migration corridors and the future of two species of local wildcats, the ocelot and the jaguarundi.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) conducted environmental reviews of each pedestrian and vehicle fence segment covered by the waiver, and published the results of this analysis in Environmental Stewardship Plans (ESPs). Although not required by the waiver, CBP has conducted the same level of environmental analysis (in the ESPs) that would have been performed before the waiver (in the “normal” NEPA process) to evaluate potential impacts to sensitive resources in the areas where fence is being constructed.
ESPs completed by CBP contain extremely limited surveys of local wildlife. For example, the ESP for border fence built in the Del Rio Sector included a single survey for wildlife completed in November, 2007, and only “3 invertebrates, 1 reptile species, 2 amphibian species, 1 mammal species, and 21 bird species were recorded.” The ESPs then dismiss the potential for most adverse effects on wildlife, based on sweeping generalizations and without any quantitative analysis of the risks posed by border barriers. Approximately 461 acres of vegetation will be cleared along the impact corridor. From the Rio Grande Valley ESP: “The impact corridor avoids known locations of individuals of Walker’s manioc and Zapata bladderpod, but approaches several known locations of Texas ayenia. For this reason, impacts on federally listed plants are anticipated to be short-term, moderate, and adverse.” This excerpt is typical of the ESPs in that the risk to endangered plants is deemed short-term without any quantitative population analysis.
By August, 2008, more than 90 percent of the southern border in Arizona and New Mexico had been surveyed. The remaining portions will be surveyed in the next three months. In addition, 80 percent of the California/Mexico border has been surveyed.
Public opinion in the United States
A July 29, 2010 Rasmussen Reports nationwide poll revealed that Americans favored building a fence along the U.S. border with Mexico, with 68 percent in favor and 21 percent against (margin of error: +/- 3 percentage points).
Defeat The Gang of 8 Amensty For Illegal Immigation Bill
Gang Of Eight Senators Kill Amendment Requiring Border Fence
Rep. Steve King: Immigration Legislation is ‘Breathtaking, Outrageous Form of Amnesty’
Heritage Foundation Report on the cost of legalizing 11 mn illegal immigrants
Legalizing Illegals Will Cost $6.3 Trillion!
Wood Says Immigration Amnesty to Cost $6.3 Trillion
Schumer Refuses To Estimate Future Immigration Flow Under Gang Of Eight Proposal
Cruz Offers Amendments to ‘Gang of Eight’ Bill
Congressman Steve King leads House opposition to Senate’s Gang of Eight immigration bill
Law Officers Plead With Congress To Hear Their Concerns Over Proposed Amnesty Bill
Sessions: Gang Of Eight Sticking Together To Defeat Improvements To Their Bill
Top ICE Agent: ‘Zero Confidence In This Administration’ To Deliver On Immigration Enforcement
The Gang Of 8’s Opposition Cost $6.3 Trillion – Sessions: 35 million Illegals New Citizen – Dobbs
Sessions: Gang Of Eight Bill Would Surge Low-Skill Immigration, Hurt Working Americans
Sessions: Senate Rushing Immigration Bill Lawmakers Haven’t Read
US. & Mexican Government Working Together To Provide Legal & illegal Aliens Food Stamp – O’Reilly
Border Patrol Official: Illegal Immigrants To Get ‘A Free Pass’ Under President’s New Policy
Sen. Sessions: Senate immigration bill will ‘hammer working Americans’
By Bernie Becker
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said Friday that the Senate immigration reform bill would “hammer working Americans.”
Sessions, one of the immigration overhaul’s most strident critics, suggested the measure would prioritize foreign-born workers over people already in the U.S. struggling to find a job.
“This is far, far too many low-skilled workers that are going to take jobs and pull down wages of people unemployed and underemployed right now,” Sessions, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Fox Business. “It’s really, really dangerous.”
The Senate Judiciary panel cleared the immigration bill crafted by the so-called “Gang of Eight” this week by a bipartisan 13-5 vote, and its supporters hope to rack up 70 votes in the chamber.
But Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), one of the Gang of Eight, said Friday that the vote doesn’t yet have 60 votes in the chamber. Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), another senior Republican on the Judiciary panel, voted for the measure in committee, but has said he might not back it on the Senate floor.