LOCAL : Freeway Fence Idea Hit in O.C.

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Community leaders involved in immigrant issues told CalTrans officials this morning that a proposal to build a fence along the median of the San Diego Freeway to prevent the mounting toll of deaths among undocumented aliens is “a waste of money.”

A study by Cal State Fullerton researchers commissioned by CalTrans recently concluded that construction of a fence along eight miles of the freeway just south of the Orange County line is the best way to prevent accidents that have claimed about 100 lives in five years on highways from the border to San Clemente.

“I would say it’s a waste of money,” said Evelyn Colon Becktell, chairwoman of the Orange County Coalition for Immigrant Rights who attended the CalTrans meeting at the Fullerton Public Library. “When they put up more lights (along the highway), the immigrants went farther up the highway, where there were no lights. The same thing is going to happen with the wall. They’re going to go farther up along I5, and one way or another, they’re going to get killed.”