From HUSTLER Magazine
The Magic Wall Will Never Happen
Trump made the Great Border Wall the signature rally cry of his campaign. Aides encouraged it as a short, simple sound bite that he could remember and repeat. When the crowds roared after “And Mexico will pay for it!” it became a promise he couldn’t escape. Sensing that his hardcore base was drifting away, he decided to hold the whole federal government hostage, shutting it down for weeks.
But the Mexicans are not paying for his wall, and neither are the Democrats controlling the House. Democrats and Republicans agree that more border security is needed. But a wall will not halt illegal drugs, which are for the most part smuggled in through ports of entry. Nor will it stop families seeking asylum, who are anxious to turn themselves over to immigration officials, not enter the country illegally. Trump’s claims of violence also ring false. The fact is that immigrants have a lower crime rate than those born in America.
Even if you buy into Trump’s paranoia that there’s a national emergency on our southern border, most experts agree that a giant wall is impractical for many reasons. First, over two-thirds of borderland property is not controlled by the federal government, but by states, Native American tribes and private landowners. Trump would have to use massive eminent domain to seize much of this land—that’s been tried before, resulting in a glut of prolonged lawsuits that delayed or prevented the erection of fencing. Second, a wall would disrupt water flows, violating the 1970 Boundary Treaty, which states that the Rio Grande floodplain must remain open on both sides of the border, meaning that residents on both sides have legal rights to seasonal rains. Third, walls in some areas have already been crossed, and if you don’t have a 31-foot ladder, then you can dig a tunnel.
In 2016 MIT did a study on the cost of a 30-foot-high wall running 1,000 miles along the southern border: Far more than Trump’s estimated $8 billion, it came out to more like $31.2 billion, not including annual maintenance. And the Migration Policy Institute, studying walls around the world, concluded they were “relatively ineffective.” Beyond this, the majority of illegal aliens in the U.S. do not sneak across the border at all, but simply overstay their visas.
But as usual, facts and studies do not inform Trump’s decisions. He wants to spend billions on a giant, ineffective symbol to placate his xenophobic base and boost his own ego. There is no other valid reason for building such a wall. Democrats must stand firm in their opposition to this absurd boondoggle.