You may be a Trump fan or a #NeverTrumper. You may be for “comprehensive” immigration reform or against immigration of any kind. It doesn’t matter. We should build “The Wall.”
If you are anti-immigrant, then I do not need to convince you that we should build “The Wall.” You already understand that border integrity is essential to your designs.
[Source: Build the wall, by Robert J. Samuelson]
But let’s assume for the moment that you are for “comprehensive immigration reform” (even with a path to citizenship). The best way to get a majority in Congress to agree to it is to start by building “The Wall.”
There are those that say, “It would be a monstrosity.” The Chinese built a wall largely for border security purposes. That “Wall” is now referred to as “Great.” The Chinese wall stretches from Dangdong in the east to Lop Lake in the west. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the wall measures 5,500 mi. The US border with Mexico measures only 1989 mi. The Chinese wall is made up of 3,889 mi sections of actual wall, 223 mi of trenches and 1,387 mi of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. So, if we build “The Wall” and wait a few thousand years perhaps they will call our wall “Great,” as well.
There are those that say, “It would be too expensive.” Mr. Trump has stated that the cost would be $8 billion. However, a detailed analysis by AllianceBernstein, a research firm, estimates the cost at between $15 – 25 billion. That is a significant difference, but even the top estimate is a piddling amount in a federal budget of $3.8 trillion (0.01%). This year alone we will spend $1,000 billion on means-tested programs. We might not need to spend that much if we had “The Wall!”
Mr. Trump says he will make the Mexican government pay for “The Wall.” The progressive/statist/altruists laugh heartily and the President of Mexico says, “Never!” But Mr. Trump knows that Mexico receives more than $24 billion in remittances every year from immigrants living in the United States. That makes up about two percent of the Mexican GDP, according to World Bank data. Losing that money could devastate the country’s economy. I like Mr. Trump’s position better than the Mexican position.
If you favor “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” the best route to passage comes “ATW,” not “BTW.” (ATW – After The Wall; BTW – Before The Wall). You may love or hate Charles Krauthammer, but his logic strikes me as unassailable:
In the hands of someone serious, a wall could be a catalyst for a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration policy. “It’s hard to understand opposition [to a wall]. It’s the most venerable and reliable way to keep people out.” He argued correctly that the outlines of a deal have long been apparent. It would:
- Change legal immigration criteria to favor employability (a.k.a. skills over family connections). The emphasis would be on stimulating the nation’s economic growth.
- Require most businesses to belong to E-Verify, the government system that allows employers to check on the immigrant status of potential workers.
- Create a path to legality — and ultimately to citizenship — for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.
- Embrace policies — including a wall — that would credibly and dramatically reduce illegal immigration.
Immigration and Naturalization Service workers have been instructed to hurry as many people through the citizenship process as possible during this election year. Is it any wonder that conservatives hate this administration?
My friends, whether you are pro or con on Mr. Trump, logic dictates that we build “The Wall.”