Trump proudly states he will build a wall along our southern border, and he will make Mexico pay for it—-and the crowd goes wild! Sanders says he will make college free for everyone—-and the crowd goes wild! Promising everyone a pony has a better chance of happening than either of these two “campaign promises”. But for now, let’s just talk about Trumps wall.
I see this wall business play out at his campaign stops and have to wonder if Trump is delusional, the crowd is delusional, or both. If not mentally ill then at the very least, neither Trump nor the crowd: own a map, have ever been to the Southwest, have an idea of the length of the U.S./Mexico border, or have given “the wall” much thought other than as a catchy campaign slogan.
Suppose the U.S. did build a 1,900 mile long wall on the southern border, now what? If a family chunks a 1 year old over the wall, do we pick it up, look at it, and chunk it back to live or die as fate would have it? Ten minutes after the wall is built, when people figure out how to get over or under it, do we herd them back across, shoot them, welcome them with open arms?
What Congress would have to do, along with building said wall is to completely rewrite or do away with the immigration laws that have been passed with 1965. And if you are going to do that, why not put the programs back in place that were working, without a wall, prior to 1965? As you can see, this subject can get complicated very quickly, so for now, lets just talk about a physical wall.
The U.S./Mexico border, from California to Texas is 1,954 miles in length. I realize to Trump supporters, that number means little or nothing so lets put it another way. If you build a wall along the Eastern part of the nation from Portland Maine to Miami Florida, you would still be 600 miles short. Another way to say it is the wall would be from Charleston South Carolina to Albuquerque New Mexico. (make up your own wall placement)
The point being that people do not understand the sheer size of the Trump wall and Trump is using the concept of a wall because he has no idea of how to fix the illegal immigration problem.
From 2006 to 2009, the U.S. spent 2.4 billion to build 670 miles of barrier along the southern border. The barrier was a combination of fencing and some parts were a true wall made of metal (climbed over 5 minutes later). Assuming Trump is talking about a true wall, 14 feet tall as he has said in several speech’s, a good estimate would be 5 million dollars per mile, with government overruns, make it 10 million per mile. Congress would have to approve an initial outlay of 20-50 billion (cost overruns) for the initial construction of Trumps wall. Allowing for patrols and maintenance, because the wall would have to exist “forever” and you would need another 50 billion per year. (it would take thousands of new border patrol guards to watch the wall 24/7—forever)
In conclusion: We Americans cannot imagine life in a third world country but to millions of people south of the border, they have a choice to make. They can continue to endure a life of brutal hardship or make the trip to America—they will keep coming.
Congress must address the problem in a reasonable and humane manner (pre 1965 worked) or keep funding the “fundamental transformation of America”. If we decide to hide behind a wall, some studies indicate that by 2050, the largest minority in America will be the “Anglo (white) voter.” (sorry, don’t know how to do links, I still call this a typewriter)
Trump’s wall is a throw away campaign promise. You would think after 8 years of Obama, the voter would have their fill of empty promises but apparently not. Between now and November, let us hope voters will wake up and choose real world solutions instead of Trumps unicorns and fairy dust.
If, at the convention, Trump becomes the GOP candidate, thanks in large part to the MSM, it will not matter who will be our next President. America is in for a transformational period from which it will take several generations to recover, it at all.