Massachusetts Sheriff Suggests Allowing Inmates to Build Trump's Border Wall

FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2016 photo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent drives near the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Santa Teresa, N.M. Can Donald Trump really make good on his promise to build a wall along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border to prevent illegal migration? What’s more, can he make Mexico pay for it? Sure, he can build it, but it’s not nearly as simple as he says. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

I’m actually all for setting inmates to work, as a means of saving tax payers money, whether it’s through cleaning up the side of the roads and parks, or building walls.

A sheriff out of Massachusetts is now proposing using prison labor to build Donald Trump’s magical, mystical border wall.

“I can think of no other project that would have such a positive impact on our inmates and our country than building this wall,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said at his swearing-in ceremony for a fourth term in office late Wednesday.

“Aside from learning and perfecting construction skills, the symbolism of these inmates building a wall to prevent crime in communities around the country, and to preserve jobs and work opportunities for them and other Americans upon release, can be very powerful,” he said.

Or erecting strategic fencing.

The wall, as proposed by Donald Trump, would not work along the entire terrain of our southern border, whereas fencing and added personnel would be far more doable.

Securing that southern border has to happen, but leaders from both parties have been lax, at best, in regards to addressing the problem.

Trump has repeatedly promised to build a wall for the entire stretch of the border and says he will make Mexico pay for it. Mexico, however, has no desire to take on that expense and have said as much.

In response to a request by the Trump transition office, the Department of Homeland Security last month identified more than 400 miles (644 km) along the U.S.-Mexico border where new fencing could be erected, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The documents contained an estimate that building that section of fence would cost more than $11 billion.

With a U.S.-Mexico border that is about 2,000 miles in length, the price tag for simple fencing would cause considerable sticker shock.

If you’re going to do it, however, using prison labor, properly trained and supervised, could be the start to cutting down the costs.

“Chain gangs,” as they were once called, used to be regular thing in the U.S., phasing out in the mid- to late-50s. There are still prison road crews (sans the ankle chains), however. Setting prisoners to work on the southern border wouldn’t be the worst of ideas.

We’ll see if Trump is taking Sheriff Hodgson’s calls.