The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Tag: Trump’s Wall

Fight Over Something That Matters; “The Wall” Mostly Doesn’t

So, here’s something people tend to not mention.

A number of walls have already been built along the US-Mexico border.

The Mexico–United States barrier (Spanish: barrera México–Estados Unidos) is a series of vertical barriers along the Mexico–United States border aimed at preventing illegal crossings from Mexico into the United States. [1] The barrier is not one contiguous structure, but a discontinuous series of physical obstructions variously classified as “fences” or “walls.” In between these constructed obstacles, security is provided by a “virtual fence” consisting of sensors, cameras, and other surveillance equipment that is used to dispatch United States Border Patrol agents to suspected migrant crossings. [2] As of January 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that it had more than 580 miles (930 km) of barriers in place.[3] The total length of the continental border is 1,954 miles (3,145 km).

That cost, by the way, about six billion dollars. Trump wants seven billion dollars for his wall, which obviously wouldn’t cover the entire border.

The US has built walls along the border before.

What is more important, I think, is that the real problem isn’t a wall or walls. The real problem is that enforcement is extremely cruel. The problem is that this cruelty is mostly bipartisan: Trump has made it worse, but most of the high-profile cases which first came out happened under the Obama administration, which built plenty of camps; they just kept parents and children together in horribly inhumane circumstances.

What should be done is that responsibility for illegal immigrants should be handed back to a reconstituted “Immigration and Naturalization Service“, who ran it until 2003 (after the Homeland Security reorganization shoved through under 9/11 hysteria).

They were a lot less abusive, though the border patrol was still awful.

But the US wants para-militarized law-enforcement, and Americans believe that people should suffer and suffer bad, so we have the current regime. Again, a ton of abuses and cruelty happened under Obama, and the child separation, while a step too far for Democrats (at least in opposition), came on top of policies which were already disgustingly inhumane.

Seven billion is nothing. It isn’t even chump change in terms of the US budget. The wall is not particularly important in real terms of how it will affects people. It is a symbolic issue: Trump made it his centerpiece, so the Democrats oppose it.

Indeed, the Democratic compromise was to keep funding ICE, but not fund the wall.

This is symbolic politics. Trump’s signature campaign promise was “The Wall.” It doesn’t cost much, it won’t make immigration enforcement noticeably more cruel, but not funding it is a win.

Is it a win worth a government shutdown? Maybe. But crocodile tears about the suffering of civil servants from Dems fighting over a largely symbolic issue fail to impress. If they were actually fighting over stopping child separation, ending camps, or truly getting rid of the current regime and going back to something more humane, that would be worth some suffering, because it would end suffering.

Is this?

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Is Trump Right to Shutdown the Government over His Wall?

Yeah, I think he is.

Bear with me, I think the wall is stupid and mean. There aren’t actually a ton of emigrants coming any more, and there haven’t been since the early 00’s. It’s not a real crisis. (It never really was.)

And the anti-immigrant movement is based on cruelty. It was based on cruelty under Obama and Bush as well. A lot of outrages that came to light in the early Trump reign were actually things that happened under Obama. That said, Trump has, as with so many things, made it worse.

But Trump campaigned on the wall. If he had a main any campaign promise at all, it was to build the wall.

People voted for him, elected him, expecting him to build the wall.

People should, I believe, get what they vote for. At the least they should be able to expect the people they voted for to fight for whatever they promised.

Trump is doing that, and I would go so far as to say he should do it.

Other politicians, who promised to oppose him, should do so, though I fear the hypocrisy meter is pretty high on both Republicans and Democrats on this issue: Many who oppose him now have voted for border walls in the past, there’s plenty of already existing wall, etc.

Is all this worth shutting the government down over? Not to me, not to most of my readers, I’m sure.

But it was Trump’s main promise, and he should fight for it.

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