There Will Be No Wall

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

When Republicans demanded that the U.S.-Mexico border be virtually militarized, then U.S. President Bill Clinton more than doubled the U.S. Border Patrol and strengthened those parts of the border wall that existed. When Republicans wanted a border fence, both then U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama built a border fence. U.S. President Donald Trump is demanding that a total border wall stretching for over 2,000 miles be built or he will NOT help those undocumented brought over as children to remain legally in the United States. This sort of blackmail will not work—Democrats are completely united on this issue, and too many moderate Republicans will not go for it either. This time, it looks like there will not be a border wall. Trump cannot get Mexico to pay for the border wall without doing at least a generation of damage between the United States and Mexico and possibly driving Mexico into the China camp. Likewise the U.S. Congress will not be blackballed into paying for something they see as a boondoggle.

Rhetoric and reality do not mix, and no matter what President Trump believes in I do not see him getting his way on this issue. The U.S. House of Representatives, dominated by largely extreme Republicans, was barely able to pass legislation for a U.S.-Mexico Border Wall. If it was barely passed in the House, it will be pretty much a dead issue in the U.S. Senate. The Senate is interested in passing funding for better border surveillance technology on the premise that it is used to fight the Mexican drug cartels, but only secondary at most for dealing with people simply crossing the border. This of course does not take into consideration all of the legal battles that will ensue if private landowners do not want a border wall on their lands, and then there is the case of the Tohono O’odham Native American people who do not want the wall built on their lands. Such a wall will permanently separate their people on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The whole issue of the wall may work with Trump’s white racist peoples base, but everyone else sees it as either impractical and a waste of money or worse as a virtual Berlin Wall that will make most people living on the U.S.-Mexico border unhappy to put it mildly. Yes, many people along the border want relief from violence and the actions of the Mexican drug cartels, but they are already facing too many restrictions along the border by the U.S. Border Patrol. In truth, the wall will not resolve any of these issues, and too many lawmakers in both the Republican and Democratic parties are beginning to see this. Even if they do not get along with each other, they simply do not want to go to the extreme of building a border wall that will not only endure as a symbol of a virtual police-state but have serious repercussions for at least a generation between the United States and Mexico.

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