21 Jan President Trump’s wall
Donald Trump might not declare a national emergency to bypass Congress for building a wall along the southern border, but his absorption with his 2016 campaign commitment continues. He has adjusted his budget demands from $25 billion to $18 billion to $5.7 billion. We are yet not sure, what exactly will a $5.7billion funding cover. Trump has made many shifts in his terminology from initially calling it a “wall” to a “barrier” and making different sorts of proposals, i.e. an artistically designed steel wall, a concrete barrier, a solar paneled barrier, or a see-through design. Let us find out the root cause behind such proposals.
The US-Mexico border is spread across 1,954 miles (3,145km) and passes vast deserts and mountains in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. Roughly 654 miles is already covered by some kind of manmade barriers, such as fencing or a wall, constructed after 2006. In 2017, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended around 303,916 people at the southern border as per the data of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Also, in 2017, more than 606,926 people who legally entered inside the US overstayed their visas and remained in the country at the end of the year.
The data mentioned above clearly indicates the huge crisis America is facing when it comes to immigration and related issues. President Trump states the wall as the radical solution, even though deep doubts swarm about its effectiveness. Trump and his supporters repeatedly claim that Democrats support open borders.
“Loopholes in our immigration laws, all supported by extremist open border Democrats,” Trump tweeted in June 2018. However, this claim is not entirely true as the Democrats have supported legislation in the past that limits immigration. The issue over the wall is now blown out of proportion and has resulted in a partial government shutdown.
A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center indicates that 60% of Americans oppose Trump’s proposition to extensively develop the wall. The wall is supported by older people, white people and the less educated, as per the survey.
There is no denying that immigration has become too difficult in the Trump era, but the construction of the wall is neither being supported by the Democrats who at present head the House of Representatives nor the American citizens.
Those in favor of the wall believe it can reduce illegal immigrant sneaking, lower down terrorism, drug trafficking, and related violent activities. The proposal has been criticized for being easy to get around by digging under it, using tunnel systems, climbing the fence and using wire cutters to remove barbed-wire or locating and drilling holes in vulnerable sections of the border.
This isn’t the first time we are considering building border barriers or increased security. Fencing is present along 690 miles of the border between the U.S. and Mexico, and the count of border patrol agents have been tripled in the last two decades. None of these factors seem to impact immigration in any manner so far.
The fight that has resulted in a partial government shutdown is about 234 miles of a new border wall demanded by President Trump as per the latest request. Many consider the “wall” as President Trump’s obsession. Initially, Trump declared that Mexico will be paying for the wall. However, in 2017, the Washington Post printed leaked transcripts of a private telephonic conversation between Trump and Mexico’s then-president, Enrique Peña Nieto.
“I am just going to say that we are working it out,” Trump said. “Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.”
Even if somehow the Government manages to garner the support of the Democrats and get the funding this project needs, the government will need to use its powers of eminent domain to take control of land privately owned by Americans, which will result in a myriad of legal battles.
Construction of a wall along the southern border will be tough, even under the right political conditions. After the most extended government shutdown in American history, it’s going to be near impossible.