Trump’s Wall and the federal agency shutdown.

  Trump, in order to be elected, made promises that maybe even he knew would be impossible to keep. Front and center was the promise to build a Big, Beautiful Wall (that Mexico would pay for!) in order to hold back what he described as hordes of violent criminal migrants and drug cartels eager to rush our southern border.

  If you consider statistical evidence, though, you see that

  • Most illegal immigration is due to visa overstays.
  • Most drugs enter the country through ports of entry, in ships and cars.
  • Criminality is lower in immigrant populations (who arrived here both legally and illegally) than in those born in the US.
  • The influx of immigrants at the southern border may be spiking now, but the overall trend in the past several years is toward lower numbers.
  • Most importantly, the vast majority of those would-be immigrants are fleeing violence in their home countries and applying for political asylum in the United States, as is their right according to international law. Trump, in other words, has been serving up large portions of Pinocchios.

  A sizable majority of Americans opposes the building of Trump’s wall. There are smarter ways to secure the border, building fences in some sections where they may be needed, using technology to detect movement, possibly even helping to stabilize the countries of origin of most would-be immigrants.

  In Texas, building a wall would take a tremendous human and ecological toll. Sensitive ecosystems will be disturbed. Land currently open to tourism and agriculture will be lost, and the use of eminent domain is sure to rankle ranchers and tie the project in litigation in the courts for years, at additional cost to taxpayers.

  We must stop the heart-wrenching scenes of would-be immigrants, many of them women and children, stopped at the border for days and weeks in increasingly dire conditions. We must stop herding children into tent cities in the middle of winter. Picturing the United States as a beacon of hope does not make it so. It is an honor to be earned over and over, year after year.

  Trump’s shutdown of several agencies of the federal government in a snit over financing his medieval wall adds insult to injury. Not content with victimizing asylum seekers, he now attacks federal workers, who he seems to believe are all Democrats. Who, indeed, would choose a career as a public servant? One could ask, similarly, who would volunteer for the military when there are deferments to be had for bone spurs? The Trumpian mentality of “Me First and the rest of humanity be damned” is again in full display.

  As the shutdown drags on, ripples are affecting the whole country. Families living paycheck to paycheck – including members of the Coast Guard and other agencies tasked with securing the borders – will suffer the most. So will the private sector, as consumers watch their wallets and financial markets react to the instability.

   Trump, true to form, chose politics over policy. He is digging in to rally his shrinking base, and most congressional Republicans dare not incur the wrath of the MAGA crowd. It is up to congressional Democrats to hold firm. I hope they do.

  Disclaimer: “Errare humanum est” – Marie-Anne wrote this post. Her intentions are pure (cue in angelic choirs), but she occasionally loses grip on some facts…. So, if there are any mistakes, she is solely responsible for them.

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