Before you decide that, based on the image above, I’m about to let loose with a barrage of invective about Trump and his ‘obsession’ with a border wall, I’m not. In fact, I’m long past being really bored with what the many people suffering from what is accurately called ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ (TDS) i.e. the reflexive and fundamentally anti-intellectual lampooning of literally anything Trump says, does, wants or likes (or even dislikes). The image above is, therefore, an example of the kind of idiotic argumentation made by such people.
So for those who still retain a modicum of critical thinking ability and enjoy using it, here’s a more rational (rather than emotional) perspective on Trump’s latest alleged ‘obsession’.
In 2006 the ‘Secure Fence Act‘ allocated $50 billion to build 652 miles of additional border fencing. President Bush at the time said:
“This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform.”
Both Obama and Hillary (and many other Democrats) voted in favor.
By May 2011, the Department of Homeland Security reported completing 649 miles of fencing (99.5% of the 652 miles planned). The barrier was made up of 299 miles of vehicle barriers and 350 miles of pedestrian fence. The fencing includes a steel fence (varying in height between 18 and 26 feet). In addition to the 654 miles of primary fencing, Customs and Border Protection also deployed additional layers of pedestrian fencing behind the primary border fencing, including 37 miles of secondary fencing and 14 miles of tertiary fencing.
A 2017 Government Accountability Office report, citing U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, found that from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2015, the U.S.-Mexico border fence had been breached 9,287 times, at an average cost of $784 per breach to repair.
The fence is routinely climbed or otherwise circumvented. The Government Accounting Office reported in 2017 that both pedestrian and vehicle barriers have been defeated by various methods, including using ramps to drive vehicles “up and over” vehicle fencing in the sector; scaling, jumping over, or breaching pedestrian fencing; burrowing or tunneling underground; and even using small aircraft. New York Times op-ed writer Lawrence Downes wrote in 2013: “A climber with a rope can hop it in less than half a minute. … Smugglers with jackhammers tunnel under it. They throw drugs and rocks over it. The fence is breached not just by sunlight and shadows, but also the hooded gaze of drug-cartel lookouts, and by bullets. Border agents describe their job as an unending battle of wits, a cat-mouse game with the constant threat of violence.
So regardless of whether or not you agree with Trump, if you agree that some kind of border control is necessary in the USA, you’ll have to accept the fact that a previous bipartisan attempt to install secure border fencing at a cost of $50 billion has not worked to secure the border.
And that’s the reason Trump is talking about a wall. Despite what all those suffering from TDS in the mainstream media and across the country claim, it isn’t a “crazy” idea or the product of Trump’s tyrannical aspirations, it’s a reasonable response to the ongoing problem of border security in the USA that has consistently had bipartisan support. Obviously, if you think that no effective border control in the USA is necessary, then feel free to resume ranting and raving, but just remember that a large majority of of Congress and the Senate, from both sides of the aisle, don’t have your back.